Potential franchisees will rarely have experience in The Interface Financial Group's (IFG) particular industry as it’s very narrow in terms of the dedicated service that it provides. For this reason, thorough training is imperative to every franchisee’s success. We spoke with David Banfield, the company’s President for the past 25 years, to learn more about IFG's franchisee training practices and their management of franchisee operations.
Created in 1972, IFG provides short-term funding solutions for businesses by purchasing their accounts receivable invoices from them. When businesses have immediate access to money they would otherwise experience a delay in receiving, they are able to accelerate their growth and profitability at a much faster rate.
How does IFG train their franchisees?
IFG utilizes a three-module training approach that grants their franchisees an opportunity to learn the ropes of the business while fully supporting their endeavors along the way. While they may have a partner or spouse working alongside them, franchisees have no direct employees of their own. IFG’s standard training approach is designed for all franchisees, as each one will own a single franchise unit that conforms to the franchisor’s business practices.
Within one week of becoming a franchisee, the individual begins a self-directed training program. IFG provides access to operational manuals with a training guide that directs the franchisee to specific areas of study within the manual. Franchisees must learn the required sections, a prerequisite process that takes anywhere from one to three weeks, before moving on to Module Two.
The formal training period for franchisees, Module Two, is a two-day cram session which takes place at IFG’s North American head office and training center in Bethesda, Maryland. With the most vital information already gleaned from the manual before this phase even begins, franchisees are immediately immersed in the theory and practice of what The Interface Financial Group does, including the documentation and legality of their industry. A large portion of Module Two also addresses the marketing of their service, building a franchisee’s portfolio, and attracting clients who need to obtain short-term financing.
Also known as field training, Module Three brings a senior training person directly to the franchisee’s location. Over the course of two days, franchisees will network and develop a base of contacts in their local area. In North America, this network consists of contacts in the banking industry. IFG arranges for the franchisees to meet with contacts at the most suitable banks to initiate relationships that will later generate referrals to the franchisee. During this field training period, franchisees will have anywhere from 8-12 appointments at local banks, all pre-engineered by IFG to ensure the best possible connections are made for the franchisee.
Following the completion of IFG’s three training modules, franchisees take part in an additional 13-week coaching and mentoring program. To give franchisees optimal training opportunities, various portions of the mentoring process rely on different people—most of whom are franchisees, themselves. “Theory and practice shows that people that do this and have some training ability are the very best people to train others,” according to Banfield. A solid connection is immediately forged between the mentor and the franchisee because the mentor performs the exact same work that the franchisee is learning to do.
The Interface Financial Group’s comprehensive approach to training establishes a foundation of knowledge, experience, and support that perpetuates the continued success of their franchisees.
IFG's unique solution for consistency
Franchisees must sign a franchise agreement and they are required to adhere to written brand guidelines presented by the franchisor. Where many franchisors will experience difficulty with documentation and paperwork being done correctly, The Interface Financial Group’s distinct 50/50 approach to doing business avoids this issue altogether. The franchisee brings potential clients and transactions to the table; in turn, the franchisor completes all of the paperwork on the franchisee’s behalf, essentially creating a “paperless franchise” for the franchisee. This not only lessens the workload for the franchisee, but it allows the franchisor to ensure that every single transaction adheres to their business guidelines. The franchisor and franchisee conduct their business together as a team. Both parties have to agree on the viability of every transaction before it gets underway and no transactions are ever completed alone.
About The Interface Financial Group
With over 100 units in nine countries, Interface Franchise Owners provide clients with immediate solutions to their cash flow problems. Interface clients are the owners and managers of businesses with current, quality receivables, who seek to convert those receivables into immediate cash to fuel their expansion needs.
With a net worth requirement of $100,000 and franchisee fee of $34,500, IFG has been franchising since 2014 and hopes to expand even further in 2016. For more information about franchising with IFG visit interfacefinancial.com.
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