The content for a franchise operations manual is more perplex than most people recognize. More than simply putting collected information together, the manual is a step-by-step directive that guides the reader on how to replicate a certain franchise concept and its operations.
As a structured document that facilitates knowledge transfer from the franchisor to the franchisee, the manual must be practical and constructed to be as easy to use as possible - there’s no point having a comprehensive manual which no one uses.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what type of content should be found in the manual.
What Should Be Included In The Franchise Operations Manual?
As a typical practice, a typical manual should cover the following topics:
This section will provide a basic introduction of the franchisor's company history, vision and mission, philosophy and beliefs.
Franchise System & Setup
This section will provide information on how the franchisor will provide support and assistance to franchisees. Specifications for the prototypical franchise unit should also be included within this section, along with a Pre-opening Checklist for franchisees to check back upon.
Products & Services
This section will provide a descriptive catalog for the franchise business' product and/or service offerings. Customization for local preferences for current offerings should also be included within this section.
This section will provide information on employee job descriptions, recruitment and termination processes. Location-specific information, such as labour laws, could also be included but needs to be clearly defined.
This section will provide information on processes and methodology to highlight the necessary actions required in order for business operations to run smoothly on a daily basis. Where possible, processes should be detailed in a step-by-step format to minimize doubts. Customer service policies and procedures, including handling of complaints, should also be found within this section.
This section will provide guidelines for implementing marketing and advertising campaigns or activities.
Accounting & Reporting
This section will provide guidelines for back-of-house operations, focusing on compliance procedures for administrative management of the franchise business, including accounting standards when financially reporting by franchisees to the franchisor.
The Franchise Operations Manual Forms The Backbone Of Franchise Operations
A modest franchise system may work with some documents scattered around but as the operations develop and mature, all these information needs to be assembled in sync to form an operationally capable manual. As the the business could be built from the manual, an effective manual will form the foundations for franchise operations, leading to consistent and enhanced performance by franchisees. Both the franchisor and frachisees will benefit as the franchise system will be better defined, thereby increasing chances of success for both parties.