Franchise Tutorial 8: Intro to Ongoing Training
Franchise licences 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 ongoing training to keep current with the evolving brand and continue to be competitive in changing markets. When the quick service restaurant (QSR) franchises started in the 50s, the menu often consisted of only burgers, fries and milkshakes. Today, QSR menus have dramatically changed to remain competitive in the market, to respond to the growing trend towards healthier food choices and to provide menu items for meals such as breakfast. All of this change requires training so 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 that ongoing training is mandatory in their franchise agreements.
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 ongoing training updates franchisees and their staff on new products, services or system wide enhancements. Franchisors will use training to introduce new technology, marketing programs and other initiatives.
There may be a charge for sending employees to ongoing training or it may be covered as part of your ongoing royalties. Be sure to review the franchise agreement to determine who is responsible for the costs. Typically you are responsible for paying the employee's salaries, flights, accommodations and meals during their training.
Franchisors may have reduced these costs by the method of delivering the ongoing training to the franchisee. Some franchisors have set up regional training centres to minimize travel. Others have support staff from head office go out into the field and provide training at the franchised location, and some have set up online training over the internet or via video so franchisees and their staff can get training at their own convenience. Training is also often delivered as part of national conferences or regular regional meetings. Franchisors that put a lot of emphasis on ongoing training will use all or a variety of these methods to deliver the training and get the new information out.
Providers of ongoing training are not limited to 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 industry associations to provide further education. The franchisor often communicates these external training opportunities to the franchisee.
Successful franchisors put a heavy emphasis on ongoing training. The goal is to ensure that the franchise system is consistent as a whole and continues to be competitive as industries change and evolve. The quality and thoroughness of ongoing training often has a correlation to the quality of the franchise system and ultimately your success. Be sure to ask questions and ensure that effective ongoing training is provided when you are researching franchise opportunities and choose to be part of a franchise system that has a long-term view of the business.
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Posted Date: January 2011