Today we offer you the first in our Franchise Lawyer Special series.

Franchisees are a valuable asset in your franchise network as they have the direct relationship with customers and through them your brand is presented to the public. For this reason it is important to ensure franchisees are adequately trained. The level of training may include informing the franchisee on how to run the franchise, what your overall business goals are and how you would like your products and services to be delivered to customers.

Usually franchise agreements provide that franchisors will be responsible for all costs for the initial training of franchisees. Some franchise agreements do however include a training fee payable by the franchisee or the franchisor may have included training costs in the upfront franchise fee. Ongoing training will usually be at the expense of the franchisee.

For a franchisor, on a cost benefit analysis the benefits of training should far outweigh the costs as thoroughly training franchisees will help move your franchise business towards a successful future.

Operations Manual

The first step towards training franchisees is to put together a training guide. A training guide will set out important information that your franchisees should know and also acts as a quality control mechanism to ensure training is applied consistently to all franchisees. Having such a training guide will help give your franchisees a thorough theoretical and practical understanding of how your franchise business works.

Training guides are often included in the Operations Manuals, which is seen as an extension of the franchise agreement and as such, is legally binding on parties. It is important that your training guide reflects the general principles of the business and it is user friendly so your franchisees know their rights and obligations.

What topics should be included in the training program?

When training your franchisees keep in mind that many franchisees have never owned a franchise or potentially a business before. Make sure that you induct all franchisees on all information relevant to your business, no matter how basic. You may want to include topics such as sales and marketing, customer service, recruitment and accounting policies and procedures into your training program. Such topics are crucial to a franchisee’s understanding of how the franchise is to function.

Some areas that you could cover within your training program include:

  • Industry specific information;
  • Detailed training on the different types of products and/or services that your business sells to customers;
  • How to operate the business on a day-to-day basis;
  • How staff should be recruited and trained;
  • What your overall business goals are.

Once your franchisees have completed your training program they should be able to confidently manage the franchise business from the commencement date.

Ongoing training

While it is most important to provide initial induction training to new franchisees, it is also a good idea to provide refresher training to franchisees and new employees on an ongoing basis. In addition to keeping your franchisees fully informed of any new developments, ongoing training is valuable in reiterating the key systems and procedures which franchisees may need reminding of over time.

Conclusion

Establishing a strong training program can be key to the success of your franchise business as it creates the backbone of your franchisee’s knowledge of your business. Getting this right from the beginning is important so your franchisees fully understand your products and services before going to market. A solid training program also gives franchisees a complete understanding of the standards they must satisfy for the duration of the franchise term. To speak with a franchise solicitor, call LegalVision on 1300 544 755.

Felix McKnight

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