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.

There are thousands of franchise offerings for you to choose from, but not all are good opportunities.  In many instances you will find there are leaders and there are followers.  With a bit of research into a franchise, you can determine if you are considering being a part of a leading franchise concept or a following franchise concept.

Leadership characteristics are apparent and can not be falsified or stolen.  At Outdoor Living Brands, we look for franchisees who exhibit leadership qualities – those who lead by example and attract those who take ownership and accountability for all that they do.  Leaders can admit when they are wrong or in error; leaders solve problems instead of working around them; leaders are visionaries – striving to do better instead of pointing out that they are better than some or most; leaders listen and learn rather than trying to impress others by talking and searching for or pointing out flaws.  

Many have suffered the wrath of the follow or “glory grabber”.  When a leader determines there is a better way of completing a task, and begins the quest of determining that correct path, a follower lingers in the background until the leader is finished and rushes to present the idea as their own.  Followers are constantly looking for ways to take other’s ideas and present them as their own.  Some may even admit to “borrowing” an idea – perhaps an attempt to justify their lack of creativity or masking questionable ethical behavior. 

What happens when a follower is tasked with making improvements, explaining a concept, or “taking it to the next level”?  Phrases we are all too familiar with begin to rear their ugly heads . . . “It’s the way we’ve always done it”; “That’s the way it’s always been” or the dreaded “I only work here”.  When you are considering franchise concepts, take the time to determine if this concept and franchisor is a leader or a follower.  Leaders will be setting the standards and blazing the path to the future – followers will always be playing catch up or riding on the coat tails of the successful. 

All men may be created equal, but not all franchise concepts are.

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.

Recently, I was interviewed by Tom Franz, the Franchise Mentor, on his “Be Your Own Boss” radio show.  We discussed franchising as a vehicle for to be your own boss.  Franchising can be a great way for individuals to pursue a transition in their careers, to take control of their own destiny, and to pursue their business, career and lifestyle objectives through franchise ownership. 

As president of Outdoor Living Brands, I have literally seen dozens and dozens of examples of our franchisees – Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, and Modquito Squad – turn to franchising as the way to take control of their careers and financial futures by investing in a franchise in pursuit of their personal wealth, income and lifestyle goals. 

According to research sponsored by the International Franchise Association,  franchise businesses are up to three times more likely to be successful compared to similar independent businesses.  Over the last twenty year, the franchise industry has experienced exponential growth.  A tremendous number of new franchise businesses have been launched in the last five years alone and there are now over three quarters of a million franchise units driving tremendous job creation across our economy.

If you are thinking about a change in your career and you want to play a part in this growth, consider franchising and consider one of our franchise brands.  While you do, take a look at part of the taping of my recent radio interview on YouTube!

I am delighted to announce that Outdoor Living Brands is participating in the upcoming “Franchising in Virginia – 2010” event in conjunction with our local CBS affiliate (WRTV CBS-6 in Richmond, Virginia) and FranNet.  

The emphasis of this event is to educate business people about franchising as a path to business ownership and taking direct control over their careers.  In addition, selected franchise brands that have continued to grow despite the challenging economic climate of 2009 will be highlighted.  The event will be held on Tuesday, February 23 from 8:30am – Noon at the Sheraton Richmond West Hotel located at 6624 Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230.  Admission is free.

I will be giving a presentation on Outdoor Living Brands and our three, industry leading franchise brands – Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad.  I look forward to seeing you there!

While many of us our thinking about football with the recent kickoff of the NFL playoffs, at Outdoor Living Brands we are kicking off the year with the Annual Conventions for the Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and then the Archadeck franchise system in Amelia Island, Florida next week.  We hold the Annual Convention for our third brand, Mosquito Squad, later in February.

I look forward to seeing all of our franchisees!  We have great meetings planned for each franchise system to help our franchise owners start strong in 2010.  If you have been thinking about kicking off a change in your life and career, consider franchising as a vehicle to pursue your personal, business and career goals.  I look forward to seeing you at our 2011 Annual Conventions!

Fewer than half of U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs, the lowest level since record-keeping began 22 years ago, said a report released on January 5, 2010.  What are people waiting for?  Franchising is the vehicle for people to make the changes in their careers and in their lives!

As published on CNN.com today:

The Conference Board’s survey polled 5,000 households, and found that only 45% were satisfied in their jobs. That’s down from 61.1% in 1987, the first year the survey was conducted.

Even though one in 10 Americans is out of a job, those who are employed are increasingly dissatisfied.

“Through both economic boom and bust during the past two decades, our job satisfaction numbers have shown a consistent downward trend,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Consumer Research Center of The Conference Board, in a prepared statement.

“[That] could spell trouble for the overall engagement of U.S. employees and ultimately employee productivity,” she added.

The report notes that job satisfaction has steadily declined over the years despite big improvements in the work environment, such as a reduction of workplace hazards and an increase in vacation days.

The drop in satisfaction over the past 22 years spans various aspects of employee life, including interest in work (down 18.9 percentage points) and job security (down 17.5 percentage points).  And employee satisfaction dipped across the board; workers in every age group and income levels showed a drop, but workers younger than 25 were the most unhappy in their jobs.

Almost one-quarter of respondents said they didn’t expect to be at their current jobs within a year. 

Again, with all of this dissatisfaction, I believe 2010 will be a strong year for franchise recruiting.  The economy is starting to recover which offers the perfect backdrop to launch a new franchise business.  If you are one of those 55% that is unhappy with your current job, what are you waiting for?