“Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action” – Johann Wolfang von Goethe.
Everyone talks about franchising as a proven business and a business model with less risk, the result of operating under the protection of a well-established brand and a company that will teach me its secrets and its modus operandi (its secret recipe). However, I believe that the success of the franchise model is based on commitment, the commitment that the owner of the brand makes to share his secrets and his business model to the Franchisee, and the commitment that the Franchisee makes to fulfill and do comply with the secrets and standards of the Franchisor.
The franchise, then, by definition, is a license to use a brand that is granted to a third party and that is accompanied by a transfer of knowledge; Article 245 of the Industrial Property Law mentions “there will be a franchise, when with the license to use a brand, granted in writing, technical knowledge is transmitted or technical assistance is provided, so that the person to whom it is granted can produce or sell goods or provide services in a uniform manner and with the operational, commercial, and administrative methods established by the owner of the trademark, tending to maintain the quality, prestige, and image of the products or services that it distinguishes.” which we rescued the issue of transmitting technical knowledge to a third party with the purpose that we all do the same within the same work system.
Why do we franchise the business in the first instance? To stop operating every day, to grow the brand, so that others operate in territories where I do not want or cannot operate. What was the case of franchising the brand if your operation is going to be affected by people who do not do things the way you want them to be done? It is important before starting growth under any format, to have the operation standardized through an effective training program and a specialized team that carries it out.
How to make each unit work the same way? What does it mean to transmit technical knowledge so that the person who applies it does everything in the same way that we do it in our units and that is the basis of our success? The first thing is to work on an operations manual that is “the bible” of daily operations and that includes 5 large areas: administration, the specific chapter of our business (for example, coffee), operating routines, product marketing, business including social networks and the training chapter in the unit. By the way, this great document is recommended to be worked on by an external team and/or a team dedicated full-time to this task, which can be exhausting. This team must of course know about the daily operation but also requires special analytical, writing and process skills. On some occasion I was asked my opinion regarding what is better, an expert in the preparation of pizzas to whom we teach process analysis and/or an industrial engineer who we teach to make pizzas? Of course my answer was the second.
An estimated time to carry out this work can be from 6 months to a year depending on the size of the operation and of course it will depend on the size of the company and the line of business that we are documenting. A restaurant will have more processes than a pharmacy and a chain of 100 pizzerias with a distribution center, a factory and a robust information system; versus a chain of pharmacies that does not have product transformation.
Little walk from school… Once we have our bible assembled, it is time to define the training program where it is essential to understand the subject of andragogy (the study of the way adults learn) and such important topics as gamification (game-based learning). We must identify the profile of the personnel that we are going to train and their motivations to learn; It must be understood that adults do not learn in the same way as children, therefore we must establish very well the place and the times in which we will carry out said training. I recommend that you do it within working hours.
It is time to transform our operations manual into materials (games, videos, presentations, exercises, cases) that help us convey what we want in the simplest way possible, with the appropriate language and of course with the people trained to do this. worked. Define the topics of each position, the time that said training will take and the package for each program. The package for each program-position is made up of the instructor’s manual, the participant’s material (their manual transformed into drawings or whatever works best, their workbook with their exercises), the exam, the evaluation method, and your training material. support for your course and of course a fully equipped training room for the task. I suggest you use the mornings to do these activities.
There is initial training, when an employee starts working in the company and the training continues throughout their stay in the company. The good thing is that today there are educational platforms that allow us to reach a large number of collaborators in different cities and/or countries with our training programs, and monitor their progress. Remember that in franchises one of the most common penalties occurs when the Franchisee has working in the personal unit that has not complied with the Franchisor’s training program, so we must work very hard to provide the tools to each unit that guarantee that training materials are always available regardless of geographic topic, and that it is evaluable and auditable.
7 important points to develop an effective training school.
- Define each activity. You do not require an 8000 page manual, just define how each activity is done within the daily operation in the simplest way possible.
- Define who does each activity. Each person within the operation has a responsibility and it is very important that each collaborator is clear about what that responsibility is and that we do not duplicate activities and/or there are unassigned activities.
- Define the profile of the people who are going to do said activity. Training a guy from a cafeteria is not the same as training an older lady from a Sanborns. Each business concept is different and requires defined job profiles that go hand in hand to comply with the activities described. This includes educational level, socioeconomic level, etc.
- Define the training program. Topics, positions, and times become a training program for each position.
- Who will train? The trainer is very important, as well as his profile. We must have a team of trainers with the training to be able to transmit knowledge. Our highly experienced operations experts are not necessarily best suited for this job.
- Where are we going to train them? The training must be theoretical and practical. A school store with a training manager and a fully equipped office prepared to teach the courses is always necessary.
- Evaluate all the time. Evaluates the effectiveness of the training based on its results in daily operation. Examinations, feedback from the participants and the improvements in the operation resulting from the training program delivered will reveal to us if our programs are being effective and/or we must modify them.
I invite you to reflect on the following phrase “the success of my franchisees is the success of my franchise”. Do you want the customer to receive the same experience in service, image and product in all your units? Be sure to convey to all collaborators -whether they are franchised and/or owned units- what should be done based on your standards.
I say goodbye remembering a phrase I heard from Howard Shultz himself at a conference at the NRA, “The most important person for the organization is the unit manager and the training budget should always be twice what we invest in advertising.” See you next time.
“I thought the franchise was only for the big players” -Fred DeLuca CEO Subway
I hope this weekly column is useful for you and your business. Remember to visit my YouTube channel “FranchiseZar” where you will find more than 500 videos on franchise and entrepreneurship topics. Interested in acquiring a franchise? Ask FranchiseZar® and #notedejessoprender. Your friend the Czar of Franchises says goodbye to you, see you in the next one.