The continuation of education throughout the franchisee lifecycle

As with any company, a franchise business will progress through a series of different stages during its lifetime.

The continuation of education throughout the franchisee lifecycle

The speed and means with which a franchisee navigates through these stages in their business journey will vary and will be dependent on several factors. Although the franchisor and franchisees are both responsible for business success, the franchisor’s role is less direct. Similar to that of parenting in that they can’t do the job for them, franchisors can provide franchisees with the right tools, resources and support to enable them to succeed throughout their franchise journey.

Here, Frank Milner, Global President of Tutor Doctor, discusses the importance of providing continual education for franchisees and how it’s pivotal to the growth and development of their business. Helping franchisees to stay updated, informed and inspired at every stage of the franchise lifecycle is also central to understanding their business needs and ensuring the overall success of the brand.

A franchisor’s job is more than just the onboarding of new franchisees. With economies and market trends changing today’s business world, franchisees will continue to face challenges along the way and need access to ongoing support and training. Training should never be considered something that is finished, especially as there is always something new to learn, even for the most experienced franchisees! 

A good franchisor will offer support and training programmes for its franchisees at every phase of their franchise life, from the beginning right through to the renewal or end. Starting with the first stage, known as infancy, the franchisee will be offered initial training and support throughout this process, aiming to give the franchisee the best possible start, from the onboarding to marketing, finances and the day-to-day operations of the business. 

This level of training should help to prepare franchisees to run their franchise with confidence and competence during the lifespan of their business. To give you an example, every new Tutor Doctor franchisee completes 90 hours of mandatory pre-training e-learning courses and a two-week initial launch programme. This robust training and support model not only motivates and excites them, but also aids them from day one and empowers them with opportunities to collaborate and grow via shared knowledge and experience.

Growth is the second phase of the franchise lifecycle, and it usually happens after two years of trading. It’s a key time for the franchisee and is often typified by expansion, increasing market presence and an established customer base. This is the period at which a franchisee will need additional on-going support and mentoring, and it’s vital the franchisor recognises this and provides what is needed to help the franchisee to achieve their growth goals. 

Franchisors should also be responsive to renewing their training programmes and be aware of any new sales techniques or technology, such as AI, that might affect consumer behaviour or the operations of the business. Failing to do this can result in the franchisee feeling unsupported, making bad business decisions or becoming disengaged from the business, brand and the rest of the network.  

After several years, a franchise business will then reach the maturity stage of the franchise lifecycle. This is when the business is well established, operating smoothly and making a profit. This is when franchisees can become complacent and hesitant to embrace new innovations and developments that the franchisor is looking to introduce within the network. 

The franchisor will need to continue supporting its franchisees, monitoring and evaluating their performance to ensure they stay engaged and motivated to keep their business moving forward. One way to do this would be to organise regular training sessions with franchisees and work in close collaboration with them to identify any areas of risk and growth. We have undoubtedly seen the value in doing this with our franchisees. In addition to the regular bootcamps and weekly and monthly calls we run with our UK franchisees, we have introduced nine new support ‘Super Sessions’ this year. These will be run by Home Office team members with franchisee collaboration to ensure we give franchisees the personalised support they need at any given stage of the business. Franchisees are also offered one-to-one coaching tailored to their individual needs, such as support in skill development, to help with their ongoing development.  

The renewal or exit stage of the franchise lifecycle is the final and most critical phase. It’s where both franchisors and franchisees look at the franchise’s future and whether it’s time for them to sell and move on or reinvest. For those that wish to sell or wind down their business, a franchisor can support the franchisee by providing guidance on selling and helping them facilitate transitions and ensuring a smooth handover to new owners. And for those franchisees who renew their franchise agreements, the continuation of learning and training can lead to a new stage of growth as the franchise further develops. 

By understanding the franchise lifecycle, franchisees and franchisors can successfully navigate the four different periods, make informed decisions and implement appropriate support and training for long-term success. As we know, a well-supported franchisee is more likely to be a happy and engaged one, and a happy and engaged franchise network can become a franchise brand’s biggest asset.

Frank Milner
Frank Milner