Once upon a time, the typical franchisee was a clichéd stereotype. A successful business-driven, almost retiree, certainly male and with a large nest egg of saved money ready to begin the “Second Act” of his career by owning a franchise of his own, thus becoming his own boss. Oh yeah, we signed up a lot of guys like that. But as the years have progressed, this stereotype has begun to fade like a red shirt in the laundry. Simply put, the demographics that we’re now seeing enter the world of franchising are nothing short of remarkable. The information is well-sourced and quite inspiring for the future of our industry.
May we begin with a slight paradigm shift? The median age of franchisees is still 45-54, but it’s shrinking on both ends. Led by a charge from the burgeoning Millennial class, a full 12 percent of all franchisees are now under the age of 34. And that’s a statistic that’s expected to grow exponentially, as we’ve discussed on this blog before. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a number of franchisees over the age of 55 has increased to 28 percent of all owners.
Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, now represent the largest living generation of our population. To franchise brands, they’ve become the widest target market. And they’ve already begun adapting their marketing strategies to attract this next generation of franchise owners. Not only do Millennials harbor the entrepreneurial spirit like no other generation before them, they’re also incredibly savvy when it comes to making the proverbial leap of faith. They’re plugged in, prepared and ready to conquer, utilizing techniques unheard of to the former generation of franchisee targets.
It’s well known that this younger generation desires a higher calling in life than punching a clock for 40 hours a week. Rather, they’re keenly interested in opportunities such as franchising, which comes with a built-in work/life balance feature, something that’s of extreme importance to them. And while many may not yet have a nest egg of savings to plunk down for franchising start-up costs, they are definitely aware of funding efforts never before attempted by the older generation. Crowdfunding, anyone?
A recent polling effort by North Star Research found that eight percent of Millennials already own a business. But that’s just a start. The same poll discovered that, among the younger set, 16 percent are laying the groundwork to begin a business of their own. And it gets even better. It turns out that over a quarter of them—27 percent, harbor the desire to own a business of their own in the not-so-distant future.
Franchise consultants on the ground can speak to the rapidly widening demographics of these next generation of franchisees. At FranNet, our typical clients who come armed to begin the franchise investigative process have turned out to be anything but typical. Sure, we still get a steady stream of franchisee candidates who do fit the previous stereotype, but the ground game for business ownership appears to be heating up for all age groups. And that’s a great thing for everyone in the industry.
Prior to reading this blog, you may not have considered yourself a typical franchise buyer. But, as you can see, times are changing and the industry is adapting to accommodate a new shift in age groups ready to take the entrepreneurial path in life. If you’ve been ruminating on the thoughts of becoming your own boss, a visit with us to discuss the possibilities won’t even add up to the price of a cup of coffee. But you might find out how you can own a franchised coffee shop of your own.
• • •
Let’s chat! There’s a local FranNet consultant right in your market who knows that market inside and out – knows the personality of the market – knows the competitive landscape. FranNet has a great track record of assisting individuals on their path to entrepreneurship, and one of our franchise experts would love to provide you with guidance free of charge. Sound like something you might be interested in? Get started here and find your local consultant right now!