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Finding Out More About a Franchise's Training Programs

How do you find out what kind of training program your franchise is offering? Ask these questions.

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When investigating a franchise, it's important to know whatkinds of programs are offered to explain the franchise'ssystems and way of business. Below are a few questions to ask thefranchisor about its training programs.

  • What are the locations, duration and additional costs of yourinitial training? Is the cost of transportation and living expensesincluded in the initial franchise fee or does the franchisee payfor those expenses?
  • Who is required to attend your initial training program?
  • Do you have the option of bringing your staff to the training?How much does the franchisor charge for each staff member whoattends? If the franchisee's staff does not come to training,who trains them?
  • How comprehensive is the training curriculum? How much of thetraining takes place in a classroom? What subjects are covered? Howmuch of the training is conducted in the field? Do you learn how tomanage the operational, financial, marketing and personnel aspectsof the business, or is the training limited to how to make theproduct or deliver the services? How does the franchisor describethe management training provided?
  • Who conducts the training? What are the trainers'backgrounds? Have they ever operated a location? When? How longhave they been in the business? What positions did they hold? Howlong have they been conducting the training? Do they have anytraining in conducting these programs? What are theirresponsibilities in the company when they're not conductingtraining programs?
  • As staff and managers turn over, how do the new staff andmanagers receive training?
  • In addition to the operations manual, will the franchisorprovide any training materials for training new staff?
  • How often does the franchisor introduce new products andservices? When new products and services are introduced, how doesthe franchisor train the franchisee, managers and staff on the newproducts and services?
  • Are training programs continual and regularly scheduled? Whattypes of additional training are provided, who can attend, what isthe cost and where does the franchisor conduct this training?
  • Do any members of the headquarters staff or field staff providehands-on assistance during the pre-opening, grand opening andinitial period when the franchisee is beginning the operation ofthe business? What type of assistance does the franchisor provide,who provides the assistance, what is the duration and what is thecost?
  • What is covered in the operations manual? Are you allowed tosee it before you sign the franchise agreement? When was theoperations manual last updated? How often is it updated?
  • Are you allowed to attend one of the training sessions beforeyou sign the franchise agreement?
  • How does the franchisor communicate with the franchisees? Howdo the franchisees communicate with the home office?
  • What happens if you have an emergency problem orquestion--maybe after regular hours or on weekends?

Excerpted from Franchising for Dummies (IDG BooksWorldwide Inc.) by Dave Thomas and Michael Seid. For moreinformation or to order the book, click here.

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