Every parent wants their kids to have advantages in school and onward into their careers. Universities can certainly do some of that, but universities teach theory. How can you get your kids real world experience running a multi-million dollar business? Well, depending on their desired career path, you may find huge benefits from them working for local franchise companies!
The challenge becomes that theory only impresses potential employers so far, what they want is to know that their new employee brings real world money making skills to the table.
To that end, a lot of students will pursue internships, often unpaid, to get closer to the arena they see themselves operating in. But they are often observers, not doing any heavy lifting, engaging clients or having any direct responsibility for big projects.
How will your child get that real world experience? Probably in the places their friends are not looking.
Every neighborhood in the country has businesses where they can get real world experience in a number of key areas beyond the expected customer service or sales skills that all front line jobs offer. These next level skills will be recognized by future employers. These young franchise employees may even find a career that they had not expected to find, or a path to business ownership.
Time and time again we have heard about that driven line cook or customer service person that worked their way up to a franchise empire that they own! While that is not everyone, it has happened and it began with work in a local business, not an internship in a big firm.
What makes these businesses so valuable to young employees?
Well, let’s start with young employees already often make up most of the workforce, they are not out of place and they can earn trust fast with hard work and top performance. The goal is to go in as a front line employee and quickly earn your way to a management role. At that point the really interesting skills and opportunities start opening up.
One of the first skills a young manager may be trusted with is managing team members. This is a valuable lifelong skill and the earlier you begin learning it the better. Many college grads these days go to their first job never having managed anyone. Soon after a young manager shows some proficiency managing people they may be pulled into the hiring process where they learn how to interview and evaluate applicants. As part of that process they may handle new employee onboarding paperwork.
The next skill they may develop is managing inventory and ordering. The business they are involved with may have an inventory that ranges in value from thousands to millions of dollars and that is a lot of responsibility for a young employee. Ordering new inventory and being trusted to spend the company’s money responsibly is also a big resume win!
Most customer facing businesses will also have cash drawers and credit card machines that will need to be set-up, closed out, balanced and accounted for. Not only is this a cash handling and numbers function, it also gets them in and working with both the point of sale system and the company back office technology.
Now for biggest win of all, P&L responsibility. We have seen countless young employees in restaurants, retail stores and service franchises across the country that have been put in positions where they have responsibility for the performance of a profit center.
It is safe to say that few college graduates have had P&L responsibility over a multi-million dollar business. If their future employers are paying attention during the hiring process a college graduate that walks in the door with management, HR administration, inventory and ordering responsibility, cash handling and balancing as well as P&L responsibility over a sizable profit center should be a dream come true!
A word to employers in corporate America: I know it is sometimes hard to see how restaurant and retail managers might help your global organization. From my perspective, they should be your first hires. There are few college graduates that bring as much skill, drive and workplace responsibility than a young employee that has earned the trust of an employer and been handed the keys (literally) to a sizable company, their cash, inventory and team. They would be my first hire in any business arena!
To those young employees that still go out and work in local franchises: You see that owner of your franchise? They were once like you, young and determined. Learn from them, earn their trust and get your hands on the critical tasks of the business. You made the right choice to gain real world work skills and someday you may well own franchise empire too!
What will your success story be? Let’s go find it!
George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many companies; Public, Independent and Franchised, of all sizes and in many markets. His 20 plus years of experience in both start-up and mature business operations makes him uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of going into business for themselves in order to gain more control, independence, time flexibility and to be able to earn in proportion to their real contribution. Contact the Franchising USA Expert George’s Hotline 703-424-2980.