Over 50? Midlife Is The PERFECT Time To Start A Franchise
Despite all you may have heard about the barely-out-of-high-school techie crowd in Silicon Valley, the folks most likely to start a franchise are in midlife. You read it right! That’s according to a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation and Legal Zoom, which found that, in 2013, 35% of all new businesses were started by people over the age of 50. In fact, people over 50 started businesses at a higher rate than those between the ages of 20 and 34. That’s not really surprising, considering the wealth of experience these seasoned members of the workforce bring to the table, not to mention access to capital and networks. So if you’re one of those folks stagnating in an unsatisfying job or if you’ve been downgraded or downsized by a company in decline, you might want to consider one of the simplest ways to start a new business, a franchise. Franchises have a multitude of advantages over independent businesses, including a network of support, training, and a proven system intended to help people achieve success even though they may have little experience in the field. Opportunities in franchising abound —75 industries are represented, and a franchise coach can help get you started with your research. The fastest growing sectors franchising are business to business
and consumer services. These areas are perfectly suited to the executive and managerial backgrounds of most of today’s new franchisees – much more so than fast food or retail that often come to mind when people think about franchises.
6 Easy Steps To Start Exploring Your Franchising Options:
As you assess where you want to start the next stage of your career, you’ll want to conduct a thorough process of due diligence:
1. Assess Your Skills
No matter your background, you’ve developed an array of expertise, such as solving customer problems, managing employees and systems, selling yourself, and maybe selling a product or service. Figure out how your skills might transfer to a franchise that captures your interest.
2. Read Up On Franchising
Check out the International Franchise Association’s informative website for types of franchises and articles on franchising. Make lists of franchises that best match your skills, experience, and interest.
3. Peruse A Few Franchise Disclosure Documents
Franchisors are required by federal law to disclose a great deal of helpful information in these documents, including the backgrounds of their executives, litigation history, as well as a full list of costs associated with purchasing a franchise. You also receive a full list of franchisees (more on this below). Franchisors must write these documents in common English, not legalese, so they’re quite readable.
4. Interview Franchisees
Franchisees are your best source of information. You can call these owners, because the franchise companies provide their contact information in the Franchise Disclosure Document. They may be busy, but many franchisees are happy to talk to folks who may be walking the same path they recently traveled. So make an appointment and respect their time. Ask about the franchisor’s system —what’s working and what’s not, and find out if, knowing what they
know now, they would purchase this franchise again.
5. Talk To Franchisors
As you start to narrow your options, call up some franchisors to learn more about their operation. Get a feel for the corporate culture and how well you might fit in.
6. Contact A Franchise Coach
A coach can help you navigate your way to franchises that are reputable and have great track records. They have worked with dozens of clients over many years and add another layer of experience to help you make the best selection. And their services generally come free of charge. So take heart, your middle years may be your most productive and profitable yet. Start your exploration of franchise ownership today!