Getting By With a Little Help

Franchisee training is as important as a proven concept. Is your chosen brand up to par in this department?

Getting By With a Little Help

One of the great things about franchising is that you don’t need to have years of industry experience to make your franchise a success. In fact, many franchisors prefer franchisees who are inexperienced in their industry so that they can be trained according to the brand’s specifications.

So when a prospective franchisee begins to compare a franchise opportunity with another, one of the elements they need to pay close attention to is the training the system will offer them.

Training is key in business success

“At Imbalie Beauty, we believe in making positive change in women through self-improvement and self-empowerment. So our franchisees as well as their employees are engaged in ongoing training,” says Esna Colyn, CEO of Imbalie Beauty.

“As a franchisee, you have to know how to present yourself, your staff, products and services to your customers. You also need to understand aspects of managing the business – how to hire employees, advertise, run the books, manage inventory and clients, and thousands of other small details that will make your business successful. While this can come from prior experience, training is essential in giving you the edge.”

Your staff need to be thoroughly trained too, in order to represent your business and the brand well. “All our hair stylists, nail technicians and beauty therapists go through the Imbalie Beauty Training Academy. This isn’t just a matter of gaining skills, but ensuring that services provided are of high quality and standardised across the group,” Colyn explains.

Is the training up to scratch?

When it comes to training, franchisors can begin to look alike. There are a number of points to examine, though, that will help you tell the difference between franchisors committed to training you, and those who aren’t. This is what to look for:

  • Where does the training take place? Is it in an existing operation or head office? How long is the initial programme, and must you pay for training requirements beyond that?
  • Who is required to attend training? Are criteria established for ensuring you, your manager and staff are prepared to operate the business? Do you have to pay extra to bring additional staff to training?
  • If you have to train your own staff, is the training material comprehensive and are you provided with the tools and techniques to accomplish this?
  • What is the training curriculum? Is it practical or theory based? What are the subjects covered? And how much management training will you receive?
  • Who conducts the training? Do they bring in someone from the brand for a day or week? Or do they have trained teachers on hand at all times?

A key question to ask franchisees

Ask existing franchisees what changes to operations have been made over the years and how they were trained in these changes. By finding the answers to these questions, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of whether the franchise you plan to invest in is sufficiently established and well-oiled to meet your training needs.

Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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