Millennials will soon dictate the trends and brands that populate the franchise industry – is your business ready?
Words by Kieran McLoone, deputy editor for Global Franchise
MILLENNIALS IN NUMBERS
• Average age for first business: 27
• Average spending in U.S.: $600bn
• 60% would like flexibility to work from home
“Millennial’ is far from a marketing buzzword, nor is it the name of the hottest underground nightclub; it’s a term that describes one of the largest generations in the global workforce, born around 1980 to 1995.
With more than 83 million millennials in the U.S. alone – one- quarter of the country’s population – it’s also the up-and-coming group that is dominating the franchise industry.
The empathetic generation
Millennials are resourceful, entrepreneurial, and empathetic. In fact, according to Deloitte, the global coronavirus pandemic has made nearly three-quarters of millennials more sympathetic to others’ needs, and they now intend to take actions that benefit their local communities. This could mean becoming the franchisee of a brand that goes out of its way to give back to those in need, or exclusively working with suppliers that sustainably source materials.
Be wary to dismiss this sympathetic sentiment as a passing phase, because millennials spend around $600bn in the U.S. every year, and 40 per cent of those purchases are influenced primarily by online reviews and testimonials. If a brand isn’t putting positivity back into the world, there’s a strong chance it could find itself left by the wayside.
A natural partnership
On the recruitment side, there are a handful of traits of the millennial generation that naturally align with franchising, which positions them as excellent franchisees for the right kind of business.
For example, millennial entrepreneurs typically launch their first business at 27 years old, compared to 35 years old for baby boomers, and according to Deloitte, 60 per cent of millennials said that in a post-COVID world they want the option to work from home more frequently – a perfect fit with remote franchise concepts.
According to eMarketer, millennials also spend an average of 7.2 hours online each day, so there’s an unfaltering finger on the pulse of what’s popular, important, or essential for your business.
Franchising’s new frontrunners
Millennials may need to be approached from a different perspective compared to previous generations, but get them on your side, and any business is set to thrive. This isn’t just because of their natural inclination to self- employment, but also the fact that they are the most highly-educated generation, with 39 per cent having a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to around one-quarter of baby boomers.
A GATHERING OF YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
For millennial entrepreneurs looking to enter the franchising world, Franchise YoungConference could be the perfect starting point. The event started in 2019 and saw 100 young leaders in the franchise world come together to share insight and network. The next event is currently planned to take place in New Orleans in November, 2020.