A major benefit to choosing a franchise opportunity over an independent small business startup is training assistance. Inexperienced entrepreneurs or those entering a new industry will find the training programs and initial operational assistance offered by many franchisors will help set the business in motion.

The amount of training offered (and to whom it's available) should be detailed on the franchise disclosure document. The key points to watch for are employee and management training (how many are trained and for how long), any costs required of the franchisee, and what kind of future support will be available as initial training ends and doors open for business.

Different industries require varying amounts and types of training. Food-based franchises, for example, may provide a class at the corporate headquarters or at a specific established branch, whereas retail or service businesses may involve more on-site or online instruction.

Whichever type of initial training a franchisor offers, initial opening and operations instruction is vital for many businesses. A strong training program will employ individual staff members sent to the new location to start developing everything from management structure and style to brand adherence and proper application of company policies.

Franchise opportunities that don't involve extensive training or require a large instructional fee may not lead to as successful of a business venture as those that have comprehensive programs. Properly training new subsidiaries ensures company cohesiveness and provides customers with a reliably consistent brand. Training also helps avoid branch failure: a badly managed or quickly shuttered division reflects poorly on the entire company.

A truly successful franchise training program considers each member on an individual basis. An inexperienced but eager branch manager, for example, may require (and request) a larger amount of assistance than a previous business owner. Similarly, two equally experienced entrepreneurs may have different requirements based on their knowledge of the specific industry of a particular franchise.

Further informational and educational advice and materials that are helpful for new franchisees include guides on products or services, employee relations and human resources, marketing, finance and technological matters. A strong franchise will maintain contact with franchisees.

Whatever the nature of the franchise opportunity and the necessity of instruction, training programs are key to success for potential franchisees. Carefully read the training and assistance sections of the disclosure documents before committing to a new business venture.

About Liberty Tax Service

Liberty Tax Service is the fastest-growing retail tax preparation company in the industry's history. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 8,000,000 individual income tax returns. With 42 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.

Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes "Top 20 Franchises to Start," and ranks #1 of the tax franchises on the Entrepreneur "Franchise 500." Each office provides computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing, and online filing through eSmart Tax.