Terry Powell is the multi-brand franchisor and founder of Franchise Source Brands International (FSBI), a network of franchises and a national leader in franchise coaching. The company started in 1983 and began franchising in 1999, and since then it has worked with hundreds of franchise companies to help them award the right franchises to the best people. In addition, the company’s primary foundation--The Entrepreneur’s Source--is currently the prime franchise and business ownership coaching organization in North America.
According to Powell, FSBI uses a multi-structured franchise model with individual unit franchises, area and regional developer franchises. Prior to developing the franchise concept, the company worked in the franchise sector for 14 years with roughly 600 franchisors, helping companies plan and execute key decisions in their business model that would initiate advances in their business performance.
Powell recognizes that training must come first when a company decides to franchise. He believes in keeping many elements of the training program simple in order to make the education process more accessible to trainees; however, simple does not mean easy. Powell comments, “One of the biggest challenges with being a franchisor is that we create simple processes, and then we bring intelligent human beings who typically like to complicate things. It is human nature and one of the greatest challenges of a franchisor."
To help ease anxiety, FSBI provides a pre-training progran that gives franchisee the opportunity to become familiar with the TES System and concept beforehand. The first training event is comprised of a six- to eight-day onsite educational progam with the FSBI’s training team, which Powell describes as “pretty intense.”
Powell further describes training for FSBI: “We expose attendees to the type of scenarios they will deal with when they get back home. We make sure they have the skill sets that are important to be successful in their business. After the first event and for a period of 90 days, they follow a detailed training program we call JumpStart, with a regional developer and our virtual training team.”
FSBI uses the acronym SYSTEM—Save Yourself Significant Time, Energy, and Money—to describe various applications of its training process. Powell tells franchises that training is like being on a super six-lane highway: “Not everybody has to be in the same lane; different people will have different ways and speeds of ramping up and learning. The guardrails are on the outer lanes of those six lanes and as long as you are within the guardrails you will be okay. You can make all the mistakes you want and you should. It is when you step outside of the guardrail of the System that mistakes can be costly."
Training also involves weekly education opportunities that can be accessed anytime. FSBI uses an online training program that gives franchises an opportunity to learn at their own pace. Franchises can then take that information and work with the regional developer in the company’s training team to make sure they’re utilizing the information properly.
Powell recognizes that the traditional classroom approach to training may not be ideal, especially for adults: “Unlike the school system in our country that takes everybody in the beginning and takes them through levels, training really doesn’t work that way. It’s challenging to train adults; they already have winning formulas that they’ve put into place, they’ve got a set of habits based on their last winning formulas and they come into our training holding on to that. So, we set the stage and help them let go of their past winning formula and embrace a new one.”
For any company to be successful, training must be a continual process. Powell describes how his company believes training should be a life-long process and not just a one-time event: “We did some research to see how that worked for most brands and realized that training, and ongoing education, really needs to be a life-long event. Training in our organization is part of our culture.”
About Franchise Source Brands International
Multi-brand franchising offers some of the most robust growth in the entire franchise industry and today, nearly half of all franchise units are controlled by multi-unit operators. These trends mark the most significant developments in all of franchising. The structure of FSBI reflects these emerging trends allowing FSBI to fully exert the influence made possible by its unique position in the world of franchising. As an authoritative franchising voice, FSBI has the potential to shape an even greater slice of the industry, controlling what amounts to a “critical mass” in the franchising world. With this influence, future revenue of FSBI conservatively becomes geometric. FSBI would initiate and reap the benefits of future industry trends. The core network of FSBI brands will evolve to address the ongoing concerns of entrepreneurs operating in the economy-at-large.
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