Why Video May Be the Most Effective Format When It Comes to Training New Franchisees

A cost-efficient solution for training your new owners awaits.

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By Trevor Rappleye

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Franchisors love to tout the training and support offered to franchisees in their system, which is designed to provide an education on the ownership and operation of their respective brands. It's vital to communicate the instructions that make up the corporate training process, as the majority of franchise concepts make the valid claim that prior industry experience isn't necessary to run the business models. But when job safety and accident prevention are often key components, you simply can't underestimate the value and importance of training new franchisees.

This is why some franchisors go all out during the onboarding phase. Many have developed elaborate programs, billed as "[insert brand here] University," that provide countless hours of classroom and on-the-job training sessions. But are these dry, classroom-style sessions truly the most effective – and cost-efficient – way to reach new franchisees?

In search of a better and more cost-effective solution to training new franchisees, should brands consider transitioning their valuable resources and money elsewhere? Below makes the case for using video as the primary medium.

Related: 4 Big Benefits of Improved Employee Training

What's at stake

Training new franchisees on operating a business model where they often have no prior experience requires a serious and sober approach, especially if new owners plan to handle the day-to-day operations. For instance, you can't expect a former CPA to run a pest-control franchise without first communicating the associated risks and hazards that come with handling dangerous and harmful pesticides and chemicals. Just the same, a successful medical device sales executive has no business operating a chainsaw at great heights soon after purchasing a tree-trimming franchise. In both of these cases, communicating the associated workplace risks is every bit as important as teaching new franchisees how to acquire new customers and manage online ad campaigns.

The value propositions of video

What franchisors should value more than any other aspect of the training process is engagement. And securing the right level of engagement requires a training program that's interesting, informative and even appealing. If franchisees find the instruction to be entertaining and enjoyable, they're much more likely to retain the knowledge you're trying to communicate. Forrester Research has conducted studies that reveal employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read documents, web articles or emails. And thanks to the repetition and sharing that videos allow, retention rates rise, increasing trainees' ability to remember details and concepts.

One study, undertaken by the SAVO Group, found that — in the absence of video learning — employees were unable to retain as much as 65% of the material presented. Instructional video also allows for consistent messaging, meaning the information franchisors need to convey is absorbed equally by viewers. Lastly, the use of video — an effective, portable and engaging medium — also comes with metrics, allowing franchisors to track views, sharing, comments and even downloads. Why the discrepancies in effectiveness? Most experts attribute this to a theory known as The Cone of Experience, which holds that individuals can recall up to 50% of what is presented to them. If that sounds discouraging, the recall rate is 30% for what they see, 20% for what they hear and only 10% for what they've read.

Related: How to Scale Your Training with Video and Learning Management Systems

Is eLearning a thing?

The sudden onset of the global pandemic brought radical changes to many industries and business channels that needed to adapt quickly to the public health threat. Education, with its pivot to online, or eLearning, offers one of the strongest examples. But is eLearning a thing? Video-based instruction and visual learning entered the mainstream almost overnight, and the results have been intriguing.

Businesses and organizations are in near-total agreement that videos help them train their employees better and faster, and they plan to continue using the medium as part of their overall digital learning strategy. The flexibility that comes with video instruction has proven invaluable. Through video learning, users have the ability to pause, rewind and even rewatch content — giving the viewer full control over learning and comprehension of the proposed subject matter.

How video saves time, money and resources

The current training programs and onboarding platforms offered by many franchisors require the repetition of expenses in time, money and resources. It's a time-consuming process, but transitioning to video could eliminate a majority of repetitive fixed costs. There are no scheduling conflicts or plane tickets to secure for instructors or franchise trainees. There are no venues to book, rooms to reserve or meals to cater. In fact, with the simplicity that comes from video training, trainees can absorb the required instruction whenever and wherever they choose — including the comfort of their own homes.

As industries across the spectrum continue their rapid transformation to an all-digital world, the portability, engagement and effectiveness of video will play a central role in the comprehension of valuable information. The world of franchising is particularly suited to take advantage of the benefits that video production offers, and they go well beyond training programs. Many leading brands, as well as several upstart and emerging concepts, are already reaping the benefits of integrating video into their platforms. Video has become an effective tool for franchise development, recruitment, training, sales, customer acquisition and even ongoing support. Those that have invested in high-quality, brand-specific content for numerous franchise programs and initiatives will continue to reap the whirlwind of success associated with a powerful and consistent medium — video production.

Related: How to Create A Video-Based Employee Onboarding Program To Maximize New Hire Productivity

Trevor Rappleye

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

CEO & Storyteller

Trevor Rappleye has been an entrepreneur since 2013 - beginning his first company at age 13 converting VHS to DVD. He now owns CorporateFilming.com & FranchiseFilming.com and is obsessed with storytelling, leadership, video marketing and filming social proof for brands.

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