Franchise ownership was, like many industries, dominated by male hires for decades, but in the past few years, the number of women in power has steadily increased. A survey cited in Entrepreneur showed that the percent of women franchise owners grew from 18 percent in 2002 to 21 percent in 2007 – and adding the percentage of women co-owning stores with a male partner, a total of 45 percent of franchise businesses were run by women in 2007. Female franchisees have continued to seek out opportunities in franchise leadership for numerous reasons, including the flexibility allowed in running a store and the financial stability that comes with owning a successful food franchise business.
Women franchisees drawn to new challenges
The franchise model provides women with the opportunity to run their own businesses and start new careers. Thorough training provided by the franchisor provides any prospective franchisee with the know-how they need to successfully open and manage their own restaurant. After the doors are open, it's up to franchisees to follow the company system and make strong connections with customers. When it comes to establishing the types of long-term relationships that provide a food franchise with consistent business, women have an advantage, said franchise owner Lisa Saputo to Business News Daily. In addition, extra opportunities are available for female franchisees. These extra perks built into the franchise model put driven female entrepreneurs in the position to build their own bustling franchise businesses.
Flexibility key for women balancing work and home
Data from Pew Research showed that 56 percent of women in the workforce are challenged by balancing their family lives with their careers. Thankfully, the franchise model allows owners some control over their own hours. Hiring a team of trusted, experienced managers allows franchisees to be more hands-off with their food franchise businesses and devote more time to their families. Women with strong organizational skills are able to streamline their franchisor's easy-to-follow steps for running the business, and they have the potential to run multiple stores while still managing their households. By taking advantage of the flexibility of the franchise model, women can enjoy a new career despite an unpredictable schedule.
Strategies for prospective owners
Small business news source AllBusiness offered multiple strategies for women considering a new career in the food franchise sector. First, the resource suggested that women trust their intuition – learning to avoid second-guessing is an important leadership skill, so all franchisees should learn confidence in their instincts early on. Second, women should not be afraid to leverage their unique experience when running a business. Female business owners often have more luck relating to customers than their male counterparts, an advantage that comes in handy when interacting with franchise customers. Finally, AllBusiness recommended that women take advantage of their networking abilities, whether face-to-face or via social media, to gain mentors and peer resources.