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Dec, 01 2006


While opting for any franchise business opportunity, make sure that you enquire about he <br>training support being offered by the company. The franchisor\'s training programme is art of the total support he should provide and will give the maximum knowle

FRANCHISING enjoys an added advantage over other business models because, if you invest in a franchise, you will be taking up an already tried and tested business opportunity. In the franchising concept, a brand owner (known as the franchisor) allows an investor (known as the franchisee) to use the brand name in return of a fee (franchising fee and or royalty).

When you become a franchisee, you have to learn all about the franchisor's business including the way of doing the business. This comes in the form of the training programme offered by the franchisor. Training programmes are usually developed in a very effective way which allows you to understand the business, how it should be handled and what is expected of you by the franchisor in order to maintain the brand image.

Whenever you research about a franchise opportunity you are considering, pay equal attention in knowing about the training being offered by the franchisor. The most important thing that you should notice about a training programme is that it should not only cover the product or service but also provide training about setting up the business, marketing, employee management, business procedures, reporting and so on. Unless you are trained in these aspects, your venture cannot be a success.

One good method of finding out about the quality of training support being offered by the franchisor is by questioning his existing franchisees. Questions can include: what were the important points they learnt about through the training programme; what did they feel could have been covered more comprehensively? Keep in mind that the franchisees you talk to may have been through various versions of the training programme. Problems that existed at one time may have been fixed. Or, you may find that a training programme that was fine in a company's early days is now out-of-date. Be sure to include in your research, franchisees who have had the same training you will receive to get an accurate assessment of its value.

Know the training programme

A few important questions, which you must include in your list when collecting details about the training programme, are as follows:

4 What training is provided on location for your first operation? You must look for the answer to this question in the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC). Franchisor support and training is very important when you start your business. So make sure you collect all details about it. The franchisor's staff will infuse your team with the corporate spirit and make sure you have the bugs worked out of your operation.

4 The other important question that needs an answer is, who else besides you (franchisee) will be trained by the company? Some franchisors allow you to bring others from your team to the initial franchisee training. These can include general managers, unit managers or sales personnel. Some franchisors permit the franchisee's key managers to attend subsequent franchisee training classes. Others provide customized unit manager training that may be conducted in your local market, region, or corporate office. In almost all cases you will be responsible for travel costs associated with sending your employees for the training. In some cases, there will be a cost for the training programme as well.

4 What material does the franchisor provide you with to train your employees? This is yet another important question. For many franchises, even when the franchisor provides direct training for certain groups of your employees, you are responsible to train those who have direct contact with customers or clients. Some franchisors take the "Go forth and train" approach they will let you know that you will need to train your employees in everything you learned in class. The rest is up to you. Preferably, you'll be armed with training checklists for each position in your business and training aids in the form of videos, DVDs, workbooks, and curricula to deliver as well as coaching on how to train.

4 What role does the franchisor's field staff play in training? Some franchisors certify employees that you've trained via field representatives who visit your operation. If that's the case, you'll want to know the criteria for certification, how frequently it occurs, and again, what happens if the field representative does not certify your staff member.

If, after your franchise investigation process is completed, you do not feel the training offered will adequately prepare you to run your new business, it is time to step back and look at other opportunities. It is your hard-earned money, so do not go ahead and invest it in an unrewarding venture.

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