Any franchisor understands that not only sales of the company, but also the reputation of the brand as a whole depend on the qualifications of its partner. Therefore, franchisee training often becomes the main factor affecting the success of an enterprise. About what effective training programs are used by Russian franchisors and how much resources they spend on this, experts at BEITRAINING say.
Although the history of Russian franchising has barely crossed the line of the second decade, serious competition between franchisors is already being felt in many areas. And in these conditions, the training offered by the franchisor to its local partners is a significant advantage of the franchised offer and indicates the maturity of a particular franchise.
Three years ago, BEITRAINING, which is a strategic partner of the German Franchising Association, for the first time conducted a study in Europe called the “Advanced Training Index for Franchising Systems”. His focus was on the advanced training of new and existing franchisees of famous brands. As the results of the study showed, European franchising networks pay close attention to the issue of training their partners, and 40% of them are constantly expanding the training program. In addition to industry knowledge, the training program offered by the franchisee includes classes on sales practice, customer orientation, self-organization, personnel management and other skills that can minimize the impact of the human factor on company success.
In Russia, BEI conducted a similar study together with EMTG twice during two years. The last session was attended by 36 Russian and foreign franchisors, including well-known brands that occupy leading positions in the Russian market. More than half of the companies surveyed (58%) were representatives of retail trade, 17% were franchises of the food market, and 28% were franchised systems from the service sector. In general, the survey participants represented almost 1000 franchisees throughout Russia.
What conclusions about the Russian approach to training the franchisee were able to draw by researchers? First, analysts drew attention to the fact that, regardless of the economic condition of the franchise system, the topic of partner training remains extremely important for the franchisor and his franchisee. Most of the respondents, namely 74%, recognized that qualifying a franchisee is the key to the heart of the consumer and the key to the success of the enterprise, and becomes the main competitive advantage of the company as the market saturates. Two-thirds of respondents emphasize that there is a direct relationship between continuing education and a sense of satisfaction with the franchisee. In addition, many respondents believe that monitoring the training of franchisees helps companies anticipate systemic problems and effectively manage management tasks, since it is impossible to plan business development without an adequate overall assessment of qualifications.
Russian franchisors attach great importance to continuing education, and this is noticeable not only in words but also in practice. The study revealed that representatives of franchising systems in Russia do not neglect investing in training programs even when times are not very favorable for the economy. They invest their resources in franchisee training or, at a minimum, maintain existing programs even during a crisis. For some companies, training one new partner is very expensive - about 160 000 rubles, although two-thirds of the systems spend less than 40 000 rubles on upgrading the skills of a new franchisee.
The study also shows that the central offices of franchisors spend quite a lot of time on training - much more than companies that are not associated with the franchise system do. In the first year of operation, Russian franchisors offer new partners approximately 25 training days, and with existing franchisees conduct about 14 training days (11,2 days in retail systems). At the same time, the maximum amount of time for improving the qualifications of their partners, namely 47 days, is spent on catering networks, while retail trade takes an average of 19 days on this.
Given the serious attitude of brands to their own success and serious investments in partner training, it seems not surprising that more than half of franchisors literally insist on the participation of their partners in professional development events. “Obligation” mainly refers to new franchisees, for which quotas for attending trainings are often set higher than for existing partners. However, the obligation does not always oblige: as the study showed, only 85% of new partners take part in the required training. Turnout at the 90 level and more percent from franchisee recruits is observed only in one of the four companies surveyed. In contrast to introductory training for new franchisees, training for existing partners is less forceful and often offered on a voluntary basis.
What is taught at the Partnership School
Basically, franchisors conduct training on their own, as the average number of employees in the franchising department of the company allows this. Typically, 2 to 3 people work in the brand franchise sales department, but 56% of the franchise systems that participated in the study plan to expand and reform the franchise sales department.
Among the franchisees surveyed, there are also companies that attract an external partner, making very high demands on him. Firstly, it is important for them that the training program offered by a third-party company is clearly applicable in practice to the field of their work. Secondly, the partner organization should have a uniform training standard for all regions. Finally, franchisors prefer to work only with those companies that already have experience in advanced training in franchising systems. Most often, third-party training centers are attracted by franchisors in order to teach franchisees the science of customer orientation and customer service, the secrets of successful sales and the skills of building long-term relationships with customers. The study shows that it is difficult to find the ideal training partner, and only 17% of franchised systems have positive experience working with third-party organizations.
What exactly do Russian franchisors teach their partners? 69% of companies, as a compulsory program, offer training on the topic "Study the system." Customer service and sales training are mandatory for approximately 50% of the franchised systems participating in the survey, and only 28% of the respondents insist on studying products. Personal development trainings are often voluntary or not part of the training program.
Retail franchisors pay special attention to training at the pilot enterprise, training in system knowledge and continuing education on the job. In this, they are somewhat different from franchised enterprises in the sphere of services and catering, which also give preference to training courses on customer service and teaching industry knowledge.
Developed traditions of training new and existing franchisees help strengthen cooperation within the franchise network. Although less training days are spent on franchisee training in Russia than in Europe, customer orientation and service, successful sales, the ability to think and act as an entrepreneur, manage and delegate powers remain the cornerstones of continuing education. Education and training of franchisees, therefore, is aimed at sales in combination with customer service and the ability to manage the company. Betting on these core components allows the franchisee to meet the changing requirements of the modern market.
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