One of the hallmarks of entering entrepreneurship through franchising is the amount of training and support you can expect. You aren’t just buying a business in a box, but rather an entire system of protocols, rules and operational procedures. And, unlike buying a car, you won’t need to rely on the proverbial owner’s manual in the glovebox every time a problem arises. That’s because one of franchising’s best attributes is the amount of training they invest in their franchisees. During this edition of the FranNet blog, we’ll delve a little into the different type of training you can expect once you’ve signed on the dotted line.
Franchises are, by design, replicable business models. What keeps them that way is a certain way of doing things, all of which will require some degree of training and support before you’re ready to open the doors. The training you receive will invariably be passed along to the staff that supports you. With over 3,000 different franchise concepts, the type and amount of your training could vary quite a bit, especially when it comes to the length and scope.
What franchisors are trying to do during this all-important time frame is get you up to speed on how things are (specifically) done with your franchise brand. First and foremost, expect a heavy dose of reading and comprehension with regards to a franchise’s operations manual. You can think of it as your how-to guide. It sets policies and procedures on every imaginable aspect of running your business, whether you’re selling a product or a service. This is your franchise location’s Bible.
What you’ll really learn is the type of independent decisions you’re allowed to make versus what the brand dictates. Franchisors go to great lengths to ensure you comprehend the actual philosophies of the business model, all so that you can still think for yourself and make independent decisions. Keep in mind, with your new franchise, no two days may be alike. When you encounter situations that fall outside of your previous training, you’ll be prepared. And once you’ve completed training, corporate guidance should be a constant companion.
Another thing to consider is that every franchise should have a quotient of ongoing training and support build into their business operations. Some would refer to it as a refresher course while others consider it continuing education. Either way, we all know the importance of it. Times change, laws change, procedures change, and franchise operations expand to include new products and services. All of which need to be taught and practiced. Make sure any franchise you’re considering employs this strategy.
Specific areas that your franchisee training and support may cover include aspects of your business related to operations, site selection, phone training, lead generation, vendor procurement, marketing/advertising, and finance/bookkeeping. The training program for a particular franchise operation may come to you onsite. Or, you may fly to a different city for two weeks of intensive preparation and guidance. Several franchises have branched out into the online world, setting up training via webinars and other online seminar appointments. Be sure to have a very clear understanding of expectations when it comes to the training and support you’re supposed to count on.
Regardless of your profession, training and support are at the heart of the learning process. There are police academies, firefighter academies, teacher certifications and even on the job training for forklift operators. But the training you’ll receive as a new franchisee will be tantamount to your eventual success. Don’t take it lightly.
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