Far too many of my female friends had to deal with glass ceilings in Corporate America. These limitations are archaic, cost businesses money and limit the accomplishments of those they are imposed on. My friends broke out, you can too!
Fortunately, there are alternatives to corporate ecosystems; take franchising as an example. Franchise brands are most focused on whether or not, as a franchisee, you can/will follow their system and if you will do the work to build your business.
Just recently I was talking to a well-known franchisor’s development team, and was told the story of a woman on the east coast that is one of their top performing new franchise owners. The fun part of that story is that she is in a business that most people would assume is heavily male dominated.
Here is the secret to her success: she is a great business operator and followed their systems to the smallest detail. She also is taking advantage of a business environment where customers want outstanding service from a company they can trust. She found that customers don’t have glass ceilings, they have needs and just want someone to solve them.
But that is the current story, what about the beginning where she was being approved as a franchisee? Any glass ceilings there?
While it is possible that there are brands that would favor male candidates over female, I am not aware of any in the top franchise brands.
The approval process is the same for everyone, the franchisor development rep will walk you through their brand, business model, marketing, support and contractual obligations on both sides. They will also want to get to know you, your skills, strengths, likes, goals and also specific skills or abilities that will make you successful. Their primary goal should be finding the very best franchisee regardless of male, female, and from any background!
As you go through the process you may find it interesting to talk to owners you can relate to for any number of reasons, female owners will be able to validate if you will have unlimited opportunities to succeed in the brand you are considering. When you talk to them, ask if a day in the life is without limitations to confirm that staff and clients are focused more on results than that the owner is female.
One of the things we have seen in the franchise world is that successful female operators build outstanding teams and win over customers with their approach to customer service and care.
Service sectors like auto repair have been considered male dominated for years but we have seen women establishing great opportunities in that space, too. We have even seen a brand that remodeled their franchise offering around the new approaches their female owners spearheaded in their local operations to become more family friendly and welcoming to women as they bring their cars in for repair. Those changes were a big win for the whole system.
I am just pointing out market segments where people are surprised women own franchises, but only to make the point that successful women are present in all franchises.
The open opportunities in franchising are not limited to franchise owners, we have also seen many top franchise brands run by women. You will find these amazing leaders in categories including food, services, health, beauty, fitness and more. The franchise industry appreciates talent, skills, drive and the ability to help others achieve their dreams.
And it’s not just the CEO role where we see women achieving great things in franchising, it is across all brands and in every department. I feel that one of the reasons franchising is so successful is because of this approach to hiring employees or awarding franchises to the very best candidate with no limitations.
The franchise industry has unlimited opportunities that you can leverage towards any goal you want to pursue. The key will be building your plan and identifying the best strategy to get to your dreams.
To do that you will want to do a full personal evaluation and map out the skills, strengths and other key criteria you bring to your game plan. This will help you target those opportunities that are perfectly fit for you. It can be a very rewarding process; I guide candidates through this introspective mapping every day and help them find their perfect franchises.
You may find that when you remove preconceptions and outside influences that you will be surprised at what your perfect fit really is. Once you identify where you can be most successful and build the life you desire then it is simply a matter of working your plan.
There is very little in business more rewarding than controlling your destiny and achieving your dreams. I hope you find your perfect match and you enjoy operating in a business without any limitations!
George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many of the top franchise ownership groups in the world. With over 25 years of experience in both start-up and mature business franchise operations he is uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of Building their own empires. Whether you have an existing portfolio or searching for your first franchise, he can help you to pursue your dreams. Contact the Franchising USA Expert, George’s Hotline: 703-424-2980.