<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=928221690589361&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

7 Tips to Evaluate Franchise Training Programs

By Del Salinas

Choosing the right franchise involves considering various factors, with the training program being critical. Franchise models should include education to help support franchise owners at every stage of business. A robust training program sets the foundation for franchisees. It equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of running a business. 

If you're looking to join a franchise, here's how to evaluate a franchisor's training program before signing an agreement.

Core Elements of a Successful Training Program

There are core elements of every training program, regardless of the type of franchise. As you compare different franchise opportunities, inquire about initial training, documentation, and ongoing training.

1. Initial Training

A quality onboarding program should go far beyond just introducing new owners to the products or services. New franchisees should undergo training that teaches them everything about how the franchise operates. It should extend to business setup, marketing strategies, employee management, and procedural aspects.

Before committing to a franchise, ask the franchisor what to expect from their training program. Inquire about the format and length of training, and consider your learning style. For example, you might learn best in person, but a franchisor might offer mostly virtual, self-led training. 

By the end of the initial training, business owners should be able to execute the proven business model in their franchise unit. Of course, franchise education should continue after the initial training. However, this onboarding process lays the foundation for how a franchisee operates their business. 

At Caring Senior Service, our initial training consists of a week of virtual training followed by a week of in-person training. We conduct hands-on training and implement skills practice sessions to ensure new owners understand our GreatCare® model. Following this training, new owners are enrolled in a 16-week core development program consisting of weekly check-ins with our Support Team. 

2. Documentation

A robust onboarding training is crucial; however, it's easy to forget details and processes. A good franchise system will have clear documentation about how to execute the business model. This documentation may include training courses, operations manuals, and other materials. Franchisees should be able to refer back to this documentation as often as needed.

Request access to samples of training manuals and documents to gauge the comprehensiveness and clarity of the materials. These resources should address common questions and provide a clear roadmap for operating the franchise. 

Franchisors may be hesitant to give out materials to prospective franchisees. They don't want to give away their secret sauce, which is understandable. If a franchisor does not provide sample materials, ask about their documentation to understand what is available. 

How often is the operations manual updated? How are documentation changes communicated to the franchise system? What format is the documentation in, and how will you access it (PDF, printed manual, online portal, etc.)? 

Try to understand what resources are available after training to help you overcome challenges. If a franchise system does not have clear documentation, that is a red flag.

3. Ongoing Education

Effective franchise training extends beyond the initial phase. Look for franchises that offer continuous education and support, including periodic training sessions and coaching opportunities. Many franchise systems host training conferences or training webinars regularly. Ongoing training ensures franchisees stay updated on industry trends and best practices, fostering long-term success.

Ask the franchisor about available opportunities. What type of training is available to owners after the initial onboarding phase? How often does the company host training conferences? Are there on-demand training courses available?

At Caring Senior Service, we take a multi-prong approach to ongoing education. We host quarterly training conferences for our franchise owners. With a robust library of on-demand, self-led training courses, owners can refine their business skills. We also have a monthly town hall call, which includes an open forum for owners to ask questions and receive training.

Evaluating Training Programs

After understanding what a franchise training program includes, it's time to fully evaluate it. Here are some additional questions to consider to ensure that a franchise training program is 5 stars. 

  1. What do existing franchisees think about the training program? Seek feedback from existing franchisees to gauge the effectiveness of the training they received. Ask about its impact on their operational preparedness and ongoing success.
  2. What does the franchise agreement say? The franchise agreement should state where the franchisor hosts training along with who must attend. Understand what your franchise fee covers and what you must pay out of pocket.
  3. What are the core competencies of the franchisor's training program? A comprehensive training program should equip franchisees with essential skills. By the end of training, you should feel confident in the following areas:
    • Standards and procedures adherence
    • Product and service knowledge
    • Business management and financial acumen
    • Customer experience management
    • Branding and marketing strategies
    • Human resource management
    • Vendor relations
  4. What training methods does the franchisor employ? Know how the franchisor will provide training throughout your tenure as a franchise owner — classroom learning, webinars, practicals, self-led modules, etc. 
  5. How much experience does the franchisor have? Franchise systems that have operated for some time should have a refined training process. However, consider trainers' experience as well. They should possess real-world insights that can help franchisees succeed.
  6. What support is available to franchisees after training? Beyond the training program, franchisees will need support when unforeseen challenges arise. Know how the franchisor can support you after formal training has ended. 
  7. Does the franchise system leverage technology for training? Modern training programs rely on technology to facilitate learning. Technology can bring interactive learning to courses and provide immediate feedback through quizzes and skills practice. Evaluate the effectiveness and ease of use of these tools. 

Ultimately, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to franchise training. However, a thorough evaluation of training programs ensures that prospective franchisees enter into agreements feeling confident and well-prepared. 

As you pursue a franchise business, consider partnering with a franchisor like Caring Senior Service. We prioritize the franchisee training and support from day 1. To learn more about the training Caring Senior Service offers, reach out to our team today!

Picture of a female with text overlay "Start a business that matters. Make a real difference in your community with a home care franchise. Get in Touch."

Tags: Franchise Ownership