When investigating franchise opportunities, one of the areas that can be difficult to evaluate is the training provided by the franchisor. Every franchisor promotes training and support, but many don’t go into detail on how they fulfill that promise. Knowing the signs of an effective training program is important to building a solid foundation for the success of your business.
Floor Coverings International (FCI) has one of the most robust training programs in the industry. Based on 34 years of experience, here are some ways you can evaluate the training programs of franchise opportunities you’re considering.
1. Skills You Need to Do the Job
You must be confident in your knowledge of the products and services required to run the business. This might seem obvious to any franchise training program, but if you’re coming into this business with no prior knowledge, the training must be detailed enough that you will feel confident selling to customers. Learning the product and service aspect of your business should be comprised of both at-home learning and on-site experiences with other operating franchisees.
2. Franchise Training in Business Operations
In addition to understanding your products and services, you also need to know how to run a business. Initially, you need to know about business licenses, securing office space, understanding government requirements, and being proficient in invoicing, point-of-sale, or other customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
Business operations training should be delivered when you need it. For example, with FCI, we call it “just-in-time learning,” which means we train you on aspects of the business as you need to learn them. We train you on bookkeeping when you have books to keep. We train you on hiring when you have people to hire. Be leery of franchisors that top-load all of the training and then expect you to reference it weeks or months later on your own.
3. Sales and Marketing
A key component of franchise training is being able to sell and market your business. Be sure the franchisor offers more than the tangible marketing support of websites and printed materials. They should also deliver training on how to interact with customers in order to gain the sale. Every business involves dealing with people so you must be able to talk about your business easily.
This is another element of the training that should involve seeing that communication in action. Part of the FCI process involves accompanying other franchisees on jobs to see how they demonstrate the sales aspect of the business. We also connect with new franchisees before their first customer interaction, and then immediately afterward to debrief on the experience. This real-time experience provides one of the best franchise training programs because it happens in the moment and can set the stage for successful future interactions.
4. Creating a Leadership Plan
Your franchise contract will last 5-10 years, so training must go beyond the initial launch of the business. As you become more skilled in the business, you’ll benefit from additional training that’s geared toward growing and scaling the business to its highest potential.
The FCI training program is two years long because our goal is to build franchisees with $2 million businesses. That doesn’t happen overnight. As franchisees become more proficient, our training becomes more strategic. This is an important element to look for in a training program; that support continues beyond the startup phase.
5. A Strong Franchisee Network
When exploring franchise opportunities, speak to current franchisees about the franchise training they received when they started and if that training has continued. You can learn a lot about the franchisor from the people who are dealing with them directly. Ask the franchisees if there was anything they wished they’d learned earlier on in the business or how easy it is to reach the franchisor if you run into problems.
As an example, after an FCI franchisee has been operating for 90 days, we provide additional training based on their real-life experiences. We expand on startup training and introduce a 2-year coaching program, which involves other newer franchisees for peer-to-peer support.
FCI is a Leader in Franchisee Training
We often receive comments from franchisees of other brands about the depth of our training. It is a strategic decision on our part, and it’s why our top-performing franchisees booked an average of $2.9 million in gross annual revenue.
A good training program is one of the advantages of franchising versus starting a non-franchised business. We take that further and provide a great training program because we value the relationships with franchisees who become leaders in their communities. Any franchise opportunity you consider should have the same commitment.
Learn more about Floor Coverings International and our commitment to you.February 27, 2023