In our last blog we talked about how training and support are typically handled for new franchisees. In this blog, we are providing an overview of more specific details of what potential franchisees should look for regarding training and support before investing in a franchise business.
A key advantage to owning a franchise business is access to a proven system. Training and support are the mechanisms to initiate franchisees into this system. How that is done is important. Item 11 of the Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”) requires a franchisor to disclose its contractual support obligations to its franchisees. Make sure you read over that carefully and ask any necessary questions. Receiving the necessary training and support is crucial because:
- It ensures a more successful start to the business
- Franchisees understand what needs to be done to operate the business
- Obtaining sales and marketing help is a lifeline for new businesses
- It helps franchisees learn how to hire, train, and retain quality employees
- Franchisees learn skills to help troubleshoot and solve problems
- It provides access to efficiencies in operations that saves money, increasing profitability
Franchisee training must be carefully designed and implemented to maximize the learning experience of new franchisees. The Operations Manual is a franchisee’s textbook that will be referred to again and again. It contains all of the standards the franchisor requires from franchisees.
The Operations Manual is then followed by some form of training at headquarters, onsite training, and then ongoing training. Training at the franchisor’s headquarters typically includes a tour and support staff introduction as well as a visit to a franchise location. Items to be discussed include: corporate history, corporate business philosophy, pre-opening procedures, daily operations, insurance requirements, vendor relationships and reporting requirements. This segment of training also often involves hands-on training.
Onsite training lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the complexity of the business. This training focuses on the day-to-day operations of the business and getting franchisees comfortable with performing them. The onsite trainer should also help the franchisee identify and prioritize needs and then tailor training to help the franchisee meet those needs.
Ongoing training is important because there is a lot to remember when starting a business – a refresher on the policies and procedures is beneficial. And as new standards are implemented, ongoing training is helpful to ensure proper compliance.
The overall success and ultimately the growth of any franchise company are greatly dependent on having knowledgeable, energized, and motivated franchisees. A comprehensive franchise support system is the backbone to this success. It assures franchisees that they are not alone and that the franchisor is there to offer critical support. Proper vetting of a potential franchisor is very important. Make sure the franchisor is investing in the day-to-day support of franchisees.