Onboarding New Franchisees

Onboarding New Franchisees

The onboarding process often comes down to the franchisor attempting to pack as much information as possible into the training session and overwhelming the franchisee. In order to have a less frustrating and more meaningful orientation process, however, onboarding should begin as early as the recruitment stage. This includes imparting the vision and the culture of the business upon prospective franchisees early on, as well as managing their expectations.

Transparency on the side of the franchisor throughout the entire process limits the number of unfortunate surprises. Defining the system well ahead of time reminds entrepreneurial franchisees who may be tempted to go rogue that following and remaining accountable to the systemare what will allow them to reap the rewards of franchise ownership.Asset verification, site selection, broker recommendations, the importance of accountability – having these kinds of discussions as early as possible reduces the chances of wasting time and resources courting a franchisee that is otherwise ineligible to franchise and of signing an agreement with a franchisee you realize only later is not a good fit for your business.

By the time that franchisees reach the training stage, they should already have an understanding of the culture and what is required of them financially. The training itself should occur as close to opening as possible, and the trainee should be the franchisee’s manager or operator.While it is tempting to try to teach the franchisee everything they need to know about operating the franchise during the training session, it is important to remember that the franchisee is only just beginning to learn to speak the franchisor’s language. Rather than read the operating manual, Franchisors should design a manageable curriculum that informs trainees of the resources available to them. Finally, it is recommended that training should end with a kind of to-do list that lets the franchisees know what the next steps are and what they need to do before they open.

Because it is important to expose prospective franchisees to the culture and expectations of the franchise early on, franchisors must have a well-defined system before franchising and must also play an active, high-touch role in the recruitment process to ensure success of the franchise.