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Opinions expressed by contributors are their own. As the community faces a new reality resulting from unprecedented circumstances, motivated entrepreneurs are seeking to control their job security through acquiring a business.
This new landscape also means the common profile of a modern franchisee business owner is shifting from older stereotypes, with many new entrants bringing nontraditional backgrounds and experiences.
Consider these new faces of the franchise community and the advantages they have over the usual franchisee.
Young people that have a zest for automation and technology are joining the ranks and bringing a fresh perspective to a mature industry. Many are forgoing traditional educational institutions in lieu of business ownership. The average tuition of an in-state public college for one year is $25,000. Based on a four-year degree without scholarships, a college student graduates with a $100,000 loan. On the other hand, young people can purchase a franchise concept that focuses on leadership development for small to large companies for an investment of $20,000.
Related: 7 Common Misconceptions Young People Have About Entrepreneurship
Baby boomers entering retirement or who have been phased out from their corporate position are delving into franchise concepts with zero experience in the products or services sold. While they may have spent years in a corporate job, they may feel intimidated by the pace of new processes. artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality and various new social media platforms may be uncomfortable to a generation that grew up with a rotary dial phone. But the skills they bring in managing difficult personalities, building strong teams and a resilient work ethic far exceed any technology processes that need to be learned.
Most people are surprised to learn that franchisee owners coming from blue-collar jobs are able to successfully transfer into franchise ownership. Recently, I coached a pest control franchisee based in Massachusetts that is on track to hit $2 million in gross sales. Nowadays, the working class is re-evaluating their trajectory and considering investment in online franchise concepts with the commitment to build their wealth as opposed to waiting for a gold watch.
Related: What Growing Up in a Blue-Collar Household Taught Me About Entrepreneurship
Veterans re-entering the job market are choosing franchise businesses because of their prior experience in executing systems. There has been a lot of evidence to support that veterans with no prior experience as an entrepreneur make excellent business owners. The discipline taught in the military brings about a structured entrepreneur that can work well with a team as well as work under pressure. They are trained problem solvers and focused on achieving results. They understand how to execute a proven roadmap that is provided through the franchisor. Attracting veterans towards the franchise industry is so important that in 1991, the International Franchise Association founded VetFran as an initiative to match veterans with franchise concepts. The VetFran directory has over 500 companies who offer discounts to veterans ranging from 10 – 100%.
Mothers that are re-entering the workforce are choosing to follow a proven formula to build a viable income. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to advise a stay-at-home mom on business options. We explored starting a business, buying an existing business, or investing in a franchise. During the initial meeting, we identified various concepts that aligned with her interests as opposed to prior experiences. As part of our discovery, she shared her passion in helping seniors find adequate placement homes. It was not necessary for her to have direct experience because the ideal franchisor could provide full training and support. Six months later, she was operating a location in Oregon, providing her expertise to families that were navigating assisted living and memory care centers for their loved one.
Don’t let your nontraditional background prevent you from exploring a franchise concept that has a proven system you can follow.
Related: 5 Tips For Juggling Motherhood and Running a Company