Millennials are lazy. They are a 9 to 5 generation. They are addicted to their phones.
The up-and-coming franchise owners and leaders of Image One Facility Solutions — a 100-unit national commercial cleaning franchise — are tired of those stereotypes.
“The millennials I’ve worked with are hungry,” said Anthony Conn, 23, an Image One Franchise owner in South Florida. “They want to go out and make more money and be successful. They want to make a name for themselves and build their own path. They are not just waiting for life to come to them.”
Anthony and his brother Nikko Conn are leading a new era of franchise owners. They are embracing advancements in cleaning technology and fusing some of the ideals that make millennial culture promising to help build and move forward a franchise brand with tremendous growth opportunity around the nation.
Here is how Image One is embracing millennials in its franchise.
Building Community and a Tight-Knit Franchise Environment
A PewResearchCenter survey of millennials and how they approach life sums it up best: Millennials are “confident, connected and open to change.”
Image One millennials embody those traits. And Image One is creating a franchise community that embraces that outlook. As an example, the franchise has established ongoing town hall-style meetings where franchisees can gather and discuss what’s working, what needs improvement and how they can support one another. The franchisor is merely an active listener in these sessions.
“Millennials are interested in becoming Image One franchise owners because not only can they be independent business owners at a young age, but it’s a safe investment that will continue to grow in remuneration,” said Katie Johnson, 29, Customer Service and Accounting for Image One. “Also, we’re very family oriented and I believe that makes this company different from the typical cleaning businesses.”
Encouraging Self-Sufficiency and Flexibility with Schedule
Remember, millennials are “confident.” While many studies show they’re waiting on things like buying homes and starting families, they are surprisingly self-sufficient. The key is to offer a welcoming environment for them to grow.
Morgan Hannum, a 24-year-old Image One franchise owner in Lake County, Illinois, appreciates that he is building his own business but has the 24/7 support of the Image One team.
“We have a monthly newsletter that shares all sorts of events and training tailored to us as a younger generation — we have sales workshops and ongoing training programs that allow us to learn practical lessons to help us grow our business,” Hannum said. “It takes aspects of school but makes it more exciting. Not to mention, you have an opportunity to make more money from the tangible lessons you learn in Image One training sessions.”
Hannum, who said that a four-year college education was not a fit for him, added that Image One’s franchise learning modules are attractive to him.
“They are very practical. Every single person teaching us is very outgoing and ready to help us any way possible. Image One will always be there with the support of a family or the backbone of a parent. I’ve never had a job like that.”
Focusing on Technological Advancements
Millennials, understandably, have an incredible attachment to technology. This is the generation that really grew up with the Internet always available. They are, by and large, potentially more open to technological advancements in their industries.
This especially rings true at Image One.
“We can turn the cleaning industry upside down through our work tempo and efficiency with new technology on our side rather than the old systems that may take twice as long,” said Nikko Conn, 21, an owner in South Florida.
His brother, Anthony, reiterated that sentiment.
“With iPad apps, new machines and robotics, our generation is trying to make it as easy as possible for their team and crews. And, in turn, we provide an efficient, extremely high-quality cleaning experience for our clients.”
Recruiting Driven Millennials
People from every generation buck the stereotypes of their current generation. Not every Baby Boomer moved out to San Francisco and became a Hippie.
Nikko Conn, who started his Image One before he turned 20, has an honest perspective on his generation.
“Some of my friends have determination and skills, while others are throwing their lives down the garbage chute,” Conn said. “But, the talent I have seen grow with Image One is not a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. crowd. I have personally worked several 15-plus hour days training and getting the level of perfection done in my locations. I see motivation as a huge part of success in this field.”
There are plenty of millennials out there hungry for a business opportunity, according to the millennials in the Image One system.
“I think millennials are trying to find new ways to make money on their own besides just sitting behind a desk for the rest of their lives,” said Maria Rocha, a millennial on the support staff for Image One.
Image One’s growing team of millennials proves that there are ample opportunities for franchisees to start at a young age, especially with service-based franchises with lower startup costs.
But, at the end of the day, millennials still have a lot to learn about life — even if they don’t always want to admit it. To attract millennials, franchisors need to live out their brand and always be available to mentor younger owners.
“The analogy that I would use is that Image One is the mother bird and you are eventually going to leave the nest, but not without the nurturing,” said Hannum. “If a baby bird drops on the ground, the mother is going to bring them up and help them fly again. Image One is really good at doing that.”
For more information about the concept, pull out your phone (like any good millennial would) and google “Image One USA.”