The first responsibility of any business is make a profit… at least eventually.
Without profitability a business can’t look after its staff or customers because it won’t be here. I know a business can survive for a bit as long as there’s cash, but long term profitability has to be the goal.
And, to be honest, that is often the focus of our training… no, that’s not true. It’s always the focus of our training in the business world, whether it’s management, sales or in franchising.
That’s why it’s been so great over the last week that two independent franchisors have told me how well their networks are performing. Both are royalty based models and are still in the early stages of network building. Both have solid processes, a great product and the franchisor thinks like a franchisor; i.e. they regard franchising as their product, rather than what they originally did.
But there the similarity ends. The franchisees’ business models are different and they operate in completely different market sectors.
Independently they have both said that they can see their royalty base growing month on month as franchisees who joined their networks begin to put on customers. Both are delighted that they have created franchise models.
Okay, all well and good but what’s that got to do with training?
Well, it’s quite simple. Training has to support business goals, but business goals should, ultimately be about sustainability, which means making profit. In the case of the two franchisors, we were able to understand what franchisees needed to do to make a profit, trained them to do it and now the direct line to the franchisor’s profitability has both been drawn and is being proven.
So how does training do this?
Well, in two ways. Firstly, training, or more accurately the trainer (or even more accurately, the training designer) has to understand the business goals and what the training has to achieve. Even more importantly training has to understand the direct link between what it does and how it will affect the business. If a direct link can’t be established, then any training might just be a waste of time. (It might not be, but that’s quite a gamble.)
This is just as true in corporate world as it is in franchising, although, in franchising, the direct link is easier to establish.
Secondly, training has to justify itself. There’s this book called Running Training Like a Business by two guys called David Van Adelsberg and Edward A Trolley. The sub title of the book is Delivering Unmistakable Value and unless training can do that, don’t bother with it.