What training looks like for new franchisees
What can you expect from your initial training when you sign up to a franchise?
Virginie Gayssot, head of education and talent management at Franck Provost, and Paula Bedford, managing director at Begin Bright, share their training insights.
What should a franchisee be able to do after their initial franchise training?
Begin Bright: Franchisees will be equipped with a foundational understanding of how to open, market and confidently manage and operate their business. They will know what they need to do and who at Begin Bright to contact to support them through the process.
Franck Provost: At Franck Provost, any new team member, be they a hairdresser, manager or franchise partner, begins with our ‘Kick Off’ program.
The franchise partner then spends time in salon so they can see first hand how the business operates. They also spend a lot of time at our head office with management, marketing, HR, learning about how the business runs and how they can work with each Franck Provost department to ensure their business operates successfully.
The initial set up time required to open a new salon can take a while, so this is the perfect time for the franchise partner to learn as much as they can while elements such as the salon fit out and such are completed.
Once this comprehensive training is complete, the franchise partner should feel confident that they are ready to start working in their own new business.
What is the most valuable thing a franchisee can learn in their initial training?
BB: The most valuable thing a franchisee will learn in their initial training is that they are a member of a large and supportive team.
They will be welcomed on-board and will be provided with key contacts to reach out to for support, coaching and information, (as and when they require it) on their journey from this point forward.
FP: These will differ to the next person. What I would say is most important is that the franchise partner really understands the whole concept of what the brand is all about, from administration through to client service and satisfaction.
Also, they need to feel like they are part of our family, which is a value that runs very strongly throughout the brand. This is particularly important when they are recruiting staff, as they need to communicate this philosophy to new team members.
In your experience, what is the most effective training method for franchisees?
BB: We take into account the various learning styles of our franchisees and focus on the areas that need the most support.
Initially we find it helpful to conduct face to face training as it assists in building trusting relationships. During this time, we apply a blended approach to learning activities including coaching from experienced franchisee’s being the most effective method.
The operational digital learning tools are also important.
FP: Once again, this depends on the background of the franchise partner and also what their intentions are for their position within the salon.
For example, if the franchise partner is a hairdresser and will actually be doing clients’ hair in salon, then we would design a training program that implemented a lot of time in our academy.
If the franchise partner is not a hairdresser, then we will probably spend more time with them on the business side with just an overview of the education programs we conduct with our hairdressers.
When should a franchisee start further training?
BB: Begin Bright and our parent group, Cognition Education, recognise that we are a learning organisation therefore our franchisees are committed to lifelong learning. Formal training activities for franchisees however are identified during regular site visits using an informal training needs analysis process and solutions are tailored to meet the franchisees needs. Regular standardised training for all franchisees is also scheduled and conducted throughout the year at conferences and State meetings.
At all times, our franchisees are provided with tools and resources and identify their own learning pathway.
FP: The education we undertake with our franchise partners is ongoing and can tailor specific training designed to meet their every need. They might require additional support with staff or marketing ideas or team training…and these issues can change as the business gets up and running.
What's most overlooked in franchisee training?
BB: Training follow up is essential. Learning something new is a wonderful experience but applying new knowledge and skills can be daunting and some franchisees may have questions and need additional support to apply the new skills and knowledge gained in training.
FP: I can’t speak for other brands, but I would say that if a franchise is not providing well-rounded training in all aspects of their business, then it could be less effective as far as the knowledge of their franchise partner goes.