4 Tips for Women Joining the Franchise Industry
Ninety percent of women enjoy operating as a franchisee and 85 percent would recommend their franchisor to others, according to a survey by Franchise Business Review. This is welcoming news to women as they enter the franchise industry. However, learning a few tips can make it easier to become a successful franchisee:
- Find What You Are Passionate About
As a franchisee, you are essentially a small business owner. You should choose a franchise that shares values that are similar to your own. Doing some research and learning more about the products and services provided by a potential franchisor can be beneficial to your decision as well. Passion fuels your business goals and will help make your work seem less like work.
Ann Whitton is a multi-unit franchise owner of multiple Winmark® brands including, Plato’s Closet®, Once Upon a Child® and Style Encore®. Before she owned a franchise with Winmark, she valued their stance on reusing clothing. The resale aspect of the business matched Whitton’s passion for sustainability.
"Our entire family is dedicated to environmentalism. We recycle, drive electric cars, and we truly believe in the sustainable approach," explained Whitton.
- Find a Mentor
Finding a franchisor that offers franchisee support can be beneficial to the growth of your business. A strong franchisor/franchisee partnership is essential to the business growth and evolution.
Beginning a franchise is not completely fool proof. However, having a supportive franchisor help you get over the bumps in the road can lead you to success. Whitton remembers her first issues with theft and handled it accordingly.
“Owning a Plato’s Closet location wasn’t all easy; theft was rampant in the beginning and there was an overall negative stigma regarding used clothing in general. Luckily, we found the right security system, and the styles at our Plato’s Closet location changed the minds of all those who questioned resale, “said Whitton.
Besides your franchisor serving as a mentor, you can also build relationships with other women who have experience in the franchising industry. The IFA has a Women’s Franchise Network that allows women in the franchise industry to network and share ideas.
- Achieve a Desirable Schedule
Many women choose to enter the franchising industry because they want to set their own schedule. You have the control to come and go as you please when you are a franchisee with a stable business operation in place. Whether you want more time with family or for hobbies, it is important to find a franchise that offers the flexibility you need.
Whitton was in a position many other women face. She was a mother of two teenagers who wanted to spend more time at home. Winmark provided a beneficial opportunity that fit her unique schedule.
“I wanted something without a big commute, something I would be in control of with two teenage daughters and a husband working overseas,” explained Whitton.
- Take Advantage of Available Sources
Becoming a franchisee takes capital and dedication. However, you don’t necessarily need to empty your savings account to become a business owner. There are more than a few financing options that can help you gain access to capital.
Whitton started her first Plato’s Closet as an endeavor to stay busy and bring in a few dollars. However, after the first year her husband pointed out that her income from their one location brought in more money than his job. They soon opened more stores with the revenue of their initial location. Starting with lower goals to open a single location can allow an entrepreneur to gain capital for more locations later.
The Small Business Administration also has the tools and expertise to match borrowers to approved lenders. Other helpful loans for women can be found through term loan lenders, business lines of credit lenders and short term lenders according to Fundera.
Consider a franchise opportunity where men and women can have equal success when searching through your options. At Winmark Franchise Corporation®, we provide a steady business model, helpful resources and an open door policy to set our franchisees up for success. Visit our website to explore our growing franchise opportunities.