Mentoring is not a novel concept. It is in fact, an ancient one. Think about the link between Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle who together laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science. Aristotle, the student of Plato then went on to mentor Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king that would conquer the known world in the third century B.C. Fast forward to the 21st century, we have Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg listing Steve Jobs as one of his mentors while Bill Gates credits businessman and investor, Warren Buffet as the mentor who taught him how to deal with tough situations!
The point I am trying to make here is that an experienced mentor and a good mentorship program can be invaluable to a person’s personal and professional development. This is even more important when you’re on the verge of starting your own business. No doubt it is an exciting phase of life, but it can also be a little scary, especially if you're venturing into a field that you don’t have a great deal of experience with. At such times, a good mentorship program can go a long way in empowering you and increasing your chances of success.
Mentoring in Franchising
Mentoring is vital for success in the franchising world. Armed with strong training and an active mentoring program, it can be the defining factor that can make or break a new franchise. A mentoring program in a franchise system can include one-on-one mentoring, as well as a company-wide support system that can be tapped into at any time to help new franchisees.
Let’s talk in more detail about why one of the first few questions any prospective franchise owner should ask while considering a franchise ownership.
Mentoring in the Workplace Mitigates the Stress of Starting a New Business
Imagine a person who’s learned the basics of swimming but has never swum without a flotation device. And now imagine that this person decides to jump head first into the deep end. If that were you, wouldn’t you feel better if your swimming coach was in the water with you, reassuring you, providing support and advice, and making sure that you stayed afloat?
Well that’s exactly what mentoring in franchising does for new franchisees: it provides support and assistance when you need it most. A mentor is someone who has been where you are, who has learned the ropes, and who has mastered the skills required to perform the job successfully. As such, mentoring activities with that person will help you, as a new franchisee, to immerse yourself in the business and become a leader in your own right.
Training to Help Guarantee Success
A franchise without training is like jumping into the pool when you don’t know how to swim at all, so training is another integral element for new franchisee success. Especially when it comes to companies that have been around for many years, they’ve probably gone through plenty of trial and error to determine their own best practices, and only a proper training program will teach you all about the details and strategies that set the company apart from the competition.
Elements That Make a Good Mentorship and Training Program
To be as effective as possible, there are some elements that good mentoring programs must have. For one, the training and mentoring should be an ongoing endeavor, because even seasoned veterans need help and support from time to time. Other factors that make a superior mentoring plan include:
- The training should cover how to understand and promote the brand
- Training should be organized, structured, and hands-on
- Franchisees should immediately learn about the resources that are available to them and where to go for help
- Training should provide explicit information about job details and expectations
- The trainer should have proven mentoring skills like communication, listening, knowledge, experience, and a desire to teach
- It should show franchisees how to understand the needs of clients and customers, and how to help them most effectively
Properly trained franchisees that have mentors they can rely on are more engaged, have higher levels of job satisfaction, and will consequently have a better chance at success. If you're looking into franchising possibilities, make sure you seek out a franchise that has an established and successful training and mentorship program. The program should teach you everything you need to know about finding success with your venture, including where to find help, how to best perform the duties of your job, and what to expect from that career.
WSI Training and Support
At WSI, the world's largest network of Digital Marketing Consultants, we take training and mentorship programs very seriously. Not only do we provide ongoing training for franchisees, but we also have a sophisticated mentoring program that pairs experienced franchisees with new ones. This gives our new franchisees a worldwide network of coworkers and partners that they can look to for help whenever they need it. Our training initiatives begin the moment you get on board the WSI business. Our Consultants get access to a world-class mentorship program consisting of WSI’s exhaustive eLearning modules, interactive in-class training, and a Quick Start Program (QSP) that a franchise can benefit from at the beginning of their career as a WSI Digital Marketing Consultant.
But this is not all. WSI has a dedicated Education department that designs and makes available some of the most updated resources and learning opportunities so that a Consultant is never lost in the highly competitive digital work.
To run a successful business, an entrepreneur must have support. Whether it’s emotional support from family and friends or informational support from a mentor, at the right moment, support can prop up a business that might otherwise falter. The WSI community is very gracious with their time and support of others in the system. Whether our franchise owner has a question that they need answering, want advice on a client situation, or they just want to be reminded that they are part of a larger organization and network, with the WSI business, support is never in short supply.
Learn more about WSI and what we can offer you by downloading the WSI Franchise Report.