Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, explains why young people are the future of franchising
Millennials have it tougher than most generations. The prospect of owning a house is a far offdream, while student loans, rising bills and earning a decent income to support themselves is becoming increasingly difficult.
However, working for yourself, taking the plunge and getting into franchising can be one way of putting your future in your own hands. I spoke to a number of young franchisees about how they got into it and why it’s a ‘risk’ worth taking.
Franchising offers an opportunity for the younger generation to have their own business with the support of a wider network with an airtight business model. You can share in the success of a business that has been through the trial and error process and learned from its mistakes.
Almas Adam, winner of the bfa HSBC Young Franchisee of the Year 2018 Award, is a multi-franchise owner of Right at Home, which provides in-home care. He recognises how franchising is ideal for people who might otherwise be afraid of failure.
“Trying to start up your business alone is a longer process, compared to opening a franchise,” Almas says.
“With an independent business, you would have to create your own processes, understand the market and so you learn from your mistakes. But with franchising, the franchisor has already learned from their mistakes. They give you the solutions.”
This is echoed by Oliver Wood, who first opened his Greensleeves franchise when he was just 19.
He appreciates the support of the franchisor and network of franchisees: “The support of others in the network gives you confidence to know you can do it - you see them succeeding, so believe you can too. When there is uncertainty, franchising saves you from making mistakes, reducing the time wasted.”
Helen Bell, franchisee for Razzamataz Theatre Schools, found the support provided by her franchisor invaluable.
“Franchising has given me the support I needed in the early days to hit the ground running, while allowing me room to be creative and put my own stamp on things,” she says.
“Franchising has been the perfect way for me to achieve my dreams of owning my own business and doing this in an industry I’m so passionate about is the icing on the cake.”
While the franchising model works because there’s a proven system, that doesn’t mean there’s never any wiggle room for ideas. After all, it was a McDonald’s franchisee who came up with the Big Mac.
Oliver agrees and appreciates that franchising has allowed him to gain independence and accomplish great things: “Franchising is definitely the way forward. You won’t be working for someone else - at their beck and call, helping them to benefit from your efforts.
“When you run your own franchise, the effort you put into growing your business is yours. You gain the reward.”
Speaking to these inspiring franchisees, it’s not hard to see that for many millennials the future is in franchising. And with the latest industry statistics showing more younger people are getting involved, it only bodes well for the future of the industry.
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