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If I sell a franchise, how can I assure a franchisee will follow the system?

Question:  Once I sell a franchise, how can I assure that the franchisee will follow the system?

 Answer:  A franchisee will want to follow the system because they have spent considerable time researching (1) the industry or market segment; (2) opening up an independent business operation in your market segment; (3) other franchise opportunities in your market segment; and (4) your franchise system.  The fact that the franchisee has narrowed her search to your franchise system should give you some comfort that she wants to follow your system. 

 It is important that you ingrain your system’s culture into prospects throughout the franchisee selection process, but most importantly in your franchisee training program.  In selecting a franchise system to join, most franchisees will carefully review the franchisee training program.  Prospects will consider: the length of the program; the subjects covered; the structure of the training (class room versus on-the-job training); the instructors; and the number of employees that the franchisor wants trained. 

The training should include detailed sessions (both class room and on-the-job training) in the following areas:

  • Site Selection
  • Construction 
  • Operations
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Product/Service Standards
  • Customer Service Standards
  • Finance and reporting
  • Local and Regional/National Advertising
  • Restaurant personnel training
  • New Franchisee owner/general manager/manager training
  • On-going training

You will want to make sure that your training manuals and operations manuals are well-organized, thoroughly prepared, and professional in their appearance.  These training manuals and operations manuals are the franchisor’s guides for everything the franchisee must know to operate the franchised business.  These manuals are excellent sales tools for prospects, because they show how prepared you are to support your franchisees and demonstrate a commitment to franchisee support and training.  They also provide all of the details for running the franchised business and establish to prospects that you have thought through potential problems in advance and provide not only a plan to deal with those issues, but also training for the franchisee to deal with those issues on her own. 

In designing your franchise system, it is imperative that you pay attention to your training program, because your prospects will. In the coming months, we will address in more detail each of the general training subjects listed above.

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At Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, we’ve been helping municipalities, franchised businesses, employers, and more with their legal needs since 2008. We’d love to learn how we can help you, too.