If you’re a millennial interested in entrepreneurship, opening a franchise can be the right choice for you.
Chances are when you hear the word “franchisee” you think of a seasoned professional with solid business experience or maybe even someone a little older who’s already achieved success and now just wants to follow their passion. But if you’re a millennial interested in entrepreneurship, opening a franchise can be an excellent way to jump into business ownership.
Who Are Millennials
Millennials (those born between 1981-1996) have been characterized in a variety of ways, many of which tend to be negative - lazy, coddled, entitled and narcissistic. They also possess many traits, however, that make them not only excellent employees but ideal entrepreneurs:
- Curious – eager to learn and enjoy new experiences.
- Socially Conscious – a fervent desire to contribute to positive social change.
- Financially Cautious – prefer financial decisions that result in maintaining stability rather than quick wins.
- Tech Savvy – obsessed with technology.
- Collaborative – prefer teamwork to working individually.
Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Research conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that two out of three millennials are interested in entrepreneurship. And, according to Forbes magazine, 72 percent would like to be their own boss. In addition, 74 percent want flexible work schedules and 88 percent want “work-life integration,” acknowledging the blurred line between life and work.
In fact, some of the most successful businesses today are owned or operated by “Millennipreneurs” – a new generation of entrepreneurs under the age of 35. A BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur Report found that millennials are launching more businesses (an average of 8 compared to 4) at a younger average age (28 vs. 35) with a larger expected gross profit margin (33 percent to 28 percent) than baby boomers did.
But not everyone who wants to run their own business has access to all the components essential for success – business experience, familiarity with business systems and software and a support network to provide training and guidance. Franchising can help close that gap and provide an opportunity to go into business for yourself but not by yourself.
What Is Franchising
In a franchise business arrangement, a franchisee pays an initial fee and ongoing royalties in exchange for the right to sell a franchisor’s products or services, utilize their system of doing business and receive ongoing guidance and support. Opening a franchise lets you hit the ground running with a brand that’s already established.
Benefits of Franchising
Regardless of your age, franchising offers several benefits including:
- The independence of owning your own business with the support of a network behind you.
- Business experience isn’t necessarily a must since franchisors provide training and on-going support to operate within their business model.
- Owning your own business is hard, but franchises have a higher success rate than start-ups.
- It may cost less to buy a franchise than to build a new business from the ground up and many franchise brands offer owners financial assistance.
- Franchise brands provide an established reputation, proven management and business models, access to national advertising and ongoing support.
Benefits of Franchising for Millennials
Franchising can be especially appealing to millennials. Here are just a few of the advantages of franchise ownership unique to millennials:
- More time and attention to devote to nurturing a business, considering most aren’t yet constrained by family obligations. For those who have started a family, many franchise opportunities allow the flexibility to set your own schedule.
- Many franchise businesses target younger consumers and being closer to the target audiences’ age group can make it easier to connect. This is a definite advantage over someone a little older who may struggle to speak “millennialese.”
- Millennials unique and fresh perspectives can breathe new life into a business. Millennials have shown they’re not afraid to ditch the status quo and try new things.
- The opportunity to achieve your career aspirations by learning and growing within a proven business system that provides extensive training, support and guidance.
A Win-Win Situation for Millennials
With franchising – like any business venture – success is not guaranteed. The basic principles of good business management like discipline, hard work, dedication and commitment are still crucial for franchisees. But the franchise business model does help mitigate the risk of launching a new business. Since millennial entrepreneurs are younger than most investors, many do not have the financial nest egg built up to take significant risks, which makes franchising a great option.
In a franchise system, there are plenty of benefits for both franchisor and franchisee. Franchisees win by being able to build a rewarding future outside of the confines of a conventional career. Franchisors win by gaining insight into how they can make their products and services more appealing to the largest generation in the market while also injecting a fresh perspective into their business.