Selling new franchises is a high priority for franchisors. With more franchises launching every year, there is more competition than ever to recruit talented entrepreneurs interested in franchising. Fortunately, the trends favor opening small businesses and entrepreneurship. Many franchisors are rethinking recruitment strategies to win over the best and brightest people with the right experience and necessary capital.
Fortunately, franchisors looking for the next generation of franchisees have plenty of options. Overlooked and untapped demographic groups are full of candidates with potential. To find the next generation of leaders for your franchise, consider candidates from these three groups.
The largest generation in America is also the most entrepreneurial. Research by America's SBDC and the Center for Generational Kinetics shows that 68 percent of millennials have owned or worked with a startup, and 49 percent want to start a business within the next three years. Forty-five percent, though, cite low access to capital as a roadblock on the path to entrepreneurship.
Millennials are tech-savvy and comfortable using social media, which is a huge benefit when they need to promote a new business. Because millennials seem to have a strong interest in food – and eat out more frequently than other generational groups – they might be more easily recruited to the franchise restaurant business than other generations. But their ambitions can lead them to success in a variety of industries.
Additionally, millennials are comfortable asking questions and seeking mentors, so they will likely appreciate support available in a franchise network.
Appeal to millennials' desire for entrepreneurial freedom to attract them to your franchise. Being a franchisee is a great way for a millennial to quickly launch a new business and become their own boss. Talk to millennials about the proven franchise business model, and encourage them to take advantage of franchisor and corporate support to have all systems in place before they start and to help ensure success.
Millennials might not have the same amount of capital as older generations, but they do have access to franchise-specific lending options. Help them discover those options by publicizing your programs to connect potential franchisees to financial support.
Thanks to their good communication skills and collaborative management styles, women make ideal candidates to lead franchises. And women aren't just good at running franchises – they also enjoy it.
According to the Franchise Business Review, female franchisees generally express satisfaction with their jobs, with 90 percent reporting that they enjoy running their businesses. The sectors with the highest percentages of women as franchisees include child services, travel, cleaning, retail, fitness, and sports and recreation.
The International Franchise Association has a Women's Franchise Committee dedicated to inspiring and encouraging women in franchising. In addition, groups exist all over the world to help women develop their professional networks and help one another run more successful businesses.
Work with women's business groups, especially franchise networks, to promote your franchise to women who might be interested in starting their own businesses. Highlight benefits such as work-life balance, job satisfaction and corporate support to showcase the advantages of working with a franchise over traditional entrepreneurship and standard employment.
Veterans make great business owners. The same character traits that helped them succeed in the military – discipline, organization, self-motivation, focus and leadership – serve them well in the private sector. Veterans might also find the clear-cut structure and camaraderie of a franchise more appealing than the uncertain world of self-employment.
Many veterans enter the workforce with skills, such as food preparation or mechanical aptitude, that are valuable in a franchise environment. Most require some training in business courses to feel comfortable at the helm of a new company, but the same could be said of any group.
Veterans interested in buying franchises usually are eligible for special federal loan programs, including those from the Small Business Administration. With this combination of work ethic, skills and financial backing, veterans make an ideal demographic of potential franchisees.
To get more vets on board, focus your franchise marketing on how the skills veterans developed in the military translate well to franchise life. VetFran, the International Franchise Association's veterans program, provides resources and information to veterans interested in franchising, including lists of the best franchises for veterans. Publications such as Entrepreneur, Forbes and Military Times all publish similar lists.
Seek placement on these top lists to attract more veteran franchisee candidates. Send information on your company and veteran incentive programs to each publication. The more public your veteran support, the more positively veterans will view your franchise.
Franchises don't have to struggle to find high-quality talent. Many millennials, women and veterans are ready and excited to run their own businesses and experience franchise life for themselves. For all three groups, use digital campaigns with specific audience targeting and messaging based on demographic profiles. Communicate with those you are interested in recruiting about the benefits of franchise life that matter to them, and soon, you will have a host of talented candidates eager to answer your call.