Is it to late for them to start up their own business and does franchising have the answer?

The bfa (British Franchise Association) offers options for the older worker and explains the benefits of business format franchising.

According to data released recently by Indeed Flex, a fifth of UK workers (21%) plan to find a new job or make a career change in the coming 12 months and a fifth of workers switching jobs or careers (20%) are motivated by the desire to find a role that better fits their lifestyle or offers more flexibility in their schedule. Many of these jobseekers will be over 50 and looking for their 2nd or 3rd career - is franchising an option for the middle aged job seeker?

Ethical Business Format Franchising

The bfa have over 300 members whose franchises have been audited to ensure they meet their strict standards for ethical, professional franchising and that they comply with their code of conduct. Using tried and tested business models, franchising can offer a great option for someone looking for a complete career change and a more flexible working lifestyle but with the full support of an experienced franchisor.

Profitable and successful franchises

According to the last NatWest BFA National Franchise Survey, franchisees claimed profitability remained high at 93%, and over two-thirds of franchised units, that had been running for five years or more, reported being either quite or highly profitable. Failure rates for franchises remained very low, with fewer than 1% per year closing due to commercial failure.

Case studies - Emma and James

Ovenclean and The Creation Station are both bfa members, whose franchisees James and Emma bought their franchises in later life and are now thoroughly enjoying running their profitable, flexible businesses.

James Arthur (65) has been an Ovenclean franchisee since September 2014.  His territory covers Buxton, Macclesfield and Congleton in Cheshire.

James bought a franchise operation after a long and varied career, from organising events in the far east to being a professional yachtsman. With his feet safely back on dry land in the UK and after a stint working for a couple of national charities, James felt it was time for a career change, which is when he discovered Ovenclean.

Regaining control of his life

Ultimately James says the reason he chose to buy a franchise was the desire to regain control of his own life. "I felt previously my life was dictated by trying to achieve other people's targets, but with my own franchise, I set the targets myself and now I'm established I can choose how much I work, it's completely up to me, I get out what I put in."

Healthy lifestyle

James says: "I like cleaning ovens, I love the interaction with my customers, it keeps me fit and healthy, my blood pressure has gone down and ultimately it gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning and go out and earn a crust."

James advises: "Although I can choose the hours I work now, that's because I built up a really good client base in the first year; I had to put in the hard graft to be able to be fully flexible now."

Business support

He continued: "One of the great things about buying a franchise is the support I get from my franchisor, who have been with me every step of the way, showing me how to clean ovens, communicate with my customers and ultimately run my business. I'm certainly very pleased I chose a franchise business and would recommend it to anyone."

Emma McCalla-John (51) bought her Creation Station Harborne (Birmingham) in 2017.

A teacher for almost 20 years, Emma had reached point in her career where "it was scarier to stay than to go." Although she loved working with children she had fallen out of love with teaching.  It was time for change and education's loss was franchising's gain.

A call from the organisers of a franchise exhibition nudged her to attend, where she discovered The Creation Station.

"It was fantastic" she said. "As they were providing all the children's activities for the exhibition they had a huge stall, with kids everywhere. I immediately knew this was for me. Everything aligned with what I wanted to do, still working with children, developing their imaginations, and letting them go on their own creative journey.  Once I expressed my interest I was invited to a Discovery Day, met the head office team and learnt all about the different income streams. I did my research and had all my questions answered. I knew this was the right next journey for me and the initial and on-going training and support has been exactly what I needed to grow my business and for my own professional development too."

Today, almost seven years later and Emma is not only still running her own very successful Creation Station business with 22 after school ‘Create Clubs' a week, but also parties, camps and events for adults too, but she's also become a much-valued business development manager for the brand too.

Emma isn't just happy with her decision to change careers, she's ecstatic, and admits to having a bad case of the ‘mid-life confidences.'

"During my career in teaching ‘imposter syndrome' set in badly. I had no confidence in my own abilities; The Creation Station has changed all that. Now I'm bursting with confidence and enthusiasm; I have no idea what I'll be doing in 5-10 years' time, there is still so much more potential in my own business, and I love supporting other franchise partners to achieve what they want from their own Creation Station franchises too.  I really have learnt that anything is possible, and I owe all that to the Creation Station."

Discover your tomorrow with the bfa

Franchising isn't for everyone, but for those who are willing to put their faith in a tried and tested model and who would like the full support and training that comes with owning a franchise, it could be just the thing for a next career move.

Visit the bfa website for more information and to Discover Your Tomorrow with a bfa franchise.