by Keith E. Smith
Have you ever been in a training class, or conference, where you were presented with so much content that your eyes glazed over and you became mentally numb? The content may have been top notch, but there was so much thrown at you at once that it was like drinking from a firehose.
Many of you have been in that situation, and probably several times. If you happen to be the owner of a franchise then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Most all franchisors offer in-depth training to their franchisees, and much of that training is very good. The trouble is that most of that training is given at the beginning of the franchisee’s journey, and there is simply too much information for them to retain, much less take back to their business and implement.
So what can you do, as a franchise owner, to ensure that your business will succeed? You must seek out and invest in ongoing training. Whether that training comes from the franchisor, an outside source, or both, you should design and implement your own ongoing training program for yourself and for your staff.
Here are three reasons why:
1) You Can’t Remember Everything. When you open a franchise, you begin the process by attending the franchisor’s training program. They teach you everything from real estate selection, standards and procedures, marketing, branding, product information, operation manuals, human resources, financial management, pricing, staffing, software, and the list goes on. That is a lot of information to remember, and it’s all too easy to forget something that will cause you stress and cost you money. Training that is continual and ongoing will keep things fresh in your mind and your business on track.
2) Your Managers Need It. There is a good chance that you have at least one manager who will be tasked with making sure all aspects of your business run smoothly. There is also a good chance that your manager did not attend the franchisor’s intense training program. You may not have hired them yet, or they simply could not go for whatever reason. Even if they were able to attend the training, they will still have suffered from information overload just like you. Being an effective manager is challenge enough, so help your manager succeed by providing them with ongoing training on things like leadership, problem solving, hiring, firing, effective coaching and training techniques.
Remember, your manager will be involved with training other staff members so the better equipped your manager is, the better equipped your staff will be. This will directly impact the culture of your business.
3) A Different Messenger Can Have More Impact. As the owner of the business, your staff expects you to be, do, and say certain things. You are the leader and your staff knows you will be instructing, training, and correcting. There’s nothing wrong with this and it is completely normal. A business owner cannot help but bring with them the “aura of authority” just by walking through the door. In no way does this mean you cannot effectively lead and train your people, but there will be times when bringing in another voice will be a wise move.
It is human nature to get used to people you are around frequently, and to form preconceived ideas about them. This is not in itself a bad thing and is even how reputations are formed. What it does mean is that, after a while, your team will become accustomed to your methods and expectations. In order to keep them engaged you will need to switch things up a bit from time to time. A great way to do that is to hire outside people to come in and train your staff. Of course, it is important to hire people who are a good fit for your business and vision, but using different voices to drive home your message will have a significant impact on your staff. It will keep things fresh and will solidify the training within your team.
Ongoing training is one aspect of owning a franchise that is often overlooked. The reality is that it’s one of the most important keys to the success and growth of your business. There’s a reason why elite warriors, athletes, and business people are always training; it helps them rise above the rest, and succeed where others fail. If you commit to training yourself and your people on a continual basis, you too will succeed where others have failed.
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