I’ve always thought that young people make great entrepreneurs, so I was really interested in this Wall Street Journal article about a new franchise trend: Franchisors are actively seeking out twenty-something franchisees. Franchisors are discounting fees for young adults, recruiting them via franchise brokers and using youth-oriented social media tools like Facebook to advertise their opportunities.
According to the article, there are several reasons for the focus on youth. The first is a result of a wave of baby boomer franchisees retiring, leaving gaps to fill. The second is due to the increased number of colleges teaching entrepreneurship, so the concept of running a franchise isn’t foreign to young people the way it used to be. Finally, franchisors are recognizing that the enthusiasm and energy needed to launch a franchise is something young people have plenty of. And they also realize they need the tech-savvy young people possess to help keep their companies competitive.
I think this is a great development, and if you’re a young person considering entrepreneurship, I urge you to give franchising some consideration. Franchising can be ideally suited to young people because what you lack—business experience—isn’t as much of a factor as it is in starting an independent business. The franchisor will teach you the systems and processes you need to run the business.
Today’s college students are very comfortable with the idea of being mentored, coached and advised. As a franchisee, you’ll get lots of support from the franchisor, which fits right in with what you’re used to from college.
Finally, having a franchise gives you the built-in credibility that, as a young person, you may have trouble establishing on your own.
Franchising is sometimes portrayed as the easier way to start a business—but the truth is, starting any business is hard work, requiring long hours. There’s no better time to commit to this than when you’re young and free of other responsibilities and obligations.
I hope this trend takes off and continues to grow—and I’m eager to see the changes a new generation of young people will bring to franchising.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva on Twitter @Rieva. Visit SmallBizDaily.com to read more of Rieva’s insights on small business and to buy her newest book, Startup 101: Quick Tips for Starting a Business.