Among the most important tasks for any franchisor is training new franchisees. For both the franchisee and franchisor, a thorough training program is critical for a successful business. The franchisor must develop a structured program with classes or sessions to train any franchisees. On the part of the franchisee, it is crucial to give the training program and materials close attention in order to avoid future problems in the franchise. It is vital that the franchisor create a comprehensive training program. Mutually, when considering a franchise to purchase, the franchisee must take note of the company’s training program. There are three general parts to an initial training program: training manual, hands-on training, and staff training.
An operational or training manual is the key to a successful training program. Not only does the manual serve as the franchisee’s primary source of information, but the table of contents is typically included in the franchise’s Uniform Franchise Offering Circular. For these reasons, the manual should be prepared with time and as thoroughly as possible. However, the franchisor should make the manual as simple to understand as possible, considering future franchisees may not have much experience in the industry.
Every process of the development of a new franchise location must be outlined in the manual, whether it’s finding a location or obtaining a federal tax ID number. Legal issues such as wage and labor laws and sexual harassment should also be discussed within the manual in order to avoid future legal problems.
Every process of new franchise development must be outlined in the training manual.
In addition, the daily operations of the business must be fully described. Most companies have day-to-day procedures involving hiring, performance standards, or scheduling. Even factors that may seem overly simple, such as job description, should be explicitly stated in the manual.
Local marketing and advertising rules are factors that should also be included in the operational manual.
The hands-on training portion of the initial training process gives the franchisee a good idea of the day-to-day feel of running a franchise. Typically various department heads give new franchisees a run-down of their department’s responsibilities.
The franchisee should consider the duration and location of the training program when considering investing in a franchise. Many franchisees have other obligations, whether they be familial or professional, that may conflict with a long and time-consuming training process. As the franchisee, think about whether you can commit a long time to the training process.
In addition to training for the franchisee, the employees of each location must also be provided with a training program. While the franchisor does not need hand-on inclusion in the staff training, they still must implement the training programs or systems for everyday staff members. Typically this form of training is implemented using an electronic system.
The initial several months of owning a franchise is a long learning process. Often, franchisors know this and provide ongoing support programs. Just like the franchisee, the franchisor wants to see the business succeed. So, in addition to initial training programs, many franchisors institute programs to help new business owners learn the business.
Other franchisees can be a good resource for ongoing support and knowledge after training programs are complete.
Some franchisors provide field representatives. These are assigned individuals that serve as mentors to the new franchisee, guiding them through challenges and, in some cases, pitfalls that may occur in the beginning stages. Many of these representatives have already helped other franchisees in the past. Meaning, they’ve dealt with many of the common problems time and time again. This relieves a lot of the pressure for new franchisees.
Other franchisees can be another good resource for ongoing support after training programs are complete. These individuals have also likely experienced the same issues and challenges and can give good advice or assistance.