The age-old belief that ‘practice makes perfect’ is one that, while true to some extent, only tells half the story. What is more accurate, in fact, is that practice makes permanent. Regardless of industry, occupation or the seniority of your position, training and practice should always be a key aspect of what you do. It is the notion of practice making permanent that highlights the need for exceptional training in franchising, as without this, there is a risk that franchisees will not deliver on a franchisor’s expectations.
Here, Chris Wootton, the Managing Director of the domestic cleaning franchise Poppies, gives his top reasons as to why high-quality training is imperative for a franchise’s success.
Studies have shown that retention rates rise 30-50% for companies with strong learning cultures1. Development and learning are important elements of what makes the franchise industry so strong. By showing prospective franchisees, employees and those in head office that you are invested in their development as much as they are, there will be far less staff turnover, ultimately solidifying your brand’s culture and mission.
Training should be ongoing
The biggest mistake that a franchisor can make is to forget about training once a franchisee has been onboarded. Ongoing training is proven to be one of the best ways to ensure franchisee success, but it has to be thought about and prioritised on a continual basis. Nurture the development of your franchisees, prevent standards from slipping over time, and ensure they’re up to date on any changes occurring in your industry of operation – no matter how big or small.
It is imperative for franchises to educate franchisees on all aspects of the brand, from culture and mission to application and service. Whether the franchise has been operational for one year or 100 years, embedding consistency by conveying important messages from day one helps customers and your network understand what the business truly is. Poppies establishes this network-wide consistency through providing in-depth training tailored towards the personality and needs of the franchise partners joining, which is something all brands should consider. By offering launch support, regular ongoing training and a diversity of lessons, both practical and classroom based, the brand maintains its consistency all over the UK.
Edden Jones of Poppies York highlights the importance of established businesses using their experience to provide franchisees with exceptional systems for ongoing training. “The backing of the franchise is a huge advantage. Having only launched in January, I wouldn’t be this far ahead if I were on my own. Another reason I chose to join the Poppies franchise was the longevity of their business. They’ve been going 40 years plus and that stood out to me. This isn’t a fly-by-night company. They know what they’re doing to be in business that long. Some of them have been doing this for 25 to 30 years, and if I have any problems, they have the experience and can advise the best way forward.”
Helps recruit the right people
70% of employees would be somewhat likely to leave their current job to work for an organisation known for investing in employee development and learning1. Franchising is certainly an industry that demands commitment, and the best way to show that as a franchisor is to demonstrate that all operations in your business, including the training process, are attractive to ambitious and motivated people.
Leave no stone unturned
You might think that an element to franchisee training is unnecessary. But leave no stone unturned during this process! Addressing the finer details allows franchisees and employees to gain a larger idea for the bigger picture of the overall operations of the franchise. Giving those in your network the resources and understanding of certain situations and operations is a great way of showing customers the quality of the brand and its employees. Understanding some of the finer details may never be needed when trading, but franchisees having that additional knowledge is incredibly valuable towards providing a consistent, high-quality service.
Chris summarises the importance of franchise training, “It’s important to promise high quality training, but what really sets your franchise apart is delivering an experience beyond what’s expected. Preparing a programme that is comprehensive and inspiring will give your franchisees the tools to not only become autonomous, but deliver a service that they believe in. Letting your new franchisees see what their training looks like in action maintains consistency and helps your network see that they have made the right decision in joining your brand.”
1Lorman, 2021, 39 Statistics that Prove the Value of Employee Training