Why Generation Next Make Great Franchisees
Scoff if you must, but The March of The Snowflake continues. With more and more reports suggesting that Millenials and even Gen Z make great business partners it’s becoming harder to ignore.
Much has been made of these Generation Next cohorts, and quite often not complementary, but there are a number of reasons these groups are embarking on start-ups and getting into franchising at younger and younger ages.
According to forbes.com, “More under 30s are entering the UK franchise industry as franchise business owners than ever before – with 18% of all new franchisees now under 30. A significant leap from 3% in 2015.”
Anyone who is a franchisor ignoring this group runs the risk of missing out on a wave of youthful invigoration that can successfully take your franchise legacy forward.
So why do they make excellent candidates and how do you attract them?
Generation Next Have Qualities You Need
While the more traditional stalwart of franchising has been the Boomer generation, they are often not seen to be on the cutting edge of technology, social media platforms (does anyone younger than yourself snicker at the mention of Facebook?), and overall operate differently to our youthful counterparts.
Creativity and fresh ideas
This doesn’t make older-generation franchisees a thing of the past, but attracting these younger business owner wannabes is often crucial to seeing your franchise flourish into the future. Move with the times. Have fresh pairs of eyes on company goals, and perhaps even update the company mission and vision.
Community and team-oriented
Teamwork and community-minded, Millennials and Gen Z like to collaborate and feel that they are working toward something that will make a difference. It’s not enough to clock in and out. They want a workspace with inspiration and a feeling of being valued to achieve their loyalty.
Loyalty and commitment to brand values are at the core of buying into a franchise and everything it stands for. If your franchise has the right culture it will be easy to find the next generation to take your franchising forward.
Social media savvy and technology pros
Failure to utilise social media platforms is a surefire way for any franchise to get left behind. Millennials and Gen Z grew up with it and know every way to use it to their advantage. And let’s face it, who can keep up with everything on all of the different social streams these days? I’ll tell you who, we’re writing about them.
They are also incredibly up-to-date with how the latest tech works and can better harness online marketing processes. It’s second nature to them.
Learning and mentoring
This is the information generation. Used to finding out anything they don’t know online means they recognise that they don’t know it all.
The key point to note here is that they generally respond well to mentoring with someone they find inspirational. Not from someone who is a traditional boss who gives them a to-do list and then tells them where they got everything wrong.
They work exceptionally well within a franchise framework that offers detailed and ongoing support. And for any franchisor, this setup can only solidify the importance of brand and corporate rules that have to be adhered to and the reasons why those things are in place.
They’re escaping the 9 to 5
Work/life balance is more meaningful to the entire population right now, but younger generations starting out their careers know that the technology of today really makes flexible working a long-term option.
Without extensive work experience, franchising is attractive because they have a degree of autonomy yet retain the support they will need to run their own business. The best of both worlds and a great proposition.
How to Attract Millennials and Gen Z to Your Franchise
Now that we’ve pointed out the advantages of having some Millennials and Gen Z in your franchising venture, how do you make your franchise an attractive proposition?
You’ll want some on board which gives you some future-proofing advantages. What are the key considerations?
What is your purpose?
Do you know what your business stands for? Generation Next is more likely to want to work for a franchise that has a positive social and environmental impact, and corporate values that go above and beyond the profit-making bottom line.
Does your franchise give back to the community? Have charitable connections or events? Are you diverse and inclusive?
Franchises that nail a millennial-friendly environment are more likely to attract that target audience for future expansion opportunities.
Your culture is your calling card so make it count.
Is your tech up to date?
Nothing is likely to put off the younger generations than outdated, dusty old technology that is slow, clunky, and often frustrating to use.
Investing in modern and up-to-date tech will help attract this digital age group while getting you out of the dinosaur age of paper and pencil pushing. Win-win for the franchisor and for attracting potential franchisees.
Will your franchise collaborate and listen?
Younger generations are eager learners, but they also want to be heard.
There is nothing worse than a dismissive attitude at the top of a franchise system to deter the future franchisees you’re aiming to target.
Mentor programs and conventions that allow everyone to be heard who have ideas worth sharing are very youth-friendly franchise systems that encourage communication and collaboration. Ideas that worked two decades ago might not work in the present, so engaging our youth can help drive your franchise to the next logical progression.
If you make the efforts to connect to the prevailing wants and needs of our future business owners, your franchise has a much higher chance of survival and a more robust potential for growth.