Training and support has a significant role in understanding the protocols of running the franchise business competently. Letâ€™s find out why well-structured training programmes are important for franchisees and franchisors and how it actually helps in s
No franchisee can reap success without getting a proper training and support from its franchisor as it certainly plays a major role in operating the franchise business successfully. A well trained franchisee will not only prove to be a professional asset to the brand but would help in fetching high returns. Therefore, in a franchise business, regular training and support is regarded as an important part of the franchise agreement and promises a sustainable relationship between the franchisee and the franchisor.
Importance of training in franchising
Training helps to understand the business better. Franchisee who has just got associated with the brand should first know about the nitty-gritty of the business that he has taken in hand. The first hand orientation and counselling serves the training purpose of the franchisee via which he gets to know his work better. Talking on the same lines, Supam Maheshwari, Chief Exective Officer, FirstCry.com says: “We follow a pure franchise model of business as we believe completely in our franchisee’s local knowledge/experience, that coupled with FirstCry’s expertise in products and retail in general, creates a fantastic combination. We believe in empowering the franchisee by offering complete support, guidance and training in all aspects of business operations. The aspiring entrepreneur must remember he/she must identify the right business opportunity, plan well and have the belief, courage and patience to see it through. As far as our business partners are concerned, we provide them complete support in terms of all aspects of business and our training team delivers organised, structured training to them on the same. This process starts from the time the store is finalised and continues right through the life of the business.”
Training helps the franchisee with technical and methodological process of business operations. Not only this but recruiting of the staff, logistics, finalising the area, fund management, and quality service for clientele satisfaction, all are catered under the same umbrella of comprehensive business training and support.
Ferns and Petals (FNP) also boasts of reaching the total count of their stores from 10 to 100 only because of their trained and like-minded franchisees. Anil Sharma, Vice-President, Retail and Franchise, FNP: “The journey from first outlet to 100 has been very challenging and full of learning for us. Our business strategy to strengthen our business network from very beginning was on training for the customers’ delight. Today, we have a strong network of 185 outlets across 74 cities in India. We have a detailed training programme for all our business partners wherein all the intricacies of running a flower business are taught to them. Apart from this, we also provide skilled manpower to our business partners who help them in day-to-day operations. We also help our business partners by transferring readymade business generated through our website.”
Though a new franchisee is a fresh entrant in the game and requires a lot of home work to establish his base but regular training is even important for an old franchisee to keep him abreast with the latest trends and to strengthen the network in the respective industry. Franchisors provide training related to store operations, service delivery, finance and accounts, human resource and staff training, sales and marketing, management information system (MIS) etc in return to which the franchisee is expected to implement the learning during training in course of actual operations.
Even Kunal Mehta, VP- Marketing and Business Development, Being Human Clothing asserts: “Being Human clothing provides sufficient support system to its franchisees or dealers. The support system includes training at the head office, other assistance from the head office to open franchise, field assistance, marketing etc. Thus investing for the franchise of Being Human clothing is definitely a great business opportunity.”
Types of training
The franchisee training is usually catergorised as HQ training, on-site training and on-going training. In some cases, companies provide training either at headquarters or on site, followed by continued support.
• Headquarters (HQ) training
Under this type of training, a franchisor would conduct a collaborative training at the head office of the brand before opening a franchisee run store. It is during this training, a franchisee is let to know brand and its operations. The selected franchisees and or their key staff visit corporate HQ and get acquainted with company personnel where professional trainers would take refresher 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 provides technical training on using the operation system, machinery and the other sourcing supplies of the business strategies.
• On-site training
On-site training is scheduled to begin with the franchise operations. To ease with the operational routine, the franchisor sends its site opening team to the franchisee. It is then, these professional trainers assist franchisees to achieve precision in the business as the per the brand’s standards. On-site training includes consultation and training of staffing, procurement, inventory management, marketing and retail, sales and product mix, accounting and reporting management, and many more.
• Ongoing or refresher training
Ongoing training is for those new joinees, whom the franchisee hires after opening his franchise store. The store manager and other staff have to undergo this training course for further processes and brand’s standards. Also, this refresher session can be conducted on the time of introducing new policies and procedures or new products and services by the franchisor.
A good training programme gives big and better results to both franchisee and the franchisor. It reciprocates the franchisors ideas and franchisees skill to success alliance and strong foothold in the industry. As per Vivek Shinde, Senior Manager Franchise and Business Development, Sane Care: “First of all, franchise-run business under brand name of franchisor carries great responsibility on the franchisee. Without proper training and support for the franchisee, no brand can reap profits. Secondly, day-to-day support to franchisee keeps them updated and aware about business protocols required for franchise business. It also helps franchisor to maintain control indirectly over franchisee which keeps any shrinkage or pilferage at minimum level, proper support helps to build constructive relationship between franchisor and franchisee.” Hemang Bhatt, Director, HAS Juice Bar also opines that training is vital a part of the business prior to any decisions. He adds: “Sometimes a 60 year old associate will not be able to understand what a 30 year old can comprehend. So, it is all about indulgence and acceptance. We direct our franchisees on the range and recipe of juices. We assist them in recruitment but set them free to hire the staff. 15 days onsite training is provided to the franchisees at our head office in Mumbai where right from the brand knowledge to nutritional value in the juices; everything is told to the franchisee. We have microbiology and product experts who from time to time do audits related to hygiene and food. There are also mystery checks and testing of products every month to maintain superiority in service and preparations.”
Experts strongly feel that franchisors should go that extra mile and provide best of training and business support to its franchisees for operating the business successfully.