Who comes to mind when you think of a typical franchisee? Is it someone with a number of years of business experience behind them? Maybe it is someone who identifies in a later generation? One of the great things about the franchise industry is that yes, franchisees may fit into those characterizations, but it is widening to include younger generations with diverse backgrounds and experiences as well, which is helping to expand the industry into a more diverse space with growing opportunities.
MILLENNIALS’ GROWING INTEREST IN BUSINESS OWNERSHIP AND FRANCHISING
Millennials, (typically defined as those who were born between 1981 – 1996), are radiating with an entrepreneurial spirit. Recent statistics indicate that 36% of this generation ranked very high with this trait, with Generation X (1965-1980) not far behind at 33%, Generation Z (1997-2012) at 29%, and Baby Boomers (1946-1964) at 25%.
Beating out other generations with their entrepreneurial interest, many millennials are turning to franchises as a way to engage in business ownership while benefiting from the immense support and solidified structure that franchises offer. But how does this generation compare to others?
Insights from a 2021 study indicate that millennials are the second largest generation of future franchise owners (24.7%), which now surpasses Baby Boomers who make up 23.4% of franchise inquiries. Meanwhile, Generation X continues to have the greatest share of franchise interest (48.2%), which relatively reflects the average age of a franchise owner, which is 44.2 years old.
However, with reports by the US Census Bureau from 2019 stating that millennials make up 72.1 million of the population, while Generation X make up 65.2 million, this large (and steadily increasing) generation, is taking the franchising industry by storm, and it is likely they will continue to for years to come as Generation Xers and millennials assume new roles as franchise owners.
Other than a growing interest in this industry, millennials have a variety of qualities and traits that make them an ideal fit in the franchising world, including those listed below.
THEY PRIORITIZE MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT IN THEIR COMMUNITIES AND THE WORLD
The idea of giving back to communities and wanting to make a difference in the world is on the minds of many millennials. Millennials make up the highest percentage of US adults who believe climate change should be a top priority, while 75% of those in this demographic are eco-conscious and more likely to change their habits to reduce their environmental impact.
In the workforce, two-thirds of millennials say they prefer to work for companies that give to charity than those that do not, 88% of millennials say their job is more fulfilling when they have the opportunity to make a positive change, and 76% of this generation take into consideration a company’s social and environmental commitments when choosing a company to work at.
It is clear that millennials want to make a positive impact in their communities and the world, and they want to feel as though their work has a positive effect. This is why “giving back” through their actions and the choices they make is such a significant factor for them. Subsequently, this generation is passionate about what they believe is important, which provides them with the motivation to make changes at a macro and micro level.
Within the franchising industry, community impact plays an important role. Franchise owners live and work in their own community, and they get to engage with members of their community on a daily basis. Through the products and/or services offered, many franchise owners can help meet the needs of their local customers, thus making a positive impact in their community. As well, there are many franchise systems that are involved in greater community work through different charities and foundations, which can be even more attractive to millennials interested in pursuing franchising.
Their altruistic qualities and passion to make a difference and “give back”, even in their smaller communities, are factors that make millennials great franchisees. It is this passion and desire for a greater good that can set their business up for success, and allow their franchise to make an impact in the communities they are located in.
THEY UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Millennials are considered digital natives, as they have grown up in the information age with the presence of digital technology. This means various technologies are familiar, and for the most part, they are comfortable using and engaging with emerging technologies.
Millennials have grown up surrounded by different kinds of technology, such as computers, the internet, and cellphones – which have advanced to a great degree during their lifetimes. This familiarity with technology allows this generation to more easily pick up many of the technical aspects of running a franchise, such as certain software and computer use, as they are much more attune with it thanks to their own personal use of technology on a daily basis. Having this technology-use background from childhood can allow millennials to rely on the digital skills that seem to come naturally compared to past generations.
With technology use comes social media, something many millennials are also very used to using in their personal lives. As a franchise owner, utilizing social media can be a great way to engage with the community they are serving, and this form of marketing is something millennials not only feel comfortable using, but also see the value of. Social media strategies may be difficult for later generations to navigate without training, but are something that many millennials feel comfortable integrating much more authentically.
THEY ARE EAGER TO LEARN
A significant element of franchising is the training and support that is involved. Since millennials have grown up in the information age and are constantly learning and adapting to their everchanging digital environments, training can often come easily to them. As well, there are more millennials with a bachelor’s degree or higher than any other previous generation. The systems and practices they picked up throughout school, such as learning, studying, collaborating, and teamwork, can all translate over to the franchising world.
60% of millennials find it extremely important to have the opportunity to learn and grow on the job, and as natural students, they want to feel confident in themselves to succeed in the roles they are given. These traits are very much necessary to succeed in a franchise. Since franchising requires the franchisee to trust and follow the franchisor’s business plan to be successful, having this eagerness and ability to learn will help in this process.
THEY EMBRACE WORK FLEXIBILITY
Many millennials are moving away from 9-5 roles in search of more flexibility and a greater work-life balance. Throughout the pandemic, many employed Americans began working remotely, and the findings throughout that process help shine a light on some of the important values that employees see as important in the workforce. For example, 67% of millennials found remote work enabled them to have a better work/life balance. Meanwhile, a recent survey found that nine in ten employees want flexibility when it comes to when and where they work.
This desire for a greater work/life balance and flexibility in the workplace is something that franchising can offer. While becoming a franchise owner is not a simple task, nor does it mean there are less hours involved to keep a location up and running (at least in the beginning), owning a franchise does offer much more flexibility than many corporate roles. This is why it can be such a successful career switch for many individuals, especially millennials who value that work/life balance.
Additionally, the added support that franchising offers can be extremely valuable for the millennials who want greater flexibility, but do not want to take as great of a risk as they would if they were to start their own business from scratch. In other words, entering into a franchise system can offer the support millennials are used to from the corporate world, but with greater flexibility that being an owner brings.
FRANCHISE WITH DOGTOPIA
If you are interested in franchising with Dogtopia, please view our Next Steps page that will help guide you through this franchising process. As well, our Why Dogtopia? page provides greater insight into why franchising with Dogtopia can be right for you.
THE DOGTOPIA FOUNDATION
Our mission through The Dogtopia Foundation is to enable dogs to positively change our world. To help accomplish this, we fund programs around three worthy causes: Service Dogs for Veterans, Youth Literacy Programs, and Employment Initiatives for Adults with Autism.