This lesson is part of our free Franchise 101 course.
If you’re setting up a new franchise location, then the training you receive will be vital to its success. When you first get in contact with the franchisor, you should ask them about this training, to understand what you’ll be getting and evaluate whether it covers your needs.
So what should you ask?
The Amount of Training
The first and most obvious question is how much training you’ll receive. Will you get weeks’ worth of content in return for you initial franchising fee, or just a few hours of self-guided work? Though quantity isn’t the same as quality, this will give you a sense of how seriously the franchisor treats the training of franchisees, and will help you to quickly compare franchises.
How the Training is Delivered
Different approaches to training suit different people, so it’s important to ask how the training is delivered. Booklets, documents, and webpages might not be much help if you’re someone who learns by doing rather than reading. Online seminars won’t work for you if you don’t have a reliable internet connection, while in person training days are only useful if you can practically attend them.
Delivery can also tell you something about the company’s attitude towards franchisees. If they take time to give you personalized feedback, that’s a good sign. Using only the cheapest mass delivery systems might ring alarm bells.
The Contents of the Training
Always ask what the training covers. If there are areas you’re not certain about or don’t understand, then ask for more information. If there are topics you’re particularly concerned about, be ready to specifically ask about them.
This will give you an idea of whether you’ll receive the sort of information you need, and to look out for critical gaps. It’s also another area that will help you in comparing different companies. Which ones cover marketing, managing staff, or topics specific to their brand? How much time do they take over each one?
Who the Training is Designed For
It’s particularly important to know whether the training is suitable for you and your level of experience. If you’re new to the industry, then ask whether the training is adequate for people who don’t have any prior knowledge of this type of business. Some courses may be oriented toward franchisees who already know the industry, and that’s sensible if that’s who the franchisor tries to recruit, but if you’re new to the industry, then it might mean this isn’t the franchise to start in.
Be Ready to Compare
Whatever answers you get, be ready to compare them with other information the company puts out, and with the feedback others have on their experiences. Franchise Chatter can help you with this, so check out our posts on franchise disclosure documents for more information on the franchises you’re talking to.