By Wayne Maillet
Once you have been granted a franchise, you will begin to enjoy the benefits of your franchisor’s support, ranging from training to operation manuals to advisory councils. While the specific nature of such support will vary from one franchise system to another, every franchisor ultimately has a direct interest in helping ensure all of its franchisees are highly successful.
The franchisor’s training program is the foundation for a strong system, as it must provide the knowledge and skills necessary for franchisees to duplicate a proven business model and replicate a high-quality customer experience.
Successful franchising, after all, is all about consistency. A brand is strongest when the customer has the same experience each time they visit any location in the franchise system, at any time of day. And the only way to accomplish such consistency is through training.
Initial training is so important, it is typically mandatory. Some franchisors will go so far as to stipulate in their franchise agreement that if initial training is not successfully completed, the franchise licence can be terminated or the franchisee must repeat the training until he/she learns all of the necessary skills. Of course, someone looking to get involved in a franchise system is usually seeking to be shown how, as they do not want to have to figure it out themselves.
During training, you will need to put aside any preconceived ideas about how the business should be run and be open-minded to learning new methods that are shared by the franchisor. This can be difficult for new franchisees who have been in business by themselves before, especially those with experience in the same industry. The franchisor will be assessing your ability to learn and adapt to its way of doing business.
The training will cover all aspects of running a franchise, typically including the following areas:
- Initial site selection and buildout.
- Operating standards and procedures.
- Technical operations for providing the services or products.
- Sales and merchandising.
- Recruitment, training, management and retention of employees.
- Marketing, advertising and public relations (PR).
- Managing and controlling finances.
- Business administration.
- Working with approved suppliers.
- Operating the point-of-sale (POS) system.