Working after retirement: Invest in a franchise

working after retirement

Part-time and semi-absentee franchises are great business opportunities for retirees

Life after retirement conjures up images of grandpa sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch…but that is far from reality. Today’s retirees are active and youthful. They may be ready to say goodbye to the 9-5 routine, but still want to keep mentally stimulated and have an additional source of income besides retirement funds. We are living longer, after all. So, what’s next? 

Believe it or not, there are countless opportunities for working after retirement that are both satisfying and lucrative. You can still have time for travel, tennis and anything else you’ve dreamed of doing in retirement. Franchising offers great business opportunities for retirees. By investing in an absentee or semi-absentee franchise business, you can reinvent yourself without the frustration of going back on the job market or starting a business from scratch. You can walk into a proven business model with training, support, marketing and branding already in place. There is no guesswork when it comes to franchise ownership, which makes it a much safer and easier way to go.

With a franchise investment, the playing field is leveled. Here is an opportunity to draw from your experience and apply it to your own business. You can change industries and do something totally different. Soft skills, like communication, problem solving, relationship building are key to success in running a franchise, not necessarily specific industry experience.  

Part-time effort

You might think that running a business, even a franchised one, requires more time and energy than you’re willing to give in retirement. But you might not know that many franchisors have designed their business models for absentee or semi-absentee ownership. With them, you can mostly be hands-off when it comes to the actual work. Part-time and semi-absentee franchises are great business opportunities for retirees. Some require as little as 5-20 hours a week to run. Many people invest in these businesses while they are still employed. Initially, they may need more of your time to ramp up, but once you have employees in place, you can run these businesses part time. 

The sky’s the limit when it comes to options, so you can think big with a franchise investment. Ever wanted to be in the beauty business? Well you can as an absentee owner…no beauty school required. You’d be surprised at the industries that lend themselves to absentee and semi-absentee ownership. Here is just a sampling:

Fitness: From niche studios to colossal, large-scale gyms, there is a fitness brand to work with every investment level. With membership-based models, owners reap the benefits of recurring revenue and high ROI. Many of the smaller, class-based programs have low overhead, and require small studio space and few employees to operate. They also tend to create a sense of community with members and have high customer retention. Possibly the best part of owning a fitness franchise is the feel-good aspect. What can be better than knowing you are helping people improve their lives?   

Laundry/cleaning services: The laundry industry is worth $5 billion and offers an essential service. Franchisors are disrupting this fragmented business sector by using the latest in technology, with eco-friendly machines and detergents. Besides the typical coin-op washers and dryers, they are offering drop-off wash and dry-and-fold services, which have become popular at college campuses and in trendy urban neighborhoods. Catering to a younger crowd, these businesses set themselves apart with friendly, bright and safe facilities. They offer nice touches like snacks and entertainment all in a more inviting setting than the traditional, depressing laundromat. Pick-up and delivery services add additional revenue streams.  

Food: Everyone eats, and that is why food franchises are ever popular. By going with a franchised brand, you can take advantage of their recipes, menus, branding, systems and marketing. Now you can better understand how the company will do through rocky times by looking at how they have been faring through COVID-19. Have they stayed ahead of technology and offered services like curbside delivery and apps for ordering? Not only will these services help a food business through a pandemic, but they will offer conveniences that attract customers for the long term. 

Franchise owners don’t need to have restaurant experience, but will benefit from a strong business acumen. They will receive extensive training from the franchisor. These businesses are perfect for absentee ownership, but will require more of your time when ramping up. Hiring a reliable team is key. Many of the newer, healthier brands popping up, like crepe cafes and juice bars, are simpler to operate, requiring fewer employees and less need for expensive kitchen equipment or large spaces. 

Vending: Perhaps the ultimate in passive income, vending is for people who want an investment business but don’t want to spend all their time running it. Typically, it takes just a few hours a week to manage a vending business and a lot of the work can be done remotely. Technology rules today’s machines with digital payments and electronic alerts when inventory is getting low. And if you hate the idea of selling junk food, you probably haven’t seen a vending machine lately. There are many that offer healthy options, and most times can be customized to the customer base.  

Franchise consulting: If you love helping people, a career as a franchise consultant can be extremely rewarding. Often referred to as matchmakers or coaches, franchise consultants make money helping people identify and invest in franchise businesses. By paying an affiliation fee with a broker network, consultants receive ongoing training and have access to leading franchise brands. This is a business where you can earn a great living with an exceptional work-life balance. As a franchise consultant, you could conduct business from anywhere if you’re connected to Wi-Fi and have a computer.

With a franchise, working after retirement is not only possible, but can be ideal. You could still live your retirement dream of traveling the world while running your own business, which, for most, is a lot more interesting than sitting in a rocking chair all day!

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 20 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. She serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill reports on industry news and helps Franchisors spread the word about their brands.
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