Evaluating Potential Franchise Opportunities

By: trycmcw
One of the main benefits of franchise opportunities is the fact that you'll be buying in to an established and profitable system. Thus, a solid training program is essential to understanding exactly how to turn a franchise opportunity into a healthy, profitable business. All franchise opportunities claim to have a training program-but truth be told, not all training programs offer the nuts and bolts information you'll need to really become profitable. In this article, we'll discuss how to evaluate the training programs of franchise opportunities to ensure that you have the best chance of success.

Do the franchise opportunities you're considering offer skill training or strategy training?
Just about every franchisor offers a several-week training program-but what does it really consist of? If training only means spending multiple weeks shadowing someone on-location, then you're not going to be getting a full picture of how to actually grow your new franchise within the established structure of the franchisor.

While you may learn how to run the day-to-day operations, it's essential that you learn about the business strategies of the company, different ways to market your company, and to network with your future franchise business partners. Instead of just learning "how" to perform the operation like an employee, you want to look for training that provide insight on how to think critically and overcome unforeseen problems using the resources that the company has available.

Does everyone pass the training program?
As the saying goes, "you're only as good as your weakest link." With franchise opportunities, you're success is virtually tied to the action of fellow franchise owners and the corporate office. Remember when a Jack in the Box restaurant in Washington made national news for serving tainted food? Since customers don't see franchises as separate entities, the action of that particular restaurant location impacted sales and confidence for Jack in the Box restaurants throughout the nation.

If the franchise opportunities you're considering allow everyone with a few bucks to pass the training program and open a franchise, how does this impact the integrity of the business? Ask the training department if there are set, specific criteria that an individual must pass during training before being qualified to open a new location.

Does the franchisor provide training for your employees?
Assuming that you're satisfied with the training that you'll receive, what about your future employees? Are you expected to develop a training program for them, or does the franchisor offer training or training materials for your employees? A few training videos and tests usually won't cut it.
The further information travels from the source, the more diluted, less accurate, and less energized it becomes.

When new employees experience confused, unorganized training, it's likely they'll assume this to be a reflection of how the company operates and how they'll be expected to perform. You'll want to ask the training department if they have a full curriculum for new hires that includes a full step-by-step plan for employees with time scheduled for training videos, tests, shadowing, etc.

Don't just ask questions over the phone; request to spend time with the company's training department before you sign on the dotted line. Don't be afraid to ask questions-and lots of them. You're the one who will be investing your money and time into growing their business. Consequently, if you're feeling resistance from franchisors for asking lots of questions, perhaps these aren't the franchise opportunities for you. Good franchise opportunities understand the importance of quality training programs and will be impressed with your tenacity to seek answers to your questions.
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