Before a company decides to franchise, the first thing they should be thinking about is how they can implement a training plan for their new business partners. Often an overlooked aspect of moving into the franchising space, we explain how the importance of organizing a training program, what goes into planning learning goals for franchisees, and what tools you can use to make your training program a success!

tms for franchise training programs

What is a Franchise Training Program?

Franchise training is a specialized type of training provided by franchisors to their franchisees to ensure that the business model is executed properly. Training programs developed by franchises are methodically developed to ensure that all personnel who will work with the franchisee’s establishment will have a clear understanding of the company’s goals and expectations.

Franchise training for franchisees can cover a wide array of topics however most franchise development programs are aimed at training individual franchisee management, education on the franchisor’s products and services, maintaining a positive brand image, and operations management.

After individual franchisees have been successfully established, most franchisors will initiate training programs designed for advanced managerial training in a regional area (i.e. franchise territories) or even reskilling and upskilling of staff members into more senior or technical roles.

Why is Franchise Training Important?

Franchise training isn’t optional. It’s a must. Franchisees are the individual units that form the backbone of a successful franchise and thus a successful brand.

What’s at Stake for Franchises?

According to ADP, the median initial investment needed for a franchise can run upwards of $300,000 from initial proposals to launch. Looking at a more specific example, those seeking to launch a new McDonald’s franchise must have between $1.3 and $2.3 million in liquid assets to start the venture. Between the Golden Arches and the hundreds of other competing brands, total franchising revenue contributed close to $670 billion in revenue to the US economy alone in 2022. With fees this high, neither the franchisor nor the franchisee can afford to run a losing business.

The Role of Franchisors in Franchisee Success

Franchisors offer continual support to franchisees to ensure they’re successful. Most franchises will have a network of representatives to ensure that management and operations are running smoothly without errors.

In a sense, the franchisor-franchisee relationship is very much that of parent-to-child: The start to a successful franchise doesn’t instantly start when a prospective franchisee signs the franchise agreement, but rather after the franchisor has provided initial and continued training and support. This is critical to create a win-win situation for both the franchisee as an individual business owner and the franchisor for growing their brand.

How is Training provided to Franchisees by Franchisors?

Training for franchise locations is provided by the franchise headquarters via several methods as a part of a dedicated franchise training program.

On-site Training

Training in this manner is provided after the franchisee has established their location and has the basic essentials to offer the franchise’s goods and services to customers in the area.

Because the franchisee has at this point signed the franchise agreement and understands the basics of the franchisor’s business model. In this model, a representative from the franchise headquarters will provide thorough one-on-one guided training on how to perform the required duties expected by the franchise.

On-site training is seen as beneficial to most new franchisees as it sets them up for success and they have continual support from the franchisor in getting started toward financial success. In addition, on-site training will more than likely include new employee onboarding to get new employees oriented and properly trained under the management of the franchisee.

For instance, Gas station and convenience store giant ARCO & ampm utilizes a vast network of certified trainers to conduct on-site training for new employee onboarding and franchisee management training for its over 1,200 locations in the US.

Training Received at Headquarters

Training is provided to the franchisee at the corporate headquarters of the franchisor or parent company. Similar to a corporate university for employees, training provided at the company’s main office using traditional instructor-led training serves as the base of the franchisee’s training.

Here the new franchisee owner will be further briefed on the business model of how the franchise works and an introduction to the products & services. The franchisee may also be trained on how HQ will support the new business owner via logistics, finance & accounting, and marketing & brand support. Unlike on-site training which may be focused more on day-to-day management and employee training, franchisee owners are more than likely to receive managerial and leadership training from corporate trainers.

The main advantage of delivering learning for franchisees using in-person training at headquarters is that it sets a strong first impression to the new business owner (franchisee) that the training received at headquarters is that it gives a strong first impression of the company’s brand and goal and fosters a sense of belonging toward the franchise’s objective.

Continuing Education and Training for Franchises

After the primary franchise training program has been completed, franchisees will usually have to receive additional training over time as mandated by the franchisor.

Franchisees and their staff will normally receive further training courses on an ad hoc or scheduled basis. Training courses can include certification or recertification of specific licenses, new product/service updates, workplace safety and ethics training, and so on.

The good news about continued training for franchises is that it’s more flexible compared to the previous two. For example, KFC has a continual franchise training program that example includes a blended learning program consisting of a standard one-week orientation, two weeks of online training, and four weeks of on-site training at a certified location on top of regular online training for managers as needed.

franchise location interior

Starting a Franchise Training Program

Implementing a franchise training program is just as important as the business plan to start the brand. The franchising model almost demands that a proper franchisee training and development program be put in place to ensure the success of the company.

