Training programs: the first step towards success for your franchise business
Debbie Ennis| Business Development and Franchise Manager | Telcoinabox
A good initial training program plays a decisive role in the success of a franchise business. So when looking at franchise opportunities, potential franchisees should always evaluate how a franchise structures its training as it will aid franchisees to start-up their businesses correctly and minimise the risk of mistakes. We caught up with Debbie Ennis, Business Development and Franchise Manager of the telecommunications franchise Telcoinabox, to talk about the importance of well-organised initial training courses.
One of the most important aspects of the support offered by a franchise system is its ability to get a potential franchisee up to speed in a relatively short time with the operation of running a franchise business.
The initial training program of franchisees should consist of three principle aspects of running the franchise business. This includes:
- In-depth information in regards to the industry you will be operating in
- Training in the types of products or services
- How to run the business efficiently from day-to-day.
Some franchise systems are very good at providing technical training; but it is also important that non-technical training is provided. It can't be overlooked that many franchisees may not have had previous experience running a business.
For this reason, franchise business systems should provide training in the areas of sales and marketing in order to improve the selling power of the business. Business planning and management, accounting, recruiting and managing staff (in the case where staff is needed), product and market awareness, as well as any upgrades in their line of products are also critical areas for initial training.
The method of delivery of training may differ amongst franchise systems, but generally initial training programs are administered through the use of workshops and tutorials. Technical skills required by the franchise business owner for the day-to-day running of the business are commonly taught through on-the-job training with an existing franchisee.
The standard and depth of the training provided should enable the franchisee to operate the business from the day of opening.
For the Telcoinabox franchise system, we set up a comprehensive training course of one week that covers the most important aspects of the business (products, systems and processes, business analysis and management, sales and marketing plans). We also introduce new franchisees to the environment of the telecommunications industry. Given the technical aspect of our industry, it's important to give new franchisees that have little or no former experience the opportunity to get up to speed quickly on some essential technical elements of the industry.
"Remember that initial training is the first step in your business venture with the franchisor and this is what will give you the tools to operate the franchise business successfully."
What happens after the training is completed? The first phase of operation is equally important in the life cycle of a successful franchise business. You want to make sure that as a potential new franchisee you are set off on the right foot and not thrown in at the deep end. A good franchise system should ensure that the franchisee is well supported. Sending out dedicated field support staff or an existing and experienced franchisee to assist in the daily operations of the franchise business during its first few weeks is a good initiative to look out for.
It is also important to check if the franchise system takes the initiative to assess the effectiveness of their training programs. For example, in the Telcoinabox franchise we provide post-training follow-ups across our franchisee network: in this regards, we have developed a 60 and 90 day follow up post-training system to make sure we touch base frequently with franchisees in the development stage. This allows us to assess each individual franchisee and ensure that learning is consistent across the board. If a franchisee needs more information and training in a particular area of operations, we can address their needs specifically.
Remember that initial training is the first step in your business venture with the franchisor and this is what will give you the tools to operate the franchise business successfully. Furthermore, make sure you obtain as much information as possible on the quality of the initial training as it will assist in the start-up phase of your franchise business.