Making a career change can be daunting at any age, but franchising is a great direction to head in, especially for people in their 50s. If you’re ready to start your own business and call your own shots, you can do this as a franchisee, and you’ll still have the support of your franchisor to fall back on.
In this article, you’ll discover how to make a career change in your 50s with franchising, and you’ll dive into all the reasons that doing so is a good idea. Whatever your age, there’s always time for a new adventure.
Franchising as a career change
The current retirement age in the UK is 66, and if you’re heading into your 50s, you still have many years of work ahead. In fact, four out of 10 new businesses in the UK are started by people over 50 [Office for National Statistics]. You could be one of them, and franchising could be a great place for you to start.
Franchising in your 50s comes with many benefits, including flexible working hours, marketing and advertising support, retraining opportunities, growth opportunities, and opportunities to apply existing expertise in a new arena. If you're contemplating how to make a career change in your 50s, you should:
- Identify your skill set - What experience have you gathered, during decades as a working person, that will be valuable regardless of your role? What transferable soft skills do you possess?
- Ask yourself the right questions - What type of career will you find fulfilling as you enjoy the remainder of your working life? What would you like to be earning when you reach retirement age?
- Do plenty of research - What can you find out about each opportunity? Which sources can you turn to once you’ve found everything you can online? Can you reach out, for example, to current franchisees within a franchise that you’re interested in?
I loved my work and enjoyed helping clients understand the financial aspect of their businesses. In my late 50s I started to think about finding an opportunity to apply some of the skills that I had been helping clients with over the years. And I wanted to find a business where I could surround myself with a team of people that could take care of clients so that I didn’t feel like I had to be hands on each day.
—Ken Barton, Minuteman Press
Five advantages of franchising in your 50s
By the time you reach your 50s, you’ll be in the perfect position to pursue a successful career in franchising. Why? Because as a 50-something franchisee...
1. You know yourself well enough to choose the right investment
Long gone are the early days of personal turmoil and uncertainty - the days of finding and learning yourself. By your 50s, you know who you are. You know what you like, and you know what you don’t. You know what you’re good at, and what you aren’t.
When it comes to starting a franchise, this is a huge advantage, as you’ll have a clear idea of which opportunities will and won’t suit you, and which sectors in the industry will and won’t be a good fit. There’s a lot of investment options on offer, but with your wealth of life experience, you’ll know where to turn.
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2. You won’t have to waste time guessing at a formula for success
At 50, most people are bored of guessing games. If you’re in that boat, franchising will help. In the franchise business model, there’s a clear road between what you want, and how you can get it. There’s a proven roadmap to follow, accelerating your path to profit. Unlike running your own business, built from scratch, franchising is unlikely to fail, and comes with less financial risk. In 2018, for example, fewer than 1% of franchise units closed due to commercial failure [British Franchise Association].
3. You’ll be able to fill your time on your terms
By the time that most parents reach their 50s, their children are grown and flown from the nest. 50-something parents might find themselves with extra time on their hands, and might be looking for a way to fill the days. If you want to retain flexibility, but keep yourself busy, why not become a franchisee?
The time commitment required will change between franchise investments, so you’re sure to find something that suits you. Many franchise businesses can even be run from the comfort of your own home, and life as a home-based franchisee might be exactly the career change you’re looking for.
>> 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
4. You’ve got plenty of life experience under your belt to apply to the role
One of the biggest advantages to starting a franchise in your 50s is the sheer extent of life experience that you’ll have to apply to your new role. Unlike a younger person, you’ll probably have a wealth of experience in meeting deadlines, dealing with customers, handling conflicts, and so on. Some transferable skills you’ll have picked up along the way that will massively benefit you as a franchisee include:
- Effective and honest communication
- Active listening
- Time management
- Willingness to follow proven methods all the way to success
- Leadership, teamwork and delegation
- Creative problem-solving and idea generation
- Motivation and work ethic
5. You might find that you’re able to make use of existing professional contacts
The contacts you’ve collected in your working years might still be useful in a new context. You might, for example, have developed a rapport with a marketing expert that ends up getting you a good deal on some marketing support for your new franchise business. Sometimes, who you know can be even more important than what you know, and decades of networking will only work in your favour as a 50-something franchisee.
Benefit from the franchise business model and make a career change in your 50s
It’s never too late to start a new business. In fact, the opposite is true. In your 50s, you’ll have all the experience and confidence you need to succeed as a franchisee. For more information about getting into franchising, explore Point Franchise. Find out how to start a UK franchise, and read up on how to go about choosing the right opportunity for you.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©