Both franchisors and franchisees benefit from investing in franchisee training, which is indispensable. A franchisee’s first-year success is significantly influenced by useful training and field support. What does an effective training program entail? The time has passed when franchisees were limited to classroom settings where they only listened to instructors.
The utilization of “blended” training methods has increased due to the rising popularity of distance learning through franchise management software and internet-connected devices, as well as the recognition that overwhelming learners with information doesn’t aid their retention of training. These techniques involve a combination of online instruction, in-person classroom and on-site training, and hands-on experience with practical elements of the business spread out over an extended period of time.
Consider organizing your training program into seven categories, or “buckets,” for the content you will provide.
1. Pre training
Usually, pre-training takes place before the corporate headquarters’ classroom program. To offer comprehensive insight into operations, franchisors can pair inexperienced franchisees with experienced ones to act as mentors. With the aid of franchise management software, training courses like this should equip the mentor with a systematic checklist for tasks to complete with their protégé.
Webinars can be a useful tool for franchisors to discuss topics that do not require in-person interaction. Some examples of such topics include marketing, finance management, and franchisor reports.
2. Classroom training at the corporate level
Classroom training remains an essential aspect of training new franchisees since it enables the franchisor to impart invaluable operational knowledge and foster connections with franchisees while also promoting corporate values.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the initial training program for new franchisees at your corporate office. It is crucial to take advantage of this time when they are most receptive to your message. This is an opportunity to convey your company’s values and business practices. While classroom hours may be shortened through pre- and post-training measures, it is essential not to overlook the significance of these interactions. Furthermore, utilize diverse training methods with the help of franchise management software. Encourage active participation through partnered exercises, role-plays, and practical case studies.
During corporate office training days, franchisees have the opportunity to receive hands-on training. This includes observing an actual unit in operation near the corporate office, alongside an experienced operational expert. Through this observation, franchisees can develop the ability to distinguish between good and poor operations in their own units.
3. Post training
After the corporate training session, post-training activities offer the franchisor a chance to gradually distribute crucial training modules. During these activities, relevant topics can be covered through webinars or when a field representative visits franchisees on site.
The topics suitable for pre-training can also be covered through a post-training webinar, while training videos can be a good option for tasks that require physical involvement or interpersonal abilities.
One thing to consider is that your field staff, who initially visit new franchise locations, can multitask by conducting training sessions during the first few days of site openings. They can offer both coaching and hands-on assistance. By providing structured training modules, which have been developed by experts, you can ensure the delivery of high-quality training consistently. This approach allows franchisees to absorb the content at a time that’s convenient for them and in a location where they can apply it immediately.
Utilizing the complete timeline for training new franchisees, a comprehensive training program crafted through franchise management software can enhance the absorption and implementation of knowledge, resulting in a quicker and improved business establishment, heightening chances of success for each new franchisee, and reinforcing the overall system.
4. Comprehensive operations manual
The operations manual encompasses intricate explanations of all operational procedures, regulations, quality assurance protocols, communication particulars, and other relevant data. All these data are stored in a digital library controlled by the franchise intranet module of franchise management software. The operations manual resembles a textbook or handbook, and serves as a comprehensive source of information for franchisees to manage the business on a daily basis. Despite extensive training, franchisees require a reliable guidebook to consult at any given time.
Providing franchisees with both a physical and digital copy of the operations manual would help them uphold quality standards and access necessary information for success. Maintaining easy accessibility of the manual would minimize errors and ensure operations remain on track. Offering both versions would be beneficial.
5. On-site training
Franchisees must acquire first-hand experience in running a franchise branch as theoretical training alone fails to measure up. Hence, providing comprehensive on-site training to franchisees holds paramount importance. A promising approach in this regard is to take them on a visit to thriving franchise branches and have them observe daily operations. This walk-through exercise would not only enable them to ask questions but also avail themselves of valuable insights from existing franchisees.
Many companies encourage their trainees to handle actual orders or shifts during on-site training, which can span several days. This firsthand experience in the job helps franchisees gain confidence in their skills and better understand the operations of the franchise. As a result, on-site training helps ensure that franchisees are well-equipped to manage their businesses.
Skipping on-site training in franchise establishments has a negative effect on the initial performance of the branches. This often leads to franchisees struggling to launch their business and making errors in the early stages. To prevent this issue, it is beneficial to provide them with hands-on experience prior to their business launch.
6. Ongoing training
Ongoing training is an essential component of the franchise relationship for top-notch franchisors. It doesn’t come to an end once the startup phase is complete. To remain competitive in the industry, a franchisor must ensure that their franchisees stay up-to-date with the latest trends and keep up with market changes. This includes integrating new products, services, marketing techniques, and operating strategies into their operations.
To ensure that system standards are not compromised by a lack of training, franchise agreements created using franchise management software should include both initial and ongoing training requirements. It is recommended that there be periodic recertification on issues related to core competencies exhibited by franchisees and their key staff members to minimize erosion over time. This may involve regularly scheduled refresher training for vital positions, as well as comprehensive training for all staff on new products, services, or procedures that are introduced periodically.
7. Learning management system
In order to outdo other franchises and expand, it’s crucial to have competent franchisees and staff who receive thorough training. By implementing franchise management software, you gain access to a built-in Learning Management System with a training module. This powerful tool enables you to develop customized courses with multimedia content such as videos. As a result, you and your franchise can gain a competitive edge that shouldn’t be underestimated.