Benefits of Starting a Franchise Program

What happens when a business deploys a training plan for its franchise? Below is a list of some much-expected outcomes.

  • It lays a solid foundation and teaches franchisees how to replicate the vision and overall goal of the franchise.
  • It equips them with the essential knowledge to manage the franchise and the parent company’s goods and services offered.
  • The training program is critical in introducing franchisees to the tools, resources, and support available and how best to utilize them for individual success.
  • Franchisees can receive initial and guided support from training managers that even the most experienced managers would not have.
  • Training both owners and employees at franchises to realize their full career potential and develop the brand.
  • Through training, franchisees learn how to ensure consistent and sustainable brand positioning and market strategy.
  • It helps develop motivated and committed franchisees who can grow the franchise in sales and recognition

Mapping a Franchise Training Plan

From associate to mid-level managerial roles and even territorial managers for a franchise, franchisors must have full scope and understanding of their business model, their products and services, and the personnel within each franchise location needed to make it succeed.

While there may be similarities, no two franchise training programs are bound to be alike. Franchise owners must identify specific training requirements for each position and take into account how each role plays in providing value both for the customer and the brand.

Before planning your franchise training program, ask yourself:

  • What must someone in this role know, and how should they act?
  • How many learning hours or courses would it take to get to the required level?
  • Can this training be done within a couple of weeks, or should it be taught over a longer time?
  • Does the industry that your franchise operates in require specific regulations by a governing body?

Software to Provide Training to Franchises

Learning Management Software in Franchise Training Programs

Without a doubt, learning and development for franchises isn’t all training 101 on-site. Most franchise training programs will utilize in some form a learning management system (LMS) to deliver training material for franchisees and their employees.

In short, the LMS will serve as the primary hub that holds the material for the training modules and course materials your training programs will have. A franchise may even utilize an LMS to hold multiple programs needed to complete a comprehensive franchise training program, all of which could be applied to pass the franchisor’s stamp of approval

A critical part of hybrid learning models used by all companies, LMS software is beneficial in that it allows training coordinators from the company HQ to provide important learning material for franchisees and their staff in a fast and efficient manner without the complete need to be on site.

Drawbacks of Using the LMS for Training Program Planning

While the LMS is the top selection in delivering training material to learners, it’s best practice to keep the management side of the training program separate from the LMS.

What are the management duties of a franchise training program?

  • Scheduling on-site training for franchisees or coordinating training sessions at the home office
  • Filtering and selecting franchisee trainers based on availability and location
  • Managing training costs and overall the franchise training program’s budget
  • Tracking the training performance of franchisees and their employees during on-site and online learning
  • Utilizing training analytics to make training program adjustments and modifications to the overall L&D plan

Franchised company or not, most administrative duties related to the scheduling of learning for franchisees are done haphazardly using a system of disconnected spreadsheets. While there’s nothing wrong with holding course schedules and trainer databases on Excel sheets and software, it certainly makes the job of deploying a training program to multiple franchise locations much more time-consuming than it needs to be

Using Training Management Software in Franchise Training Programs

Learning operations within a franchise development program are usually handled by the training management system.

In the same way, an LMS serves as the software platform from which learning material and training courses will be provided to franchise trainees, the TMS specializes in acting as the administrative component in ensuring all the pieces of the franchise’s training program are delivered to learners and instructors efficiently on time and under budget.

Using Training Management Software in Franchise Training Programs

tms features for franchise training
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TMS software like Training Orchestra allows franchises to conduct a seamless training experience for learners without the administrative headache that goes into scheduling.

Training Orchestra offers the functionality needed for franchises to excel in planning and rolling out their training program for franchisees.

  • Course Scheduling System allows you to schedule hundreds of training sessions for new franchise owners and their employees across multiple time slots and locations using a mix of both instructor-led training and virtual instructor-led training.
  • Instructor Management portal gives franchise training managers the ability to pick and choose the best trainer for each session based on availability, qualifications, and certifications.
  • Resource management tools provide an inventory overview of how much your resources are being utilized.
  • Data Analytics and Performance tracking provide high-level insight into the effectiveness of your learning resource utilization and where to optimize performance.
  • Budget and Cost-Tracking tools ensure that you’re delivering the highest quality training experience to franchises without ever going over budget.

And to think that some training managers want to try to do all of this using an endless number of spreadsheets!

In this post, we examine:

Training Orchestra – Training Operations Management System

training orchestra training management system

For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has helped over 600 training companies, corporate L&D departments, and associations worldwide to address instructor-led training operations management challenges for their employee, customer, partner, or member training programs. We’ve crafted the perfect training management system to address the most critical needs of corporate L&D and training businesses.

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