2012 is a tough time to be entering the work force. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment still hovers at 8.3 percent and although jobs are slowly coming back to the market, the competition is steep.
Young professionals aren’t just competing against each other. Former exe.....
Young professionals aren’t just competing against each other. Former executives and managers with decades of experience are vying for some of the same jobs as recent college graduates.
The reality of the job market has many young people searching for an alternative means of building a future. More and more, they’re turning to franchising.
When you consider the advantages of franchising, it’s obvious why it would appeal to a young entrepreneur. Peter Riggs, Pita Pit USA’s Director of Brand Development, points out that the accessibility to opening a business through franchising is one of the more significant benefits for young people.
“Franchising is attractive because it offers a store in a box,” Riggs says. “They offer proven systems with backup when you need it, meaning you don’t need as in-depth a knowledge base of business. You’re taught those things by the franchisor.”
The experience offered by the corporate team behind line-striping franchise We Do Lines was what attracted 26-year-old Tyler Vickery to open a We Do Lines location in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I didn’t know the first thing about line striping,” Vickery said. “The guys at We Do Lines had a lot of experience together doing it. It was good having someone come down and help us get off the ground and knowing that you had supporters who wanted to help you succeed.”
Paul Mann, CEO and Founder of Fetch! Pet Care, adds that franchising can also help owners be happy in the workplace, especially when the franchise features a robust support staff in an exciting industry as Fetch! does. The pet sitting concept has been named a top franchise opportunity for young people for that very reason.
“Young people want a business that is meaningful, has personal value and gives a feeling of job satisfaction,” says Mann. “They’re more aware of their carbon footprint and may want to make a living in a conscious manner to the environment and community.”
But as one would expect, jumping into business with no prior experience is still a challenge. One of the major roadblocks is financing, which is why Mann suggests concepts in a stable industry with low startup costs.
“Most young people wrestle with gaining access to capital, so a low-risk, low-cost business like ours is ideal,” he says. “Even if an entrepreneur can’t get a loan, our cost is low enough that they can often avoid banks and get help from friends and family. What’s even better about Fetch! is that it plays into two of the fastest growing industries, pet care and baby boomers.”
Another factor for young entrepreneurs to consider is a lack of exposure to the inner workings of the business world. Riggs said that although this is a serious issue, it’s also where a franchise beats out standalone startups.
“People just starting out don’t have the experience in business and management required to be successful,” he says. “They’re going to face skepticism about their abilities and probably won’t have an understanding of all the things that go into running a business—things like forming an operating company or tax stuff. That’s where the franchisor can help you understand all those hoops you have to jump through.”
One thing potential franchisees don’t need to worry about is being denied by a franchisor just because of their age.
“It’s not about age, it’s about the person and whether or not you’re going to fit well within our culture and the way we do things,” says Riggs.
Mann agrees, adding that some of Fetch!’s most successful franchisees have been under 30.
“Age is probably one of the last things we look at. We’re looking for people who want to shape their destiny and are willing to commit the time required.”
What words of advice do these franchise veterans have for entrepreneurs ready to dive into franchising?
“The key is to do what really makes you happy. Lay out your personal goals and find a business that helps you achieve them.”
- Paul Mann, CEO and Founder, Fetch! Pet Care
“Ask more questions. You’re not expected to know everything and you aren’t going to at that age. The bottom line is there are things you don’t know. The sooner you accept that and get used to the idea, the sooner you’ll be successful. It’s better to ask a question than make stupid mistakes.”
- Peter Riggs, Director of Brand Development, Pita Pit USA