New franchisees need adequate training to begin operations and run business efficiently there on. Typical to each franchise system, a franchisee training programme brings uniformity in the franchisee network. What does franchisee training actually entails
A well trained franchise partner is an operational asset to any successful franchise system. Franchisor’s training programme forms an important part of entire franchise recruitment process. It helps effortless absorption of new franchisees in franchisor’s business system. Underscoring the importance of such training, companies provide details for Franchise Training Programme in Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).
Significance of training
Whether new or with relevant industry experience, recruited franchisees require right training for induction in the franchise system. Franchise owners can be from varied employment backgrounds with a diverse skill sets. A comprehensive franchise training program trains new recruits how to operate the franchise and provides knowledge about every aspect of the product or service. Franchisors usually provide training related to store operations, service delivery, finance and accounts, human resource and staff training, sales and marketing, management information system (MIS) etc. The franchisee is expected to implement the learning during training in course of actual operations. Franchisor diligently design and construct their training programme and it should engage skilled and competent coaches to deliver training content to produce best results. It is important to note that the trainee must demonstrated aptitude at various stages of the training program to successfully complete their training. Sometimes, certain franchisees or their staff may entirely be incompetent to imbibe franchisor’s business process. In such cases, franchisor may decide not to include those unsuccessful trainees in his network.
Categories of training
Normally, franchisee training can be catergorised as headquarters (HQ) training, on-site training and ongoing training. In some cases companies provide training either at HQ or on site, followed by continued support.
Prior to launch of franchisee’s operations, franchisors may conduct collaborative training at their training facility at the company head quarters. It is aimed to let the franchisees know and feel the brand and its workings. The selected franchisees and or their key staff visit corporate HQ and get acquainted with company personnel followed by classroom sessions. The workshop provides information on corporate history and beliefs, product or services education, staff recruitment, store operations, customer service, and business management training. The classroom training also imparts briefing on equipment and machinery, real estate, sourcing requirements and supplier relationships, reporting process. Several training tools including lectures, discussions and practical sessions are used to deliver training. The trainees may also get hands-on training within the franchisor's model store or outlet to have an idea of actual operational environment. Moreover, franchisees get training notes and reference manual to revise after completion of training.
On-site training is meant to get the franchisee operations started. Franchisors send their site opening team to partner’s location to put franchisees and their staff at ease with operational routine. The trainers assist them to achieve accuracy as per franchisor’s operational standards. On-site training and assistance includes additional blending training, consultation and coaching on staffing and training, procurement, inventory management, marketing and retail, sales and product mix, accounting and reporting management, and many more. The duration of on-site training depends on nature of business and complexity of franchise operations.
Ongoing or refresher training
When a franchisee hires new employees, the new managers and staff also require understanding of franchisor’s processes and standards. This calls for ongoing and refresher training. Also, when franchisor introduces new policies and procedures or new products and services, they may conduct refresher course for franchisee and his key employees to preserve the system standards from time to time. Now a days, companies are also using online training platform to deliver training.
Cost and duration of training
In some franchise systems, training is free of cost while in others franchisees may need to pay fee as well travel expenses in case training is conducted at company HQ. The duration of training varies according industry and each franchise system. It can vary from few days to several weeks. For franchisees, who are paying training costs for themselves and their managers, often find long duration of training expensive. On part of the franchisor also, developing and delivering a franchisee training programme incurs costs and time.
Benefits of training
A good training programme brings immense benefits to both franchisors and franchisees. To replicate the franchise system, franchisee needs complete understanding of the brand’s business module. Pre- Launch training equips a franchisee to place the system in place and start up correctly as it knows the entire working of the franchise system. Trained employees perform, build sales and deal with operational hurdles much better. Besides, a trained franchisee can manage his working capital optimally adding to his profitability. While for a franchisor rightly trained franchisees operate independently, efficiently and are more productive. As franchisors will have to interfere less in partner’s routine affairs, they have better relations with franchisees. Further, well trained franchisees are less likely to fail and remain profitable for a longer term.
No matter how efficient the aspiring entrepreneur or an upcoming franchisee is training is indispensible for the franchisees of any franchise system. It not only brings efficiency and uniformity in franchise system but also creates capable franchisees.