Franchising provides an ideal opportunity for late business bloomers
As the franchise industry evolves, many assume it’s beginning to become a young person’s game, attracting a range of diverse entrepreneurs with the promise of innovation and new direction.
While it’s true that there’s been a significant rise in the younger generation entering the industry, highlighted in the 2018 British Franchise Association NatWest franchise survey, which showed under-30s represented 27 per cent of all new recruits in the previous two years, the older generation continues to play an important part in the sector.
Top franchisee profile
The results of the survey revealed that overall over- 50s have remained the top franchisee profile since 2005, making up 35 per cent of all franchisees in 2018.
As much as it’s good news that the industry is bringing in fresh faces and embracing a new generation, we cannot forget the wealth of talent, experience and ambition the over-50s can offer franchisors.
An aspect of the franchise industry that’s appealing to those considering becoming a franchisee is the provision of expert training and initial and ongoing support and guidance from a franchisor. This can be particularly appealing to under-30s, who have not amassed the same experience and knowledge as an older prospect.
However, this doesn’t mean you become business savvy overnight, with the survey revealing that 52 per cent of franchisors cite a lack of business acumen as a reason for not granting a franchise licence.
This proves that baby boomers continue to have an edge on other demographics, as their accumulation of skills, coupled with their experience, makes them an ideal partner for businesses looking to put their brand in someone else’s hands.
Additionally, over-50s will more likely have the financial capacity to fund a franchise. This is a significant issue for franchisors looking to recruit franchisees, with insufficient capital topping the reasons for not granting a franchise. Of course, every case is different, but many people have been saving their entire working lives, giving them the capital necessary to invest in their own business.
No cut-off date
Ultimately, there isn’t a deadline for when it’s acceptable to chase your dream. Franchisees come in all shapes and sizes and all have unique journeys, personalities and experience.
For the industry to continue to thrive and move forward in 2020, we’re dependent on growing diversity and the acceptance of people who are choosing to invest their expertise and talent in franchising, whether they’re Generation Z or coming towards the twilight of their careers.
Pip Wilkins is CEO of the British Franchise Association