Consultants meetup March 2019As well as providing lots of one to one support for our franchise partners, we think it’s really important they develop relationships with each other. This gives them good peer support and the ability to see how others have progressed at different stages of their business and one of the ways we do this is by getting them together.

We do this at least once a year, and for the last few years this has meant taking them all to the CIPD Conference and Exhibition in Manchester in November. They enjoy the conference and we do some bonding as a team and go out for a meal, but they don’t spend a lot of focused time together because they’re at seminars and workshops a lot of the time.

So when one of our franchise partners said she would find it really useful to get together more often we decided to add a second meetup earlier in the year and for the last couple of years this has been in the form of an in-house training day. Although that obviously represents an increased cost to us, we want to ensure they feel supported and benefit as much as possible from working with us.

We planned it for March this year and asked the franchise partners what content they would find most useful. As a result of talking to them, for our morning session, we engaged an external trainer to deliver a LinkedIn training session concentrating on lead generation, content creation and identifying potential referrers/clients and how to approach them.  I know all our franchise partners went away with tons of ideas, tips and motivation for raising their profiles and actively engaging with existing and potential contacts.

In our afternoon session we had a round table discussion where we asked them to highlight one particular challenge they were each having in their business that they would like the other consultants’ input on solving.  Some of those problems were, time management – not having enough hours in the day!, how to make the most out of exhibitions and working with a baby – how to make the most when childcare is restrictive.

We concluded by asking if there were any services we could provide centrally which we weren’t currently doing.  It’s essential to us to make sure our consultants are getting what they need from working with us, so we try and consult with them all the time on how we can make things better, and what additional tools/guidance/support/activities would help them make a success of their business.

It was wonderful to see them all together, exchanging tips and experiences, and to know they went away with some real gains from the day, enhanced relationships with each other and feeling as though they are fully supported in their business. Which is what we’re all about!

 

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