How franchising can help the ageing population thrive, not just survive

With franchising, older people can be getting on with life, rather than getting on in years

How franchising can help the ageing population thrive

Rising life expectancy and the pushing back of the age of retirement could have a really significant effect on the vitality of the franchise industry. Just as redundancy packages once provided an incentive for more people to enter franchising, now the need to keep earning a living is providing a new and exciting impetus.

The official state pension age is rising to 66 by 2020 and 67 by 2028 and new figures suggest it may leap even higher to 70 by 2056. For some of you, this is literally a lifetime away but for many others it poses a clear and present concern. With competition in the job market already intense, just what sort of employment will be available for those who might have previously been expecting to be claiming their pension and enjoying their retirement?

We’ve just welcomed a new etyres franchisee who was made redundant at the age of 57, after spending 27 years managing a farm. He’d always assumed he would be there until he retired, so it was quite a shock to find himself in the employment market. Still full of energy and drive and with a teenage son bound for university, he was keen to find a new job that would offer him a sound income and a level of security. He recognised immediately that franchising was the obvious answer, as it provides a business that’s been tried-and-tested, along with training, ongoing support and the opportunity to take control of your own destiny.

Historically, the franchising industry has provided a sound investment for those who have been made redundant: it’s allowed them to start a new career and have a much greater level of control over their future. And franchising can do the same for an ageing workforce. There’s surely no such thing as a job for life, so the challenge is to find your niche sooner rather than later, start ploughing your own furrow and – continuing the farming analogy – grow your own business so you can reap the rewards for yourself in the future.

From an older franchisee’s perspective, there are so many advantages to embracing franchising, such as having the chance to establish a thriving business and being released from the manual labour side of things. Crucially, owning your own business also means that when the time comes, you have a valuable asset that you can sell to help finance a comfortable retirement. From a franchisor’s point of view, age often – though admittedly not always – equates to experience and reliability, both of which are excellent qualities in a successful franchisee.

So while the fact we’re living longer, healthier lives is worth celebrating, we have to adapt and find the money to fund our extended years. Franchising is a solution that provides not just an opportunity to survive but also to thrive.

Tony Bowman
Tony Bowman