Brand Ambassador and Board Member of Dwyer Group, Dina Dwyer-Owens has over 30 years of franchise experience and has twice been featured on TV’s Undercover Boss. In her latest column, Dina enthuses about NextGen franchising.
The millennial generation is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, so it’s no surprise that many are turning to franchising to start a business, recognizing that franchises offer the independence of small business ownership supported by the benefits of a big business network.
Oftentimes that entrepreneurial seed is first planted by growing up in a franchising family. For President and CEO of Dwyer Group, Mike Bidwell, and his son Brett, that’s exactly what happened.
Starting as a Rainbow International franchisee, Mike and his wife worked for years at the grassroots level to grow the business. They added additional concepts and became the first multi-concept franchisee for Dwyer Group too. Then he was recruited to Dwyer Group HQ where he worked his way up to CEO of the entire organization. And eventually his kids became a part of the franchise family as well.
When discussing career options with his son not long after Brett Bidwell graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, Mike challenged him to think about what he wanted to do long term. Shortly after deciding he wanted to become a business owner, Brett signed on as a franchisee for Mr. Rooter, another Dwyer Group brand.
And Mike is the first to admit that seeing his son make this journey provided a renewed appreciation for what franchisees go through and the importance of bringing along the next generation in franchising.
A few years ago, The International Franchise Association took note of millennial traits and skills and launched NextGen to close the gap between millennials and franchise companies. The program is designed to engage young entrepreneurs and students who are seeking careers and business opportunities in the franchising industry.
At a time when small business continues to be the cornerstone of a strong economy and franchising continues to grow, it’s important to cultivate the next generation of future franchise owners, managers and employees for franchise businesses, and entrepreneurs with ideas for new franchise concepts.