Franchisors make their money from the royalties paid by successful franchisees, so underinvesting in their training is ultimately going to hurt the franchisor the most.
There’s no generic list of what a franchisor should include in a training program, because every franchise is different – but it needs to be extremely thorough.
Franchisees need training on every single aspect of running their business as laid out in the franchise operations manual. Alongside the power of your brand, product or service, it is your systems and training that they are investing in.
The better you train someone in your franchise system the better they will follow it. If your business is customer facing for example, then invest sufficient time in ensuring your franchisees and their teams completely understand what standard of customer service is expected – if you expect it to be ‘excellent’, then show them what excellent looks like.
Whilst it’s OK to devote slightly more or slightly less time on a particular aspect of the training depending on the franchisee’s prior experience and needs, no-one should get a free pass at training. A Franchisee might join a network with lots of prior experience in sales, or marketing for example, but if they are allowed to start trading without sales and marketing training specific to your brand and business, then it will be the franchisors own fault when they go off and spend a fortune on an ineffective marketing campaign.
It can often be the simple things that get overlooked at training. The franchisor knows the business inside out and often it’s easy for them to assume certain things are just obvious. Franchisors can add massive value to training by sharing anecdotes – ‘I remember once when I first opened…’ ‘I had a member of staff who…’ ‘you’ll not believe me, but one time a customer actually…” it’s often these kinds of stories that stick in the mind and come to the rescue of the franchisee when something similar happens to them.
Also, don’t forget to ensure they understand how to operate the business financially either. The last thing you want is a franchisee stressed out by tax returns or late paying customers or overdue invoices. That takes their focus away from running the business and can often snowball into an issue big enough to stop them trading.
Remember of course that training can be a bit overwhelming, particularly for people who haven’t been in that kind of situation for some time. There’s going to be a lot to take in and it needs to be presented well. Unfortunately, this can be an area some franchisors fall down in despite trying their best; training is a skill, people study for years to become effective trainers and good one’s are well paid.