Today’s franchisees come in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders and ethnicities. However, now more than ever the franchise industry is turning from an old boy’s club to an industry in which individuals of every age are capitalizing on. People in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond are all entering the franchise sector.
In today’s franchise world, age is just a number and in reality, you’re never too old or too young to pursue your dream of leveraging a business to accomplish your Income, Lifestyle, Wealth and Equity (I.L.W.E.) Goals. Today, The Entrepreneur’s Source reviews the wide array of generations currently turning to franchising to become autonomous in their careers and capitalize on a booming industry.
Millennials in Franchising
Rewind 10 years, and you probably wouldn’t have found a large amount of young adults in their early 20s and 30s in the franchise industry. However, this norm has forever changed since the 2008 recession hit and changed the job market for these workers.
Today, more than 50 percent of Millennials – or those born between 1980 and the mid-2000s – with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 are jobless or underemployed, reports The Associated Press. Millennials have been plagued with entering the job market at a time where it isn’t too welcoming for them. When the recession hit, many companies downsized and kept their most capable employees, not wanting to take on the more unskilled and less experienced Millennials. This has caused Millennials to become wary of working in corporate America due to decreasing job security and low employer loyalty – driving many of these individuals to turn to alternative career options like franchising.
“Millennials are a generation driven by risk and innovation,” The Entrepreneur’s Source®Terry Powell said. “With limited job opportunities and natural independent drive, the entrepreneurship and stability of franchising is an appealing career path for Millennials.”
Many individuals unfairly plaster this generation with negative characteristics, but in fact, many of these so-called “bad” Millennial characteristics are good for entrepreneurship. Millennials are commonly negatively accused of wanting to live luxuriously, being impatient and relying on technology. Whether these characteristics are true isn’t the point. All three of these qualities are commonly viewed as negative, but when applying them to entrepreneurship they can actually be translated into strengths.
Generation X in Franchising
Generation X – or those born between 1960 and 1980 – are oftentimes dubbed as the “neglected middle child” generation, oftentimes being overshadowed by their older and younger “siblings” the Baby Boomers and Millennials, respectively. However, when it comes to franchising, they’re taken very seriously and are integrated into the sector.
The biggest factor driving individuals from Generation X to move to the franchise industry is their overwhelming pessimism about their ability to retire. According to the Pew Research Center, a near majority – 44 percent – of people in Generation X aren’t confident about their ability to retire. When the recession hit, many Generation X-ers found themselves as the victim of widespread company layoffs in corporate America, leaving them at a crossroads of where to turn for employment.
Similarly, many individuals in Generation X chose the route of franchise business ownership due to the increased control over employment and their future. These individuals are in the period of their lives where they’re raising their children and need to provide for their families and need to start planning for their future. Franchising offers many lifestyle benefits for these individuals, such as increased flexibility in their work schedule and a better work-life balance – two things Generation X-ers greatly desire. This added benefit of becoming a franchisee rather than continuing to work in corporate America is ideal for Generation X.
Baby Boomers in Franchising
Similar to those individuals in Generation X, a large percentage of Baby Boomers aren’t confident in their ability to retire as they near retirement age. According to a recent Gallup poll, one in 10 Baby Boomers predicts that they will never retire and nearly 50 percent don’t expect to retire until they’re at least 66 years old. In fact, the average retirement age has steadily risen from the age of 57 to 61 over the past 20 years.
Not all of this is due to the stagnant and unpromising job market, especially for older individuals who corporate America commonly characterizes as being “old school.” Many Baby Boomers are willingly choosing to prolong their careers because they want to keep busy. A great option for an alternative second-act-career for Baby Boomers is entrepreneurship through franchising.
“A vast majority of today’s unemployed Baby Boomers are seasoned executives with severance packages who are now looking for new ways to invest in their future,” said The Entrepreneur’s Source ®Terry Powell. “The Baby Boomer generation [wants] a ‘second act’ career that offers independence as well as benefits and structure, which is often found in franchising.”
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Article originally published on The Entrepreneur’s Source blog.