Running a successful franchise in your 50s is a matter of combining your experience and knowledge with the experience and knowledge of your franchisor to produce impressive results. In many ways, there’s no better time to become a franchisee.
Running your own business is equal parts demanding and rewarding, and though many shy away from the prospect, in your 50s you have the confidence and the capital to jump into franchising and find your footing quickly. With plenty of sectors on offer, you’re bound to find something that interests you. Once you have, here’s how to run a successful franchise in later life...
Franchising later in life could bring you success, adventure and freedom
In your 50s, your working life is far from over, with retirement age in the UK currently set at 65. The number of franchisees in their 50s is increasing year on year [British Franchise Association] and in fact, when you’re at this stage in life, you might be better placed than ever to invest in a franchise, because you have:
- Extensive experience
- Lots of knowledge and expertise
- Financial awareness
- An established network of business connections
- A realistic perspective
Forbes’ “50 over 50” list proves that as you enter the sixth decade of your life, there’s no need to slow down. Major achievements could be right around the corner, just as they were for Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi. Your life is still very much in your hands, and if you’re ready for a career change in your 50s, then it’s ready for you, too.
A great franchisee will have confidence, communication and personal skills, be financially and business minded, and have a realistic and practical approach to business - characteristics that older franchisees can most certainly bring to the table with years of professional and life experience behind them.
— Fiona Simpson, Forbes
Four franchisee tips for running a successful franchise in your 50s
Once you’re up and away, committed to a franchise, how do you make it as successful as possible as an older franchisee? With these four top tips, of course!
1. Choose the right franchise
No matter your age, you’ll need to do your research in order to choose the right franchise opportunity for you. As a 50-something who likely knows who they are, this should be an easy process. You just need to:
- Assess your wants and needs
- Assess your skill set
- Meet with your prospective franchisor
- Talk with current franchisees within your prospective franchise
- Seek legal advice prior to signing any agreements to ensure all is above board
If you choose a franchise that appeals to your passions and draws on your existing skills and experience, you’ll put yourself in the best possible position to achieve success and profitability. If in doubt, trust yourself, do your due diligence, and then go with your gut.
>> Read more:
- 5 Tips for Developing Your Employees into Future Franchisees
- Being a Successful Franchisee Means Adopting an Entrepreneur Mindset
- 7 Common Habits of Successful Franchisees
- Mythbusters: Common Misconceptions About What Makes a Successful Franchisee
- Five Tips for Boosting Your Self-Confidence as a Business Owner
- Traits of an entrepreneur
2. Have a solid business plan
A good plan is a necessary part of running your own business. Not only will it likely be required by your franchisor (and any bank you’re looking to loan money from) during the onboarding process, it will also provide you with a franchisor-approved path to follow, beyond the guidelines and business model already given to you. The key elements of a good franchise business plan, which you might well already be familiar with, are:
- An executive summary
- A business description
- Product/service descriptions
- A management summary
- Market analysis
- Operational guidelines
- Sales and marketing guidelines
- Business premises guidelines
- Financial projections and needs
The importance of a detailed and realistic business plan for entrepreneurship cannot be overstated. [...] It serves as a sort of road map, helping you come up with a clear set of goals for your business and something to measure your success against.
— Entrepreneur Handbook
>> Read more:
- 5 Qualities of a Successful Franchisor
- 4 Things Franchisees Never Have Time for But Are Essential for Running a Successful Business
- How to Launch a Franchise and Get Noticed
- 4 Elements of a Successful Franchise
- How to Start a New Business on a Shoe-String Budget
- The Ultimate Guide to Franchising Success
3. Take advantage of training and support
You’re never too old to learn, and for the wise, learning is a lifelong pursuit. Whether you’re in your 20s or your 50s, taking advantage of the training and support offered by your franchisor will best set you up for success, helping you to grow, improve your performance and increase your knowledge on the franchise’s products/services. Though the level of training and support that you’re provided with will depend on the franchise, most often you’ll receive the following:
- Initial set-up support
- Initial training
- Ongoing training and development opportunities
- A rundown of operating standards
- Support with recruitment, retention and employee management
- Support training employees
- Marketing and advertising assistance
- Financial management and business administration assistance
- Access to approved suppliers
- Access to help and guidance as needed
4. Make sure you have enough capital
One of the biggest advantages to starting a franchise in your 50s is the financial expertise and understanding that you’ll have had time and space to build up. The cost of starting a franchise will vary, but on average, stands at around £42,200 in the UK [British Franchise Association]. You’ll likely be very aware, at this stage in life, of how much money you have, how much money you can spend, and how much money you’re willing to invest.
With these figures set in your mind, you’ll be able to pursue investment opportunities that align with them, whether that’s an investment of under £10,000, an investment of under £50,000, or an investment of under £200,000.
Why not give running your own business a try?
Franchising in your 50s can be exciting, rewarding and profitable, and thankfully, it comes with a high chance of success. In 2018, fewer than 1% of franchise units closed their doors citing commercial failure [British Franchise Association]. With experience on your side, a supportive franchisor in your corner, and these franchisee tips at the front of your mind, your success is very much assured.
If you’re already in the world of franchising and looking for more top tips, browse Point Franchise’s range of articles. If you’re ready to take the leap and make an investment, browse Point Franchise’s UK franchise directory to find the right option.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©