FranNet research reveals that between 2011 and 2017, female franchise ownership in the US and Canada jumped by 83 percent, while male ownership increased by only 13 percent. This startling conclusion is backed by a report from the International Franchise Association (IFA) indicating a rise in women-owned franchise businesses of almost 50 percent since 2012. Women in franchising is a powerful trend, and is showing no signs of abating. What’s the attraction?
Although women are drawn into franchising for a multitude of reasons, three stand out:
- Schedule flexibility: We regularly hear that the greater success our female clients achieve in their careers, the less personal and family time they have available. The reality is that regardless of how successful women are in their careers, in many families women are still the primary caregivers for children and/or aging parents, a decidedly time-intensive role. The desire to have more control over their time is one of the primary reasons we see such a marked increase in the desire for franchise ownership by women.Owning a franchise is increasingly perceived as one of the best ways of achieving that elusive goal of work-life control—of being able to realize corporate-level earnings while enjoying significant time flexibility. With many franchises the owner will hire and lead a team; once the business hits full stride she can choose the duties and the hours that work best for her. She will then lead her team and manage their schedule to ensure optimum coverage and customer engagement—without having to be there all the time!
- Wealth creation: Many women, after years of toiling in corporate salaried positions, have come to understand that being an employee often means working with a “capped” income. There comes a point where your effort and return on effort ratio breaks; it doesn’t matter how much harder you’re asked to work or how many extra hours you’re asked to put in, the paycheque stays stuck at a level that is not reflective of your effort, or the extra results you’ve created for your employer.More women are seeking franchise ownership because they want to create REAL wealth by being in an ownership position where there is a direct correlation between how hard they work and the financial returns they can realize; they also want the benefit of building their own equity in the business over time. Franchise ownership is a proven way to create real wealth by leveraging both money (usually a combination of personal funds and business loans) and time (through leading the work of their employees). These tenets of capitalism are now being realized by a new cohort of women more empowered to pursue opportunities once considered the domain of men. Not only do franchises give women the opportunity to leverage money and labour, some franchise businesses are also eminently scalable, which is another key to wealth creation. After opening one franchise, a lot of women then grow into multi-unit ownership – creating additional economic engines to drive even greater wealth and work-life control.
- The glass ceilings of the corporate world: Let’s face it, even in 2018 women hold but a fraction of positions in the upper echelons of the corporate world—and are often paid less than their male counterparts, and given less opportunity and responsibility. In essence, within corporations they are often constrained by invisible but very real barriers supported by values and attitudes that are rooted in sexism. Owning a franchise—or franchises—allows women to realize their full career and financial potential without the frustrations and limitations of traditional corporate employment that has not served them well.Franchise ownership enables women to have complete autonomy and control of their business. They can choose what opportunities to pursue, what resources to assign, and what level of engagement they want to have for themselves. Being part of a franchise system means you have a guide and a catalyst to your success, instead of having a boss that holds you back.
Franchise ownership is not right for everybody, but as the data at the beginning of this blog shows, the rate women are seeking franchise ownership has never been higher.