Starting a franchise requires you to develop plans, guides, and manuals. Chief among these is the Franchise Operations Manual, which serves as a foundational document and guidepost for your corporate culture and mission.
Get in-depth information about the Franchise Operations Manual, including standard layout, sections, and how to go about researching and drafting your own manual. This guide helps you get essential details about a key part of any franchise.
Learn about the Franchise Operations Manual in this article, and get started on your own franchising journey today!
What are the Franchise Operations Manuals?
A Franchise Operations Manual incorporating information essential to the initial and ongoing operations of a franchise serves several very important functions in a franchise system. The franchise manual acts as:
- A sales tool for prospective franchisees – for whom it acts as a demonstration of your expertise and the depth of your systems
- A training guide for new franchisees
- A reference tool for established franchisees
- A legally enforceable quality control document – without it, you cannot enforce system standards
- A cost control tool – saving both the franchisee and the franchisor money by improving and systemizing operations (labor control, purchasing controls, etc.)
- An important part of your defense in vicarious liability actions — by helping the franchisor clearly establish the franchisee as an independent contractor and explaining important areas of compliance
A typical franchise operations manual (sometimes divided into multiple manual documents) will be 300 – 500 pages in length and
should contain dozens (and perhaps hundreds) of photos demonstrating the franchisor’s standards of operations. While some franchisors will choose the Do-It-Yourself method, they often will learn quickly that the development of a good manual can literally take 2,000 hours or more of dedicated time. By working with the iFranchise Group, you would generally expect to devote less than 30 hours of time – mostly spent talking with our consultants at your own location – prior to the receipt of the first draft of a manual. For a typical manual, the entire drafting process takes us about 16 weeks to complete.
In addition to Operations Manuals, the iFranchise Group will work with some clients on the development of formal training programs for franchisees. These training programs are designed to help the franchisor consistently train franchisees (using the Franchise Operations Manual as a textbook) – and are most valuable for companies with more aggressive growth plans.
A typical franchisee training program will include
- Day-by-day and hour-by-hour agendas
- Lesson plans
- PowerPoint slides covering each classroom topic in detail
- Suggested speaking points and “teacher’s notes”
- Recommendations as to use of outside resources
- Role playing exercises
- On-site activities and hands-on training procedures
- And, of course, it will include all quizzes and tests that will allow you to document your franchisee’s assimilation of the information you are training
In addition to Franchise Operations Manuals and Training Programs, the iFranchise Group can also develop:
- Train-the-Trainer Manuals and Programs – designed to help franchisees train their own staff on a consistent basis
- Pre-Opening Manuals – designed to help franchisors whose businesses are highly site dependent locate, negotiate, and build-out franchised locations
- Master Franchise Operations Manuals – which will incorporate information on franchisee recruitment, franchise sales, pre-opening support, ongoing support, and reporting for those franchisors with International Master Franchises or Licenses or those operating domestically using an Area Representative (or Development Agent) program
- Training Videos for franchisee employees – video is a great tool to push down standards of quality to the lowest levels of the organization (we have our own in-house video department that specializes in franchise sales and training videos)
- Online learning systems – the iFranchise Group can help you to position your Operations Manuals, Training Programs, Training Videos, and Tests online in an organized curriculum that will selectively train and test all of the franchisee’s employees.
- Franchisor training tools – in addition to providing training tools for the franchisee and their employees, the iFranchise Group also develops training tools for franchisors including Field Representative Operations Manuals and other tools for unit level performance improvement as well as manuals documenting franchisor operations.
For information about how the iFranchise Group can help you in the vital area of quality control, call us at 708-957-2300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like information on how you can minimize the threat of litigation by developing professional Operations Manuals and taking other related steps, click here to receive our free webinar on Litigation in Franchising.