While franchising is considered the easiest way to expand and grow your business, the industry is very competitive. At first, more attention is paid to setting up the model, running the pilot, and lining up the first franchisee. While this flurry of activities is quite in order, one element you cannot afford to overlook is compiling a comprehensive training program for your franchisees.
If a customer visits one of your franchises and is treated unpleasantly, it creates a poor reflection on your brand. It is, therefore, important to have a proper training program in place.
It’s All About Training
Tom Meredith, the managing director of Your FD, a franchise that provides financial directors and accountants to businesses, comments that “as a new franchisor, it’s really important to make sure your first few franchisees are going to be successful. You’ve got to make sure you are getting the basics of the franchise set out from the start.” Your success will largely depend on how you effectively train your franchisees on the ins and outs of your model.
According to Alan Gibson, a consultant on franchise matters at The Franchising Centre, “all of the best franchise
systems are founded on a proven, replicable model.” This means that creating a consistent standard for all your franchises’ operations is very vital, especially if you want to expand to several hundreds of franchises in the future. This calls for an effective and systematic training program that will support the creation of a constant brand.
You should also create your franchise’s operations manual as a key ingredient in your training package.
Your franchisees refer to this manual whenever they need further clarification. The operations manual typically covers elements, such as business planning, service delivery, marketing, and the practicalities of setting up your franchise. Gibson says, “a common trap that new franchisors fall into is assuming franchisees will know things
without being taught. The training program should deliver all the core skills needed to operate the business.”
Operation manuals should be designed in a simple way and supplemented with online platforms that deliver searchable content, interactive questionnaires, and video guidelines. Gibson confirms this when he says, “a well-written, easy-to-digest operations manual is worth its weight in gold.” This encourages the franchisees to get off the ground without extensive training support.
A structured training program based at the headquarters is another factor to consider. Gibson adds that “delivering training at the franchisor’s head office provides both parties with a number of benefits.” It not only helps the franchisees to learn how to carry out a number of activities such as hiring employees, launching their businesses, and delivering the services or products, but also, it helps them to establish working relationships with fellow franchisees and the support team.
The Bottom Line
Tom Meredith concludes that “training plays quite a large part in making sure that franchisees are living up to the brand image.” The secret of your franchise success is all about training. When your franchisees are well trained, your brand image will be consistent.