Should young people in their thirties or even twenties buy franchises?
The Wall Street Journal reported recently that franchisors are targeting young franchisees to replace the
old fogeys baby boomers who are nearing retirement age. The thinking is that younger franchise buyers, if they can raise the capital, will have have more energy and a fresh vantage point from which to attack a business plan. The naysayers include franchise experts like The Franchise King of Ohio, a franchise broker, who says to the youngsters:
“You just don”t have enough business management experience under your belt, yet. You have not enough stress yet. You have not experienced enough in the business world. It’s nothing personal.”
Wow! What’s that about? My feeling is: bring ’em on! I think young entrepreneurs are amazing. In my own franchise network, there are “kids” like Claudia and Rodney, a wonderful couple in their twenties, who are tearing it up selling smoothies and leaving no stone unturned looking for new business. In my coaching practice, I have thirty-and-younger clients who are smarter, more aggressive, and more resilient than you’d think given their years. When I was a bit younger, at 42, I was president of a company whose CEO was around 28. He sold the company for $750 million a few years later. I worked for another twentysomething whose promotional products company is now doing $25 million+ a year in sales. And have you read the Crains New York Business Top Entrepreneurs list? Look at those pictures — some of those guys (and gals) don’t look like they shave yet. And remember Bill Gates and Michael Dell — both started their businesses in their dorm rooms.
Whether a young man or woman starts a franchise business or some other type of business isn’t the point. Younger people (I’m 52 now, so I think I can say this with some authority) have a view of the world that is entirely different from the boomer generation. They are less patient, more collaborative, less hierarchical, as a rule less materialistic, more environmentally conscious, and, in many other ways, a breed apart. So sorry, fellow old timers, you can no longer credibly say that the young’uns can’t do it bigger, better, faster, and cheaper than wise old you.