Launching and growing a successful franchise business requires a range of skills and expertise that few people have when they enter the industry. Most new franchisees can bring experience in a particular field but depend on the franchisor and the network of fellow franchisees to develop all the tools they’ll need.

That’s why training is such an essential part of our industry. It’s critical that franchisors prepare new owners and their employees for the variety of operations their business encompasses. It’s equally important to support the long-term success of franchise owners — and to support the overall growth of the brand — by envisioning training as an ongoing, evolving process.

Most franchise businesses offer intense training to onboard new franchisees. In many cases, new franchise owners will visit corporate headquarters for an in-depth, in-person program that combines classroom and/or digital learning with simulations or other hands-on education. These programs typically include a comprehensive array of subjects, from management and hiring to operations and marketing, plus a deep dive into the specific products and services the franchise owner will offer.

This intense introduction to a franchise’s specific processes and systems plays a critical role in franchise owner success. Learning the ins and outs of the business from experts in a safe environment is a crucial phase in the lifecycle of a franchise location.

Too often, however, the pre-opening session is the extent of training offered by the franchisor. Franchise owners go back to their territory or location, open for business, and try to remember everything they learned in a one- or two-week crash course.

The modern competitive market for franchises demands a more advanced, holistic approach to training. Truly effective training doesn’t end when the business opens.

Every industry evolves and changes. Most of them are transforming rapidly in the 21st century. Franchisors and franchise owners must be aware of the impact technology and trends have on their industry and adjacent fields in order to remain competitive. Anticipating and adapting to innovation is essential.

One critical method for empowering franchise owners with the knowledge and information they need is ongoing training. As economic trends drive your franchise to adapt, it’s important to maintain open and consistent communication with franchise owners. Options include regularly scheduled one-on-one or small group meetings, a  frequent email newsletter, and, when appropriate, updated or additional training. That could range from new courses added to an online learning catalog to annual onsite training sessions for in-depth updates.

Communication among your network of franchise owners is just as important. The shared support among owners is a major strength of the franchise industry. Proactively encouraging and facilitating owner-to-owner connections leverages earned institutional knowledge and reduces friction for new owners.

Finally, technology can empower franchise owners and their teams on the job. Digital learning platforms serve a wide variety of functions in the modern workplace — technical support on a job site, onboarding for new employees, career advancement for existing team members, updates to processes and systems. An easily accessible online platform that works with desktop computers, tablets and smartphones not only enables productivity and efficiency on the job, it can streamline training and ensure continuity, helping franchise owners overcome challenges in the labor market.

Comprehensive training for contents and personal property restoration

At 1-800-Packouts, our goal is to always improve our processes, improve ourselves, and improve our clients’ experience. We’re committed to training excellence. That’s why our training starts early and continues throughout the lifecycle of the business. Constant regular communication between the franchisor and franchise owner and with the owner network begins immediately and extends ongoing.

Our franchise owners experience a state-of-the-art hands-on introduction to contents and personal property restoration related to insurance claims. Our headquarters includes a fully furnished home that franchise owners and their staff inventory, pack, clean, repack and return, all according to the highest industry standards.

In addition to our unique hands-on onsite training, 1-800-Packouts has invested heavily in an online training platform for franchise owners and their employees. This digital program features short, accessible courses on our estimating and packing processes that team members can use in the field or office. It serves the vital purposes of equipping new employees for the job, upgrading the skills of current employees, providing on-the-job insights that enhance customer experience, and ensuring all team members are up-to-date on the latest industry standards and best practices. We’re always working to add relevant and timely content to make the platform more robust.

Training can’t be a one-and-done proposition. Successful franchisors are always training, educating, and adapting.

That doesn’t mean they’re always providing in-person instruction to franchise owners and their team members. In today’s competitive and evolving market, training is a holistic concept based on effective communication and shared knowledge.

Stefan Figley is the brand president of 1-800-Packouts, a leader in contents and personal property restoration since 2016. 1-800-Packouts is part of the Five Star Franchising platform of home service brands.