In and past your 50s, you’ve come a long way. And you’re equipped, as a result, with the skills and experiences that you need to accomplish just about anything. Including a career change. Here’s what older entrepreneurs can learn from their counterparts.
Life doesn’t end at 50. A new adventure could be just around the corner, and that adventure could well be in franchising. The Forbes “50 Over 50” list collates the experiences of 50 entrepreneurs running the show in their 50s. If you’d like to be doing the same, the franchising industry welcomes you and your invaluable life experience. Get inspired by the powerful advice of successful business people, from Kamala Harris to Nancy Pelosi.
Becoming a franchisee later in life
Many shy away from starting a franchise in later life, put off by the thought of a high risk investment, or a job with incredibly long hours. But the truth is, franchising is extremely dynamic, and not that risky. There are so many opportunities out there that you’re bound to find the right one for you. You could franchise part-time, or make a low-cost investment.
At any age, franchising can offer flexibility, challenge and profit in equal measure. Arguably, making a career pivot to franchising in your 50s is a great idea, because:
- You’ll know yourself well enough to make the right investment for you
- You won’t want to, or need to, waste time guessing at a formula for success
- You’ll be able to fill your time on your terms
- You’ll have plenty of life experience to inform your business moves
- You’ll have a good network of friends, family and professional connections to support you on all sides
You can experience tremendous joy and fulfillment during the process of "reinventing" yourself later in life. [...] All you need to do is take the time to really think through what you want out of business ownership and then investigate all opportunities carefully to make sure you select one that provides what's important to you.– Jeff Elgin, Entrepreneur
>> Read more:
3 “50 Over 50” top tips for older franchisees
These inspiring, business-minded entrepreneurs don’t let anything stop them from achieving their goals, including age. It’s more than possible to make a late stage career change - it could be a great idea. And if you’re thinking of doing it - of taking that leap and becoming a franchisee, here are three top tips to hold onto...
1. Define your own abilities and capacities
[Do] not be burdened by other people's limited views on [your] capacity based on who has historically done what
– Kamala Harris, Vice President of the USA
Only 1 in 3 UK entrepreneurs is female, equating to a gender gap equivalent to 1.1 million missing businesses [HM Treasury, Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship 2019]. The number of women in business is growing each year, but some still see franchising as a man’s game, which isn’t accurate at all. Historically, men have dominated the business world, but change is happening right now, and the only person who can define your limits, female or male, is you.
Franchising is particularly ahead of the curve - 65% of people employed in the franchising industry are women [British Franchise Association]. Whether you’re a woman in your 50s looking to break into the business, or a man in your 50s building a team of employees, you should know that women succeed in business for a number of reasons, including organisational and multitasking skills, and great attention to detail.
2. Be confident, and accept the unknown nature of tomorrow
You don’t know what’s around the corner, so just be confident in who you are [...] and that you have a vision and you have a plan, and you will succeed.– Nancy Pelosi
Nobody knows the future, and that’s the honest truth. You can project and plan, but you can’t truly know what’s coming next until it arrives. That means that as a franchisee, you’ll need self-confidence in order to succeed.
Thankfully, self-confidence comes with knowing yourself, and knowing yourself comes with age, time and experience. By your 50s, you should have all the inner fortitude that you need to succeed in franchising. Cultivate continued confidence in your abilities as a franchisee by:
- Not comparing yourself to others
- Taking practical steps to address insecurities when they arise
- Learning to set boundaries and say no when you need to
- Connecting with your network and sharing with other franchisees
- Working with an experienced mentor to continuously grow and develop
>> Read more:
- Franchising 101: The Complete Guide to Franchise Costs in the UK
- Franchising 101: How to Buy a Franchise Business in 10 Steps
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 1)
- Franchising 101: Top 5 Qualities of a Franchisee
- Franchising 101: 6 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing
- Franchising 101: The Pros and Cons of Franchising Your Business
- Franchising 101: 6 Top Contributors of Franchise Failure
3. Value all you’ve learned, and understand others better for it
I feel a lot more wise than 10/20 years ago. I’ve seen a lot more, the experiences are rich and deep. [...] When you get to this point in your career and life, I think you just have a better understanding of people, what they go through, the trials and tribulations.– Kim Ng
Understanding other people is one of the biggest benefits of experience. When you live your own experiences, you gain greater empathy for those of other people. This will be valuable as a franchisee in two different directions:
1. You’ll be able to understand and provide for the needs of your employees.
2. You’ll be able to relate to and provide for the needs of your franchisor.
The franchisor-franchisee relationship is crucial to franchise success, as you might expect. If you can enter into the relationship with compassion, understanding and shared points of experience, you’ll be able to cultivate a strong working relationship, allowing you to:
- Resolve problems quickly
- Communicate clear expectations
- Ensure that both parties feel respected and valued
- Guarantee the future success of your partnership
- Improve and evolve with time and honesty
It’s never too late to become a franchisee
It’s never too late to become a franchisee, and hopefully, these wise words have shown you that. Change your career today and become a franchisee. You can browse a huge range of franchising opportunities, high and low cost, in a huge range of sectors, via Point Franchise’s UK franchise directory.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©