Karen Prewer, the founder and managing director of the innovative, van-based window cleaning franchise My Window Cleaner, shares the importance of training for a franchisor's success
Regardless of the industry, entrepreneurs, employees and managers benefit heavily from being immersed in a culture of learning.
For years, the franchise industry has been a shining example of how robust training and ongoing development opportunities are core elements to building successful businesses.
Whilst having access to figures who can mentor franchisees is attractive to those looking to join a network built on the notion of collaboration, the industry is equally continuing to prove its compatibility with entrepreneurs driven by personal professional development.
As the famous saying goes, ‘every day’s a school day’. However, it is important for franchisors to understand that today, the traditional mentor-mentee dynamic between themselves and their franchisees is somewhat outdated.
Instead, the saying should read, ‘every day is a new opportunity’, as everyone involved in a franchise brand – franchisor, franchisee or employee – has the chance to learn something new and adopt that learning in their own business operations.
After all, no one knows everything, and everyone should have the opportunity to project their unique knowledge and skillset onto their peers and colleagues.
And what is the best way to inspire a culture of learning and development in a franchise brand? Introduce the franchisee to it from day one!
These are five reasons why robust training is essential for the success of a franchise.
It aligns your mission with your network
Today, one of the primary reasons people go from warm leads to new starters is the brand’s vision and mission statement.
In fact, according to a study conducted by Marie-Claire Ross, workers driven by a company’s mission are 30 per cent more likely to grow into high performers – a vital characteristic in today’s saturated and diverse franchise industry.
By the time it comes to initial training, a new franchisee should be well versed and fully invested in a brand’s mission – but simple words on a page are not enough to encapsulate and celebrate how it is applied to day-to-day operations.
Aligning training with a franchise brand’s mission and goals help franchisees develop skills to successfully run their business while being introduced to a new way of thinking that influences their attitude towards the network.
As we know, the ‘end product’ of a business – a customer receiving second-to-none services or products – is only achieved by establishing foundations and setting standards that are well maintained long before the end product comes into question.
This is not only beneficial from a franchisor’s perspective.
When the members of a network buy into a franchisor’s mission and goals through inspiring, engaging and detailed training, it enables entrepreneurs to run a franchise brand freely and openly without concern of disconnecting from the brand and network itself.
Development opportunities attract entrepreneurs
According to Digits, nearly a third (28 per cent) of people would not apply for a job with an employer that does not invest in training and development.
This is an incredibly significant indication of how prospects are not just buying franchises for the financial opportunity.
In fact, since 2020 alone, 30 per cent of people have retrained or changed the industry they work in primarily for upskilling.
Put simply, a franchise opportunity embodies much more than a simple savings target. Entrepreneurs are driven by doing more, including having the opportunity to reapply their skillset to a new, exciting and engaging industry amongst a network of like-minded and equally passionate business owners.
It highlights your commitment to going the extra mile
It may seem obvious, but franchisors who can demonstrate their passion for and commitment to providing franchisees and employees with regular learning and development opportunities are immediately held in higher esteem than many other brands.
Franchisee training is an aspect of the business that must be regularly reviewed by the franchisor and operational team, as new technology and industry developments can provide space to revise a brand’s vision and mission.
And while it is easy for franchisors to claim they are committed to training and development, an alarming 48 per cent of organisations have not provided their employees with any training in the last year.
Training is not just a way of demonstrating to prospects and existing franchisees that a franchisor is engaged with identifying professional development opportunities, it also shows them that the brand they represent is devoted to more than a simple transaction.
It maintains standards across the network
Franchisee learning should not stop after the initial training course has been completed and the franchisee has launched the business.
A high-quality franchisor understands the value and importance of ongoing support and refresher development training for their entire franchise network.
With the responsibility of collaboration given to everyone in a franchise network, this close attention to detail and ‘re-learning’ ensures that standards are maintained, franchisees remain motivated to keep their businesses moving forward and are kept up to date with changes in practice or industry developments.
Franchisee of My Window Cleaner Cardiff and The Vale, Oli Ford, sees the value of being immersed in a network that champions ongoing training and development from all aspects of the business structure.
“The training was in-depth, well-structured and prepared me for exactly what I needed to know when launching. I was also able to spend quality time with my three neighbouring franchisees prior to launch.
“It was so valuable to add to the training by hearing from established business owners. Team Wales is great as we all now support each other, be it over the phone or in person. I can certainly see the value of a franchisor and franchise network that champions ongoing development opportunities.
“The ’one big happy family’ ethos isn’t just a marketing ploy; it really is embedded in the foundations of everything we do.”
Regular development opportunities boost franchisee and employee morale
Providing opportunities for personal and professional growth as a franchisor is the ideal way of keeping franchisees and employees engaged in business operations.
If a franchisor can highlight and champion their passion for seeing people grow and learn within a network, it demonstrates strong leadership, which ultimately leads to greater collective morale.
In franchising, training is naturally built into the experience. However, a long-term research project conducted by Point Franchise found that out of 4,300 workers, 74 per cent felt they weren’t achieving their full potential at work due to a lack of development opportunities.
So, it is vital that franchisors address this by not only offering such opportunities, but by highlighting the positive impact it has on retention, recruitment and business results.