From owning a franchise to working with clients who wish to do the same, I have personally experienced and discussed the mindset women walk through when researching business options. However, regardless of gender the core reasons seem to be the same - freedom. What we perceive freedom to be, how we will achieve it and any personal growth needed to achieve it. Over the years as I have seen fellow franchisees or clients wishing to find a concept - more women are taking a seat at the table. This has been refreshing to witness and through my role as a consultant, to encourage.
I have worked with women - married or single - who want something different & see themselves in the role of business ownership as they shift the power of their direction & focus. For many, this is an idea that is becoming more comfortable to think about as a reality.
“Today, women own 42% of all businesses” - Wall Street Journal
According to the Franchise Business Review research firm - as of May 2019, women own or co-own 35% of the franchise outlets in the U.S.—which is around 265,000 total. That represents outlet growth of 24% from a decade earlier, and in the two years ended in May, 41% of new franchise outlets opened have been owned or co-owned by women.
Perception is Reality
Recently I read something that struck me strange yet rang very true for the portion I could personally validate - Women feel that they have to know 80% to at least try; Men feel they should know at least 20% to try. We could run with this in more than 20+ different directions for this varying perception of our abilities but to stay focused, let’s walk down the path of women and franchising. There are systems, processes and procedures in place that allow more security at the beginning of starting a business. Juggling multiple areas of life: work, family, marriages, aging parents - finding something that we have more control over helps obtain the goal of freedom. Businesses with more levers to pull to & support systems to have a higher rate of success. Transferable skill sets are learned in many different aspects of our lives, and mental toughness, making effective decisions are certainly at the top of the list. The IFA reports that women now own almost 30% of franchise locations and that is still under-stated as it doesn’t include women/men partnerships!
“Our focus is to honor the vision as a whole, building & elevating brands. I see women, once empowered by business ownership, keep empowering more women and to see that full circle is exciting to be a part of.”, Ashly Loza, Executive Director of Operations at FranDevCo
Influence Trickles Down
Where does most of our growth occur? Outside our comfort zones….easier said than done. Yet we are seeing this push occur daily, becoming more of our normalized way of perceiving how to get things done & tackle new projects - JLo; Margaret Thatcher; Jennifer Aniston; Michele Obama; Sara Blakely; Star Parker; Ann Coulter; Annie Lebowitz; Kamala Harris - trail blazers are among us in many different industries. The trickle effect into business is that as more women are in C-Level positions we are finding that women can identify a mentor or an ideal of where they would like to see their potential. Operating a business for themselves is becoming one of them. The continued cycle empowers more women to feel capable & empowered!
Carey Gille, Co-Founder and President of Franchise FastLane, explains how much she values the role of women in franchising. “In the tech-world, I was often the lone female voice at the conference table. The fact that I now get to work along-side some of the most impressive women brand founders, women consultants, women developers, and women finance partners is such a privilege. The notable role of women in this industry is a big part of why I so love what I do today.”
Putting It All Into Place
What does thriving mean to women now? This has changed & grown as our generations find empowerment & rewrite the rules. As we learn from past generations we are finding what we want - our voice. With this voice we can make a difference and that starts within our own lives. Finding that gut check of why! Make sure your why is strong enough, internalized enough and you truly operate from this position. Our strength comes from our confidence & believing in ourselves is gut check #1. Finding a business that resonates with you, one you believe will work is a gut check I do with clients to make sure they’re focusing on the right aspects of the business.
“Opening my own business has been the most exciting yet terrifying experience of my life. Even during stressful times, I am amazed by the growing number of people who support me and share my vision. This synergy gives me the confidence and drive to keep going. I am confident that our hard work will bring abundant blessings to me, my team and my members.” - Laura Richie, Owner Yoga6 Knoxville, TN
Let’s keep reaching new heights, encouraging each other to do good in the world & set our own bar of standards.
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