How to Onboard New Franchise Owners After You Sell a Franchise

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As a franchisor, selling a franchise is just the beginning of a new partnership. To set franchisees up for success and ensure the smooth operation of your franchise system, a well-structured onboarding process is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the steps involved in onboarding new franchise owners, from the initial sale to their successful launch and beyond, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge, resources, and support they need to thrive in their new venture.

Step 1: Pre-Sale Preparation and Planning

1. Develop Onboarding Materials: Create comprehensive onboarding materials, including manuals, training modules, videos, and checklists, to guide new franchise owners through the onboarding process.

2. Assign a Dedicated Onboarding Team: Designate a team of experienced professionals to oversee the onboarding process and provide ongoing support to new franchisees.

3. Customize Onboarding Plans: Tailor onboarding plans to the specific needs and circumstances of each new franchise owner, considering factors such as location, background, and experience.

Read more on planning and preparing for Franchising Your Business:

Step 2: Pre-Opening Training and Support

1. Orientation and Introduction: Conduct an orientation session to welcome new franchise owners to the franchise system, introduce key team members, and provide an overview of the onboarding process.

2. Operations Training: Offer comprehensive training on all aspects of franchise operations, including policies, procedures, systems, and best practices. This may cover areas such as sales, marketing, finance, human resources, and customer service.

3. Technical Training: Provide hands-on training and demonstrations of any proprietary technology, equipment, or software used in the franchise business, ensuring that franchisees are proficient in their use.

How to build a Solid Franchise Training Program:

Step 3: Site Selection and Build-Out

1. Site Selection Assistance: Offer guidance and support to new franchise owners in selecting an optimal location for their franchise unit, considering factors such as demographics, traffic patterns, competition, and zoning regulations.

2. Build-Out Support: Assist franchisees in the build-out process, providing recommendations for contractors, architects, and vendors, and ensuring compliance with brand standards and specifications.

3. Equipment and Inventory Procurement: Facilitate the procurement of equipment, fixtures, signage, and inventory needed to launch the franchise unit, negotiating favorable pricing and terms on behalf of franchisees.

Step 4: Pre-Opening Marketing and Promotion

1. Marketing Strategy Development: Collaborate with new franchise owners to develop a customized marketing strategy and promotional plan tailored to their target market and objectives.

2. Marketing Materials and Collateral: Provide franchisees with marketing materials, templates, and collateral to support their pre-opening marketing efforts, including signage, flyers, social media graphics, and advertising templates.

3. Local Marketing Support: Offer guidance and assistance to franchisees in executing local marketing initiatives, such as grand opening events, community outreach, and grassroots marketing campaigns.

Step 5: Grand Opening and Launch

1. Grand Opening Event: Coordinate a grand opening event to generate excitement and awareness for the new franchise unit, inviting local dignitaries, media representatives, and members of the community to celebrate the occasion.

2. Operations Support: Provide on-site support and assistance to franchisees during the initial launch phase, ensuring that all systems, processes, and procedures are functioning smoothly and efficiently.

3. Customer Engagement: Implement strategies to drive customer traffic and engagement during the grand opening period, such as special promotions, discounts, giveaways, and loyalty programs.

Step 6: Post-Opening Training and Support

1. Ongoing Training Programs: Offer ongoing training and professional development opportunities to franchisees and their staff, covering topics such as sales techniques, customer service skills, product knowledge, and operational efficiency.

2. Performance Monitoring and Feedback: Monitor the performance of franchise units on an ongoing basis, providing regular feedback, coaching, and support to franchisees to address any issues or challenges that may arise.

3. Continuous Improvement: Continuously evaluate and refine the onboarding process based on feedback from franchisees, identifying areas for improvement and implementing changes to enhance the overall experience.

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Step 7: Ongoing Support and Relationship Building

1. Franchise Advisory Councils: Establish franchise advisory councils or committees to facilitate communication, collaboration, and feedback between franchisors and franchisees, ensuring that the voices and perspectives of franchisees are heard and valued.

2. Regional Support Teams: Assign dedicated regional support teams to provide localized assistance and support to franchisees, addressing region-specific challenges and opportunities.

3. Annual Conventions and Meetings: Host annual conventions, meetings, or conferences to bring together franchise owners from across the system, fostering networking, learning, and collaboration opportunities.

Watch Chris Conner present how to onboard a new franchisee after signing the Franchise Agreement:

Onboarding new franchise owners is a critical process that sets the stage for long-term success and mutual growth within a franchise system. By following a structured and comprehensive onboarding process, franchisors can ensure that new franchisees are equipped with the knowledge, resources, and support they need to thrive in their new venture. From pre-sale preparation and training to ongoing support and relationship building, effective onboarding lays the foundation for a strong and prosperous partnership between franchisors and franchisees, driving success for years to come.

For more information on how to onboard a new franchisee after selling the Franchise, contact FMS Franchise: