Social Learning for Franchisors, a Win-Win Proposition

Many Franchisors are still doing training the old-fashion way, bringing franchisors to the home office and using PowerPoint slides and killing their franchises one bullet-point at a time!  Many follow up that classroom training with an e-learning series on “How to do this” or “How to manage that”.  While these are very affordable to produce and deliver, they don’t always result in permanent behavior changes and fail to meet the desired business results.  Worse yet, maintaining consistent brand messaging from one franchisee to another is a taxing and expensive job. How can you as franchisor leverage today’s Web 2.0 technology effectively to better support your franchisees and to provide a platform for them to learn from each other?

Social networking has been at the forefront of innovative technology for the last few years and email is becoming passé as the younger generation enters the workforce in droves.  The reason for this shift is the ease of which people have utilized these platforms to connect and engage with others.  No longer do we have to ask for their contact information now we just find them within the network.  Then, they can easily share data, send messages, stories and links to resources they’ve found valuable.

While services like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great for being social they are not great for your proprietary and confidential company information.  Developing a Private-Label Social Network gives you all the benefits of a social network platform for your organization without all of the security holes.

Now you can connect your franchisees and engage them in your business like never before.  You can deliver training to them via your LMS, and then have them continue the discussion with blogs, forums and outside links to support their learning. They can share success stories (with photos and video) and post their road blocks to success as well as how they overcame them.  Providing you real time information as to what is happening on the front lines of your business.  All of this occurs while developing a knowledge database of franchisees’ expertise to help others in the future.

Delivering the tools and the forum for the franchises to be successful will keep them happy and help attract new ones while relieving some of the burdens and costs you face bringing them up to speed on the business.  As Mark Siebert pointed out in his column for Entrepreneur Magazine-

“Successful franchisees pay more royalties, require less support, provide great public relations, buy more franchises for themselves and promote the brand to new franchisees. Failing franchisees cost more, pay less and make it harder to sell and grow.”

Shortening time-to-competency means more prosperous and connected franchisees, at a reduced investment for you.