Don’t let age stop you from creating the next great franchise brand.
You don’t have to be a former C-Suite level employee to start a franchise. Many successful franchise brands have been created by the under-30 crowd. For those that are looking for some sage advice about getting into the franchise industry, here are five tips from three entrepreneurs who have found franchising success from a young age.
Age is just a number
“Don’t let being young be a roadblock,” said Jason Parker, Co-Founder & President of K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel.
Parker and his older brother started K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel when he was only 17 years old and they began franchising in 2011 at the ripe old age of 24. Prior to that, the entrepreneurial duo ran an in-home dog care service. Being young was never a hindrance for Parker.
“You have to be as professional as possible,” said Parker. “You have to be even more mature. People already look at you like you have to prove you know what it takes. Being professional was what we really focused on and it helped with our career paths.”
Align yourself with the right people
Having the right people in your corner can make all the difference when it comes to finding success. Lisa Kornstein Kaufman, founder of Scout & Molly’s Inc., found that to be true when she started her brand at 26 years old.
“Align yourself with people who are seasoned and smarter than you in certain areas,” said Kaufman. “You can’t know everything about everything. You are also never above anyone else, you can always learn something from the people you work with.”
Plan but be prepared for the unexpected
“You need a plan,” said Josh York, founder and CEO of GYMGUYZ. “When I first started, I saw the picture very clearly and how we were going to get there. I’ve always seen it from day one.”
When starting any business or franchise you have to have a business plan. After starting his franchise at 25 years old, York says it’s equally important to prepare for the unexpected. Being ready to handle any challenges and issues that arise are imperative to be a successful franchisor.
“You have to prepare for the unexpected,” said York. “I knew it was going to be difficult; there are a lot of challenges and hurdles you have to jump over.”
Follow the numbers
In business, money talks.
“Make sure you have money,” said York. “I grew this business with $15,000. At some point, if you want to scale you need to have access to capital. That’s important.”
While it’s important to be set up financially for startup costs and scaling, it’s also paramount to be strict with spending when it comes to all expenses when business is concerned.
“In any business, it has to be run by the numbers,” said Kaufman. “My business counselor, who helped me when I was started, always told me to run it by the numbers. It’s not about the clothes or fashion or styles, it’s about the number at the end of the day it’s the most important.”
For young franchisors, it’s important to believe in and have a passion for the business you’re creating.
“You have to do something that you love,” said Parker. “You have to have a passion for it and love what you’re doing. You’re not going to want to put in the hard work that it takes to be successful.”