Preparing for Takeoff: Initial Training/Opening Support

Preparing for Takeoff: Initial Training/Opening Support
Mark Siebert, in an article for Entrepreneur, states, “Of all the tasks that befall the new franchisor, perhaps none is as important as the role of training. If the brand is the heart of any great franchise, training is the physical conditioning that keeps that heart beating strongly and consistently.”

At the Franchise Research Institute/, we believe strongly that the initial training and opening support provided by the franchisor is crucial to the success of new franchisees. Every franchise provides some form of initial training, and the quality of this training is of tremendous importance to high quality franchise companies. Likewise, opening support can be critical in creating a customer’s first impression of your business. Of course, this depends on the franchise category and product or service offered.

In our recently published 2012 World-Class Franchise Compilation Survey, we discovered that among our 25 World-Class Franchises, 93% of franchisees surveyed gave a positive grade to the initial training provided by their franchisor. In addition, when asked to grade the opening support supplied by their franchisor, 91% responded positively!

Very few new franchisees have experience in the field they have committed to joining. Also, far too many are in the category of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Naiveté can be a charming quality, but in franchising, it can be devastating. My advice to anyone considering investing in a franchise: look carefully “under the hood” to see what existing franchisees are saying (through confidential, third-party research, not in-house surveys or those which do not protect the identity of ‘zees). Be sure that the franchisor invests in the “conditioning” needed to see franchisees through the franchise business marathon, and in making sure the race gets off to the best possible start!

1. The combined score to this question encompasses all “A,” “B”, or “C” responses but does not include “D” or “F” ratings. Remember there is no such thing as “above average Franchisee satisfaction”, but there is World-Class.

Methodology for the series of articles: Franchise Excellence:

The questions highlighted in this series of articles are taken from the 2012 World-Class Franchise Compilation Report, conducted by the Franchise Research Institute.

To be certified as World-Class, franchise companies must meet the following research requirements:

1. Access to every franchisee is required (including newly open and those who have yet to open).
2. A minimum of 70% of their franchisees must complete the survey (this reduces survey bias).
3. All franchisee responses are confidential (reduces false positive responses).
4. They must have a minimum of 20 franchisees that have been in business for two years or longer.

More details can be found at