I recently read an article by Anita Campbell in which she spoke about the demographics regarding people who are entering the world of business ownership and franchising.  There were some eye opening facts regarding the ages of first time entrepreneurs.

Anita quoted statistics from a November 2009 Bureau of Labor Statics study that showed, “The incorporated self-employment rate is four times higher among those aged 65 to 69 than among those aged 25 to 34—and a whopping 25 times higher than among those aged 20 to 24.”

There are a number of reasons this may be taking place:

  • Investing may be easier with the utilization of built up retirement funding
  • With grown children, the ability to save and gain necessary capital for start-up may be easier
  • Lay-offs – higher paid senior executives were greatly impacted during the economic down-turn – rather than going back into Corporate America, invest in yourself and your skills
  • Nearing retirement age, but still having the desire to contribute
  • Empty-nest syndrome – many mothers have more time on their hands and the ability to take charge of their time – with the battle to gain employment being an uphill one for many stay-at-home moms, starting a busy may be much more plausible

If any of the above scenarios sound familiar, I suggest you read the entire article, and perhaps consider franchising as an option.

When considering a franchise opportunity, you may want to think outside the box.  Often people looking at business opportunities search inside their current skill set or trade.

Carpenters look at construction related franchises, electrician looks at franchises in the electrical field, etc.  Consider the other experience you  have and think of how you could utilize that in almost any field.  You may have sales experience, marketing experience, management experience, etc. and none of these skills are “field” specific.

Grady Barnard began to look for opportunities outside his field and shares his experience of getting into the franchise arena below.

“Hi, my name is Grady Barnard.  I am in the Technology field with a great company, but wanted to diversify my income, so after looking at several opportunities decided to go with the Squad. In the end I feel as if this opportunity will give me financial freedom and a better quality of life for my family.

After looking at several opportunities, I decided on Mosquito Squad for several reasons:

  1. Initial Investment
  2. A true need in our area, plus the ability to help others enjoy the outdoors as I do – Mosquito Free
  3. A company (OLB) that has been around for a while with other successful franchise opportunities

So far the company has been a great help getting us started – I think what closed it was the fact they do not take everyone who has money to spend. You go through an evaluation process to determine:

1. if the opportunity is right for you

2. if you are a good fit with the company.

That was big in my mind.  I am looking forward to a big season in 2010.”

As you have read, Grady decided to think outside the box and consider utilizing his skills in an unrelated field to reach his goals.  With the right mind set, the sky is the limit with franchising.

As you begin your quest to learn more about business ownership, do your homework, and know the rules of the game.  When you are considering franchise opportunities, remember that the Federal Trade Commission has set forth many rules and guidelines that franchisors must follow to remain in compliance.

As a Franchise Recruiter for Outdoor Living Brands, I hear stories of interactions my candidates have had with other franchise opportunities.  Typically, when the first question I receive from a candidate is “How much money can I make”, I know they are either testing me and my credibility, or they may not have worked with ethical franchise professionals in the past. 

As per Federal Trade Commission rules, there is only one legal way to answer that question as a franchisor.  Franchisors may include an “earnings claim” in their Franchise Disclosure Document (or Unified Franchise Offering Circular), but must have the historical data required to verify the information being disclosed.  This “earnings claim” is found in the Franchise Disclosure Document as an “Item 19”. 

Most franchise concepts do not have an Item 19 in their Franchise Disclosure Document.  Perhaps the historical data isn’t available, the information does not put the franchise’s performance in a good light, or they are simply not comfortable providing that data up-front.  If you are looking at franchise concepts, and hear claims of “100% success rates” or “our franchisees make a lot of money”, etc., buyer beware – if you can not find this information documented, it may not be accurate.  Ask the franchise concept if their Franchise Disclosure Document contains and Item 19 – and if not, why?

Outdoor Living Brands currently works with franchise candidates of Archadeck, Mosquito Squad, and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.  Each of these concepts offer an Item 19.

If you feel the time is right to nourish your entrepreneurial spirit, consider looking at a franchise instead of trying to go it alone.  There are many reasons you may want to consider franchising as an alternative to starting your own business.  Books and articles are being written each day emphasizing why franchising is a good idea.

As a Franchise Recruiter at Outdoor Living Brands, I find many of the same driving factors that have future business owners looking to become involved in a franchised business. 

  • Training – you don’t know what you don’t know.  So allowing a successful franchise organization to guide you through the process of figuring it all out is crucial.
  • Marketing – knowing who your target market is and how to reach them can make all the difference in the beginning of your business and through-out it tenure.
  • Help Getting Started – what do you need to do to start a business?  Sound like a simple enough question to answer, but again, you don’t know what you don’t know.
  • Brand Recognition – if you are starting from scratch with a name no one has seen or heard before, the touch points needed to get your brand recognized increases.
  • Lower failure rate – with a dedicated team of professionals working with you, you avoid making the same mistakes they may have made when starting out, so your ability to succeed is increased.
  • Faster Return on Investment – if you are constantly infusing capital into your business to compensate for rookie or novice mistakes, the amount of time it takes to recoup your investment grows.

Take advantage of the experience of others and investigate the opportunities franchising affords you.  There are many franchise concepts available in multiple arenas and finding the one that works for you may be easier than you think.  Check out the websites of some of the businesses that appeal to you.  Your future endeavors could be a click away.

As the leader of an outdoor living franchise company, we are always looking for qualified and properly capitalized franchisees to join our franchise systems – Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad.

I am delighted to announce a record setting new class of Mosquito Squad franchisees will be starting their initial training in Richmond on December 7, 2009. This is the largest training class ever for Mosquito Squad and Outdoor Living Brands; it completes our efforts to more than double the Mosquito Squad franchise system in 2009. The new franchisees will be preparing to launch their franchise operations in 2010 and will start protecting families from both the annoying bites and the dangers of insect borne diseases next spring. 

MSF 3560 December 2009 Record Training Press Release – Final

I (and our entire team) look forward to supporting these new franchisees to help them to reach their personal, business and lifestyle objectives that led them to invest in and launch their Mosquito Squad franchise businesses!

As consumers, we all like to do business with companies that we already know, like and trust.  This basic statement is part of our strategic rationale in building the multi-branded franchise offerings under the Outdoor Living Brands umbrella organization.  To learn more about the benefits for franchisees of our strategy of assembling three leading franchise brands – Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad – all under one company, check out this article,

Multi-Unit Growth Through Multiple Brands“, that I wrote for the October issue of the International Franchise Association’s (“IFA”) Franchising World magazine. Or, to see the article as a pdf file, click here:  2009-10-30 Franchising World – Grandpre Article.

Wow, we are experiencing some strong building momentum with our Mosquito Squad franchise business, part of Outdoor Living Brands!  Since acquiring the company in the first quarter of 2009 with approximately 17 franchise locations, we will more than double the company by the end of the year – in fact, we are likely to have more than 40 franchise locations at the beginning of 2010. 

Despite the economic climate, 2009 was a very strong season for the Mosquito Squad franchise system and demand is running extremely strong from individuals seeking to join this rapidly growing franchise system.  We are working on finalizing plans for a very large December training class and expect continued rapid expansion in 2010.  It is fun and rewarding to be part of a dynamic growing franchise system that is helping our franchisees to reach their personal and business goals.