Five Reasons Why Women Make the Best Franchisees
It’s easy to see why franchising appeals to women. The flexibility and freedom that comes with being the boss are hard to find in more traditional employment. This is why women are increasingly leaving their corporate jobs behind and becoming entrepreneurs with the help of the franchise model.
While some choose to build their own business from scratch, others have decided that starting a franchise is the best route to business ownership. In fact, 23% of the 40,000 franchises in the UK are currently run by women. This is probably because the franchise model enables women to become a franchisee, even if they have little or no experience of running a business.
Just as women are discovering the benefits of franchising, franchise brands all over the world are also recognising the skills that women can bring to the role of a franchisee. So, what are the attributes that make women natural franchisees?
It’s generally accepted that women are more adept at doing more than one thing at a time. And research carried out by the HSE Neurolinguistics Laboratory in Moscow found that it’s more than just an old wives’ tale. It proved that women find it easier than men to multi-task and switch between activities.
This is an excellent skill to have when you're a franchisee. The numerous and varied tasks that need to be completed when you’re running a franchise mean that you may have to switch from dealing with a customer complaint to mopping the toilet floors in a heartbeat.
They’re eager learners
Women tend to be better learners than men and generally take their personal development more seriously. This is an important factor when starting a franchise. Effectively the franchisor teaches you how to follow their tried and tested business model so that you can enjoy the success that they have.
The franchise model is based on franchisees ability to duplicate the franchisors’ business system which is shared through initial and ongoing training, mentoring and coaching. Being keen learners means that women are already predisposed to becoming successful franchisees.
Hiring the right people is one of the most critical tasks that a franchisee must undertake. Recruiting employees that are a good fit with the franchise culture is essential for your business and their longevity as a member of staff.
Developing a robust recruitment process is obviously key to finding the right people, but so is having good intuition. You may have a prospective employee who answers all the interview questions well and comes across really professionally, but you just have a feeling that they’re not right for your franchise.
Women can trust their gut instinct and often choose with their heart over their head. Although this can be detrimental in some circumstances, when hiring it can be an advantage.
They're relationship builders
Whether it’s at a networking event, one to one contact, or even an online forum, women are better at building rapport and developing relationships than men. Women are great listeners, so they can understand what their employees or franchisor needs and then make it happen. From this, trust is built which makes for a healthy and lasting relationship.
Passion may not be a trait that’s sought after in an office or on the factory floor, but when you’re starting a franchise, it’s actively encouraged. Having strong emotions can work in your favour when you’re working with people all day, and women are naturally more in tune with their feelings.
Having high-level emotional intelligence and passion are great attributes to possess as a franchisee. Being able to keep staff motivated is essential for any business, including even the most established franchise brands.
The role of the ‘Encouraging Women into Franchising’ (EWIF)
The EWIF is a not for profit organisation that has three aims:
- To encourage women into starting a franchise
- To get female entrepreneurs to consider franchising their existing business
- To support franchisors to attract more female franchisees
The organisation joins forces with professionals in the franchise industry to make sure that members receive valuable guidance and support. As well as inspiring women to enter the franchise industry, the EWIF also commissions research into women in franchising. The findings of this research help raise awareness of the challenges women encounter in franchising which is then promoted through the media.
EWIF National Conference
Every year the EWIF hold a National Conference open to members, supporters and guests. The 2018 conference date has yet to be announced but has been held in September in previous years.
The tickets to the conference are free and give EWIF members a chance to meet and network, as well as hear from inspirational guest speakers. Representatives from the most prominent franchise brands also attend to share their developments and why women should consider joining their businesses.
If you’re already a woman (or man) in the franchise industry, the event also gives you the chance to grow through meeting other franchisors and franchisees. You can obtain advice from business owners who have experienced the same issues that you may be facing.
For wannabe franchisees, attending EWIF meetings and conferences is a brilliant introduction to the industry and gives an excellent opportunity to speak to those already enjoying the benefits that franchising can bring.
Obviously, men also have skills and attributes that make them excellent franchisees. But, women do bring unique qualities to the role of a franchisee. Thankfully, franchise brands are beginning to understand that diversity throughout their company can increase profits so are keen to improve their efforts to recruit and keep women franchisees.
All this means that there’s probably never been a better time to make your dreams come true and become one of the growing numbers of female franchisees.
The Editorial Team, Point Franchise ©
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