Women in Franchising: This business is not just for men anymore

The franchise business model is no longer a man's game. More and more women are finding a business home in the franchise world - and liking it very much, thank you!

Research and statistics confirm that women have been steadily rising in the ranks of franchise operators over the past couple of decades. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been keeping tabs on women in franchising since the 1970s. The group has noted that women starting their own businesses have been on the rise for decades now. One study found that 10 percent of all companies established between 1975 and 2000 were women-owned franchises. Five years ago, the International Franchise Association (IFA) estimated the percentage of women operating franchises to be 25 percent - and that doesn't include another 17 percent of the population where men and women operate franchises as partners.

So just what is it about women and franchising that has spurred this marked growth? Well, skills, interests, and personality traits, among other things, seem to be playing a key role. Consider the following:

  • Women tend to be great organizers, can prioritize well, and have an eye for detail. Characteristics like these are a perfect match for operating a franchise.
  • Women often have the ability to think quickly, improvise, and adapt when necessary. Definite strengths when it comes to operating a franchise.
  • Women are known to have strong networking and communications skills. Music to a franchisor's ears as communication with the franchisor, vendors, and customers is imperative.
  • Female business owners also tend to be more financially conservative and willing to start small on their way to growing big. This is the kind of business approach and philosophy that is perfect for opening, operating, and growing a franchise. Franchisors know it.

It's also interesting to note that women today have more opportunities than ever to join in franchising. Organizations such as the SBA and Association of Women Business Centers have established workshops, seminars, mentoring programs, and funding opportunities for women interested in operating a franchise.

There is also much more variety for women to choose from today in franchising. Gone are the days when women were simply relegated to working in more feminine-type businesses such as beauty and health-related franchises. Today's franchising world offers up opportunities across all sectors and types of franchising - and there are female success stories in all of them.

As you might expect, more and more franchisors are targeting and searching for qualified female franchise owners for their systems. They are working closely with franchise brokers, advertising and marketing partners, and their own internal staff to figure out the best way to reach female prospects. Women offer a great and effective source for franchise growth and franchisors want to tap into this resource.

Next time we'll look at a female franchise operator who has successfully grown into a prosperous and profitable multi-unit franchise business operator.

21.4: Success Stories of Young Entrepreneurs
21.6: Female Franchise Success

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