The Franchisor and Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs
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- April 11th, 2005
Once upon a time, being an entrepreneur was the exclusive domain of the young. If you were older than 20-something, everyone assumed that you had no interest in starting a business. By your 30s you’d already own your own business, they thought. Or you’d be safely cocooned in a corporate career.
Of course, that WAS the reality…back in the day. Back in the day when employees could expect corporate jobs for life, that is. We know those days went away a long time ago.
Today, people have multiple careers in a working lifetime. What’s more, careers and work are much different today than 20 or 30 years ago. Today it’s flexible scheduling and part-time work. We also see more contractors and consultants who move from assignment to assignment.
These workforce changes have hit the Baby Boomers, too. A study by AARP found that 80% of people expect to work after retirement – meaning, retirement really isn’t retirement in the traditional sense any more.
As the chart to the left shows, the U.S. population is aging fast. At the end of 2004 the last of the Baby Boomer generation turned 40. So what are all these Baby Boomers going to do once (like me) they hit the back nine of life?
A fair number are buying franchises, as this article in Entrepreneur points out (via Wayback Machine).
You see, many Baby Boomers with considerable business experience, or who have spent the bulk of their careers in the corporate world, aren’t comfortable with a pure startup.
The uncertainty of it, the lack of structure and support — it all makes them very nervous. Not everyone is cut out to start a business from a clean sheet of paper.
That’s why the franchisors that provide the best systems — marketing, technology support, customer service and operations — will have a leg up on everyone else. Franchisors that have strong internal competencies in the areas of systems, technology, supply chain efficiencies, and so on, can leverage those strengths to attract the most promising franchisees.
The Baby Boomer entrepreneur understands and values these kinds of internal competencies — more so than the younger, less experienced franchisee.