Great franchisors don’t stop at providing initial training. They provide on-going training and support that is designed to continue to develop the skills of the franchisee and franchisee staff for the duration of the franchise agreement. As with initial training, the details and extent of the on-going training varies widely between franchise companies and requires you to ask a lot of questions to have a strong understanding. Not all franchisors provide on-going training so be sure not to assume that they do.
Franchise licenses will often have a term of five to ten years, or longer. During this time the business model should evolve. New products, technology and innovations require that franchisees have on-going training to keep abreast of the evolving brand and continue to be competitive in changing markets. When the fast food franchises started in the 50’s the menu often consisted of only a burger, fries and a milkshake. Today, the menu has dramatically changed to remain competitive in the fast food market, respond to the growing trend towards healthy food choices and provide menu items for all day parts, including breakfast. All of this change requires training in order that the entire franchise system evolves together, and the customer continues to have the same experience at each franchise location. Strong franchise systems will define clearly in the franchise agreement that on-going training is mandatory in the franchise agreement.
Depending upon the franchise and the industry, ongoing training is often provided for employees of the franchised location. This can be useful in assisting you when dealing with a business that is technical and needs well trained staff. There is also advanced training for franchisees who wish to take the business to new levels. The on-going training updates employees and franchisees on new products, services or system wide enhancements. Franchisors will use training to introduce new technology, marketing programs and initiatives.
There may be a charge for sending employees to on-going training or it may be covered as part of your on-going royalties. Be sure to review the franchise agreement to determine who is responsible for costs. Typically you are responsible for paying the employees salaries, flight, accommodations and meals while the employees attends. This can be costly if you have high employee turnover, which is becoming more common. Franchisors have reduced these costs by the method of delivering the on-going training to the franchisee. Some franchisors have set up regional training centers to minimize travel. Others have support staff from head office go out into the field and provide training at the franchised location, or they have set up on-line training over the internet or via video so that employees and franchisees can get training at their own convenience. Training is often delivered as part of national conferences or regular regional meetings. Franchisors that put a lot of emphasis on on-going training will use all or a variety of these methods to deliver the training and get the new information out.
On-going training is not limited to just from the franchisor. The franchisee may look to other education sources over and above the training provided by the franchisor. Suppliers of products to the franchise system may provide training to update franchisees and ensure that the franchise staff is knowledgeable when representing these products to end-user consumers. There may also be tradeshows and conferences put on by associations of the industry to provide education. These external training opportunities are often communicated to franchisees by the franchisor.
Successful franchisors put a heavy emphasis on on-going training. The goal is to ensure that the franchise system as a whole is consistent and continues to be competitive as industries change and evolve. The quality and thoroughness of the on-going training has a correlation to the quality of the franchise system and ultimately your success. Be sure to ask questions and ensure that effective on-going training is being provided when you are researching franchise opportunities and chose to be part of a franchise system that has a long term view of the business.