Saturday, September 30, 2023

Buying Young: Starting a Franchise in Your 20s

Top StoriesBuying Young: Starting a Franchise in Your 20s

Owning a franchise in your 20s. Who’s in?

When someone says “franchisee,” the image that comes to mind is usually a middle-aged man or woman and not a bright-eyed, eager, recent college grad. However, several factors have begun turning that perception on its ear — the most glaring being the job market. Although marginally improving, the job market has for years been extremely tough on new graduates.

According to the class of 2018 is coming into the workforce with the lowest unemployment rates in 17 years and salaries that are higher than ever to boot. The bad news is that according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers are hiring fewer 2018 grads than they did in 2017. The NACE says the amount has declined by 1.3 percent.

Twenty-somethings have grown up in a culture of entrepreneurship. They have seen contemporaries turn their ideas into tech startups, successful apps, important nonprofits and small operations that grow and profit on the strengths of their own ideas and their own efforts. It’s a very appealing alternative to working hard for the benefit of a large company, whose obligations are first and foremost to their shareholders and executives in the C-suite.

And yet with all of that motivation to start and run their own businesses, recent graduates almost universally lack the essential components for success: experience, familiarity with the systems and programs that run all successful businesses, a network of support to lend guidance and knowledge that flattens the learning curve and greatly improves the odds of success. That is why franchising has become a more attractive option for many recent grads.

Take Novus Glass [LINK:] as an example. The franchise that invented the automotive windshield repair business back in 1972 offers top training and support that attracts young entrepreneurs from all walks of life. No automotive or glass experience is required.

Quite often, young entrepreneurs haven’t developed their tolerance for risk and are looking for more assurance from their investment. In that case, consider Garage Experts, [LINK:] one of Entrepreneur magazine’s Top 500 Franchises for 2016. They guarantee that if you don’t make $750k in gross sales in your first three years, they’ll refund your fees via a 10-month royalty holiday.

In short, there are a range of franchise investments out there to fit almost any young entrepreneur, regardless of skill set or experience. But it’s good to have open eyes and a sense of the advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and cons of franchising for the twenty-something.  

PRO: Being in your 20s, likely without the obligations of family, you can devote almost all your time and youthful enthusiasm to your business.

PRO: Your youth may help you better connect with new customers as many franchisors have a younger target market, giving you an advantage over those in their 40s and 50s.

PRO: You’re just out of college with a fresh, unique perspective on business and the economy and that can be a huge advantage.

PRO: You’re not alone, making mistakes through trial and error. When you buy into a franchise, the critical infrastructure, systems and programs are already built-in. You join a large network of franchisees who understand exactly what you’re dealing with. Many franchisors also provide a support system, whether that’s an online forum, a 24/7 phone line or continuous training.

CON: For those twenty-somethings who have followed the marriage/home/children route, adding a franchise to the mix can be highly stressful. Even with all the support that the franchisor typically supplies, the demands on your time can be substantial. Most experts agree that if you can’t make owning your own business a top priority in your life, it’s best to postpone the franchise route until you’re ready. However, even in the scenario where family or other obligations (a good job, for instance) occupy a large portion of your time, there are options within franchising. One advantage of a Liberty Tax [LINK:] franchise is that it’s seasonal—meaning you could maintain your current job while developing your franchise business to minimize risk.

Still intrigued with franchising and ready to investigate?

Information is your friend. A good place to start is by checking out our Franchise 101 resource to get the scoop on all you’ll need to know. We’ve assembled a huge library of articles dedicated to franchising. Dig in, start learning and you may find, as many young grads with an entrepreneurial streak do, there is a franchise in your future!

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