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 business and franchise operators over the past three decades. According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report (commissioned by American Express OPEN):
- More than 8.6 million women-owned businesses generate over $1.3 trillion in revenues and employ nearly 7.8 million people in the United States.
- Between 1997 and 2013 the number of businesses in the United States increased by 41 percent while the number of women-owned businesses increased by 59 percent, 1.5 times the national average.
- Women-owned businesses exceed overall sector growth in eight of the 13 most populous industries.
- Women-owned businesses are highly concentrated in: health care and social assistance, educational services, other services, and administrative support and waste management services.
Among these female entrepreneurs are numerous women who have found a professional home in the franchise industry where 20.5 percent of franchised businesses are owned by women. Furthermore, an additional 24.4 percent of franchised businesses are male & female co-owned.
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
21.7: Minorities in Franchising