When your coworking franchise is in rapid growth mode, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of strong training and support.
“When I came on board a year and a half ago, we had three locations,” said Garrett Hidalgo, Director of Training for Venture X. “Just recently, we opened our twenty-first location.”
All new Venture X franchise owners attend a two-week training session at their corporate headquarters. Two weeks is a significant time investment – but it doesn’t hurt that the training facility is in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Despite the subtropical locale, Venture X training is all business. According to Garrett, the core focus of the two-week course is to ensure all new franchise owners are ready to run their businesses when they leave.
“It can be daunting, and there are a lot of challenges that come with owning your own business,” said Garrett. “We are there side-by-side with them to walk them through the steps they need to go through.”
The Venture X training program for franchisees operates like a well-oiled machine, giving new owners the strategy, tools and guidance they need to operate a successful coworking franchise.
Here are the primary types of training and support we provide Venture X franchisees as they prepare to launch their businesses and as they operate:
1. Initial Two-Week Training
When Venture X franchise owners are becoming better acquainted with our brand and business model, there is a wide variety of areas they focus on. These include:
- Brand Education – A major focal point of the initial two-week training is providing new franchisees with a clear understanding of who Venture X is as a brand and where we fit into the coworking industry. Venture X franchisees are also educated on our brand standards and are able to solidify their elevator pitch. As a result, they leave their two-week training equipped with an in-depth understanding of how to position their business to potential clients.
- Competitive Analysis – We’re also dedicated to showing how Venture X differentiates itself from competitors in the coworking space. For example, there are brands that believe coworking should be a play-while-working setup with foosball tables, beer on tap, indoor putting greens and other amenities that many professionals find distracting in a workspace. Venture X, in contrast, is a modern coworking community that is focused on providing our clients with a productive work environment with concierge-style amenities.
- Business Development –Our membership plans and agreements are key points of discussion during initial training, as well as the strategies necessary to achieve our 100-percent occupancy goals. So, that includes talking about who the ideal member candidates are, tactics to improve lead generation and how to manage existing leads. For example, we cover how to create and distribute a proposal, follow-up strategies and walk through how to handle objections. At the same time, we work with franchisees to set goals and create daily checklists so they have a roadmap to achieve their business objectives.
In addition to these core areas, we also provide franchisees with best practices as it relates to identifying the best employee candidates to work in their shared workspace.
2. Three-Week On-site Training
We work with new Venture X franchise owners to ensure they’re as well prepared as possible to open their business ahead of their grand opening.
The initial stage of this three-week program is getting in touch with the owner and going through a checklist that helps set them up for success. For example, we ask that they have their community manager in place so they can be properly trained. We also advise new owners to sign up with their local chamber of commerce, as well as get their IT infrastructure set up. In other words, we’re providing the steps they should be taking and a timeline for completion to get them ready to open.
The next phase is called Community Development Week during which is when a member of the Venture X field support team will meet with the franchisee and his or her community manager. From there, we perform a boots-to-the-ground analysis of the local competition to see what their membership rates are so the local Venture X franchise owner can competitively and accurately price their membership plans. Our field support staff will also get the ball rolling by networking in the local business community to raise awareness that a new coworking workspace will soon be opening.
Lastly, we visit a new franchisee’s market for Marketing Setup. During this time, we conduct hard hat tours, which helps facilitate lead generation by getting people into the Venture X space and touring the facility.
3. Ongoing Support for Coworking Franchise Owners
Once Venture X franchise owners open their coworking space, we remain in close contact with them to ensure the lines of communication are open and nobody has questions left unanswered.
Each month, we conduct two webinars, which feature an industry expert as a panelist to discuss everything from how vendor programs work for franchisees and their members to hot topics in the industry that are impacting the owners’ coworking franchise businesses; or members of the Venture X training and support team will cover topics related to operations, including our workplace management system, payroll or similar areas. These webinars aren’t mandatory and are recorded, so it’s up to the discretion of the franchisee to attend.
Meanwhile, we conduct monthly or bi-monthly field visits to Venture X locations that last three or four days. The primary goal for these on-site visit is to help with new hires, identifying development opportunities and work with franchisees to assist in growing their membership base. We assist the location with grassroots efforts, helping them get entrenched in the new market and build relationships. One of the best ways to do that is by holding events in the spaces, allowing small businesses to mingle and socialize and hear from keynote speakers.
In addition to field visits, we’ve also established relationships with an online marketing company that helps feed leads to our customer relationship management system, which is connected to our workplace management system that franchisees can access to follow up with leads in their local market. On top of that, we’ve partnered with online brokers that function similarly to travel broker websites like Priceline or Expedia, helping individuals that are looking for a coworking space find one nearby that best suits their needs.
Venture X is only as successful as our franchisees. It’s this fact that compels us to put forth an exceptional level of effort into making sure our training and support programs are truly moving the needle for franchise owners.
Backed by the 30+ years’ experience of United Franchise Group and partnered with coworking industry leaders such as the Global Workspace Association and essensys, we are well equipped to set our franchise owners up for success.