Franchising as a Lifeline
The stereotypical young American’s life—college, internship, first career, dream job—isn’t in the cards for everyone, whether that’s by choice or circumstance. Without a neatly defined path, people tend to focus on what they’re good at. During a stint writing in the auto repair and collision repair worlds (they’re different!), I interviewed many impressive young people that focused on a skill, put in the time and, through patience and dedication, were working toward the dream of becoming their own bosses.
Nobody can question the dedication of a single mom in her late 20’s that works nearly full time, is completing a professional degree in auto repair and spends a lot of time being a good mom to her daughter. I was similarly moved by a young guy I spoke with pulling double duty working as a mechanic by day and wrenching on behalf of his own business every night—often at least until 10 o'clock.
Such dedication can pay off, and franchising provides a vital opportunity for hardworking people with the skills, ambition and courage to stick their neck out for the chance to control their own destiny. To me, that’s more awe inspiring than a typical trip through a four-year university.
Before joining the franchise world, I was unaware of the SBA’s assistance for those looking for a new beginning. I also didn’t know you could tap 401K funds to start a business.
Even though I’m very happy as a journalist (and have yet to find any reporter franchises), just knowing these options exist gets my gears turning. As it turns out, cereal restaurants, yogurt stores and dog-walking businesses all already exist.
Working on a story for our September issue on automotive franchises grooming employees to become franchise owners, I hope other franchisors—and the whole industry—communicates these lifeline options to their employees.
Gathering financing isn't easy when you’re young and working your way up the chain, but social mobility is what franchising is all about and everybody in the biz needs to encourage that.