Career Stagnation: Is Trading One Job For Another The Only Option?
Mid-life career changes are no longer an oddity, in fact they’ve pretty much become the norm. The days of giving 30 years to the same company, then leaving with a gold watch and a defined pension are gone. Many older workers feel a strong prompting to make a change, but quickly realize that their experience and maturity is not as valued across the board as it probably should be. If you’re over forty and have explored your options at all, you may have felt at least a little discouraged by the widespread preference for younger ‘entry level’ candidates. Chances are, at some point in your journey you’ve thought about striking out on your own and starting a business. It’s possible that you still do think about it, or maybe you imagine diversifying your investments to include something more tangible, closer to home, something YOU control.
If you’ve reached a point in your life that you yearn to make a change – one that leads to true career independence, one that allows you to start investing in your OWN financial future, franchise ownership could be the answer.
There are many entirely different pros, cons, benefits, and risks associated with working for others, or opening a business as an entrepreneur vs. buying a Franchise. Franchise ownership is not for everyone, but it’s a perfect fit for someone who wants the independence of owning their own company, without having to go it totally alone. Starting out with advantages such as a solid, pre-organized business plan; turn-key management system; ready-to-deploy, branded marketing materials; and a price-negotiated supply line already in place brings small business ownership into reach for many who would otherwise not feel comfortable taking the leap. Since cost and sales projections are more simply and accurately defined, SBA loans are often easier to secure for franchises as well.
Is Franchise Ownership For You? It could be, if:
1. You want to work for yourself.
Being a franchise owner is a great way to never have to face a tough job market ever again. Maturity and experience are not only welcomed by, but are generally required by franchisors. You will need to be willing and able to work within the franchise framework – franchise ownership can be problematic for someone who is utterly headstrong and fiercely independent. You’ll be the boss, of course, and can (and will) do things like hire, manage, and fire employees; you just can’t decide to install purple shag carpeting in the lobby unless the franchise brand specifies it. This a good thing, and not just on account of preventing questionable carpeting choices. You don’t buy a franchise because you want to change it. You buy it because it’s a tried-and-tested business model that maximizes your likelihood of success.
2. You get excited about hard work (for a cause, anyway).
A franchise is not an instant business-in-a-box that you pop the top and customers come a-running. You have to be motivated and willing to put in the time and energy to build your business in order for the investment to pay off. This is where the personal satisfaction comes from. The pride of knowing: “I did this! This is MY baby” Many people get an adrenaline rush from running a business, and if you’re one of them, you can be a very successful franchise owner.
3. You don’t want to take too much of a risk.
The main advantage of a franchise is that you have the experience and resources of the franchisor, and a network of other franchisees who can guide and support you. You’ll begin with the training, mentors, brand recognition, and support materials you need to hit the ground running; instead of heading out alone and spending perhaps years learning the hard way what works and what doesn’t. And the only person who can force you to take early retirement is you.
Many people determine that the advantages offered by franchising more than compensate for the fees and royalties that come with any franchise operation. One need only look around to see how many franchise businesses are out there to see that this is the case. Every Franchisor has different criteria for screening potential franchisees regarding experience, required investment, and net worth, so once you’ve narrowed the field down you can request that information and see how it fits. In the process of narrowing the options down, one thing that should be carefully considered is what kind of work/life balance is offered by any particular franchise. Some are going to require that your business be open long hours, and/or weekends and holidays, particularly in the restaurant & retail industries. Therefore it’s important to also ask yourself what sort of schedule you’re willing to keep, should you decide to make the switch from ‘employee’ to ‘business owner’. Some people aren’t keen to give up weekends and holidays, and should therefore consider opportunities with more conventional weekday schedules.
No matter what career path you ultimately decide to follow, it certainly can’t hurt to explore the franchise ownership option as a viable way to break free to the next level of your professional journey. Brickyard is helping people just like you do it all the time. If you’d like to speak directly to one of our franchise development leads for quick, straight answers, email either
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
with your questions, or leave your contact info if you prefer a call.
We look forward to hearing from you!