If you're young and ambitious, franchising could be for you

04/06/2018 17:55 | Start a business

Franchising for young businesspeople

There are many reasons that younger, business-orientated individuals make good franchisees. However, it's not always so clear how franchising can benefit these same individuals. While starting your own business is often considered the pinnacle of professional achievement, young people dont usually think of franchising as a serious possibility. This severely limits their options and often means that they miss out on incredible opportunities. Here, we take a look at what the franchise system can offer young, ambitious businesspeople, and what they can bring to the table, too.

Why franchising is great for young entrepreneurs

Economic Context
Todays younger entrepreneurs have grown up in an extended period of financial instability. The financial crises of the last few decades have resulted in policies of austerity, political uncertainty, and an increasingly tough job market. For many, finding a job that guarantees them the long-term stability, prestige, and financial reward that they desire has become almost impossible. Franchising is a highly attractive alternative to navigating the quagmire of the contemporary job market. While many Millennials are heading back to University to upgrade their skills, develop their CV, and wait for conditions to change, others are looking to franchising as a way of making money, educating themselves, and gaining experience.

Crisis of confidence
Alongside changes to the job market, young businesspeople are facing drastic shifts in the way we approach work and our perception of the role of labour in society. Due to technological and political developments, employees find themselves in ever-more precarious forms of work. Large-scale automation is resulting in job cuts and, amongst younger individuals, a crisis of confidence in the political and economic system is forcing many to reappraise their priorities and reconsider their futures. By providing them with the autonomy of being their own boss, franchising offers these individuals a way out of the current crisis. It allows young, ambitious businesspeople to take control of their futures, give themselves some financial security, and relieve themselves of some of their most significant concerns.

Access to credit
On top of a shrinking job market, young entrepreneurs have also faced difficulties accessing credit. In the wake of the recent financial crisis, banks and other traditional lenders have been increasingly reluctant to finance new businesses. Often, theyre perceived to be too risky to support with financial investment. This has resulted in younger businesspeople struggling to acquire the funds necessary to begin their own enterprises.

However, franchising has always benefitted from excellent financing arrangements with leading lenders. Financing is far more readily available for franchises than independent businesses, giving promising, young business owners the opportunity they need. Many franchises that are associated with the British Franchising Association (bfa) advertise the fact that banking partners can supply between 50-70% of the initial investment required to start up a franchise. Financing through friends and family is also an option, particularly if there are older parents who want to supplement their retirement fund by investing in their child's franchising enterprise.

Experience and assistance
In the modern economic climate, young people are more aware than ever that they need something special to set themselves apart from the crowd. More often than not, this special something' is experience. However, acquiring the experience necessary is more difficult than it sounds. Should a young businessperson take an unpaid internship at a large company? Should they return to full-time education? Should they broaden their horizons abroad? In contrast to all of these options, franchising gives them the experience of owning and managing a business, while also receiving excellent guidance, support, and mentoring from a team of dedicated franchising specialists. Rather than pursuing formal education, they can learn on the job. Rather than gaining experience but not being paid, they can earn a living while developing their CV.

Assets of youth
Young people can also bring a great deal to the table, especially when it comes to franchising. Their natural enthusiasm, passion, and willingness to learn are ideal qualities in a franchisee. Being raised in the digital era also means that they boast a natural aptitude for working with modern business tools. One of the greatest benefits of the franchising system is the way in which franchisors are responsible for guiding franchisees through the initial setup process. After this, good franchisors will continue to provide support, assistance, and expertise to those franchisees that require it. This is a fantastic educational experience for the vast majority of young businesspeople and is a unique attribute of the franchising system.

Potential pitfalls
Despite all these benefits, young franchisees need to be wary of a few potential pitfalls. One of the most important is the commitment franchising demands. For many, youth is a time of change, exploration, and experimentation. Most franchises demand at least a five-year commitment to the business, though many businesses will require a longer period before they deliver the financial rewards that franchisees want. This means that young entrepreneurs need to be sure of their decision and cant jump into a franchise agreement without proper consideration. Its also necessary to think about how inexperience could affect a young business owners chances of success. Though most successful franchises will provide plenty of training, its often a good idea for young franchisees to look to older friends, family, and contacts, for the experience and expertise that they can provide.

Youth is an asset in the business world and individuals who want to go far need to put it to their advantage if theyre to succeed. Theres a diverse array of affordable franchises for them to take advantage of, many of which will allow them to develop their skills and abilities, while also paying a good wage. For those that one day want to own a business, its a useful way to gain experience and provides a hands-on educational experience. For those that already know that they want to build a franchise empire, its the first step on a long path. Whatever way you look at it, franchising is a fantastic opportunity for those young people who have a passion for business.

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