Change is the only thing that really seems certain these days. Well-established companies are closing their doors for good; we are wearing masks to go shopping, and our children are going to school virtually. If anyone told me a year ago that things would be this way, I would never have believed them. Our new reality is surreal.
Women who have been furloughed, laid off, or are simply looking for a better work-life balance, have been flocking to franchising for new opportunities… and not just as franchise owners. They are finding that a career as a franchise consultant is lucrative, meaningful, and offers an ideal lifestyle.
For mothers of younger children, in particular, a self-employed job as a franchise consultant allows more flexibility to better juggle the added “pandemic parenting” responsibilities with a career. As business office doors reopen, working moms are faced with huge obstacles. The reality is, you can’t prop a young child in front of a computer and head off to work. Without in-person school in session, childcare issues are forcing women to make tough choices.
Luckily, franchising is opening many doors for people who want change. Although most franchised businesses were initially negatively impacted by the onset of COVID, many franchisors have seen an increase in franchise development in recent months, with quite a few reporting record growth. Some of the growth is due to the unemployment rate. “When there’s an increase in unemployment, there is always a boom in franchise development. We are seeing that now,” says Don Daszkowski, Founder and CEO of IFPG, a leading franchise broker network. “Franchise consultants have an unprecedented opportunity now to help people and generate wealth,” he says.
1. They are good at multitasking: By nature, women—especially working moms—are jugglers. Most women carry the lion’s share of the household tasks and take care of their children’s needs, all while meeting the ongoing demands of their jobs. Multitasking skills transfer extremely well to careers in franchise consulting, where being super-organized is essential.
2. They love matchmaking: Throughout history, women have been successful matchmakers. They are inherently good at it. Just like in the famous song “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, a good match is essential for a happy union. The franchise consultant’s role is pivotal in helping identify the right opportunity for both the franchisor and franchisee.
3. They are attentive listeners: Most men will admit it, women are better listeners. This intrinsic talent in women helps mothers better understand the needs of their children and it also enables franchise consultants to better serve their clients. By asking the right questions and really listening, consultants can identify opportunities that might not seem so obvious at first.
4. They have empathy: Being able to put yourself in someone’s shoes, or the capacity for empathy, is typically associated with women. It’s a valuable skill that gives insight into a prospect’s needs and desired lifestyle. It also enables franchise consultants to gauge the seriousness of a candidate’s intentions. Is the client ready to go all-in or is she just exploring? An empathetic franchise consultant is savvy enough to help her client decide if franchise ownership is the right choice.
5. They pay attention to details: It’s been said that women pay more attention to the fine details while men are more focused on the big picture. Whether that is true or not, to be successful as a franchise consultant, details count. Good franchise consultants have relationships with hundreds of brands and can identify the differentiators in each one. It takes time and attention to learn the ins and outs of different franchises. Consultants do this by staying active in their broker network, attending webinars and information sessions, and getting out to industry events (in-person and virtual) to network and learn. For example, there could be 50 fitness brands in a franchise broker’s network. Knowing what sets each one apart is the key.
A career as a franchise consultant offers an opportunity for women to flex their natural-born muscles and enjoy an ideal work-life balance in a growing industry.