Selling franchises to young buyers means changing


Young franchisees today are looking for more than just a profitable franchise. They are also looking for an exciting opportunity that means something personal to them and to their clients and communities. Here are some steps that can get those value-focused potential owners excited about your franchise and encourage them to buy.

When considering buying a franchise, baby boomers and other older potential owners like to investigate finances, check your net promoter scores, and ask current owners about their success within your franchise family.

Today’s young potential buyers are also taking these steps, but they also have other interests, as you know if you’ve talked to them at franchise shows and in other settings. These are the ambitious members of Gen X and Gen Y/millennials. Some members of this cohort have emigrated to the United States and are looking for business opportunities, often in franchising. In addition to a solid business, many are looking for specific “extras” that might not appeal to members of older age groups.

A company with a purpose and a mission they value. It can be educating children in a community, providing fitness options that appeal to serious athletes, remediating buildings and sites in an environmentally responsible way, or providing better quality life and innovative treatment options to populations with health problems. . You don’t have to offer multiple meaningful value propositions to all those special interests. You just need to identify one unique and meaningful aspect of owning one of your franchises and strategically market to the right populations.

Autonomy, creativity and entrepreneurship. Some of today’s young owners are content to stay in one place, grow a franchise business, and stay for the long haul. But many of today’s potential young owners want more. They hope to expand to new places and find new opportunities. So when you sell to them, emphasize the limitless opportunities that await them as owners of your brand.

A technology that fascinates them. Many of today’s young business owners are excited about technology. They grew up using it and want more than modernized cash registers. They want to be involved in more advanced systems: AI-enhanced shopping experiences for customers; computerized systems that match clients to clothing or exercise bikes and equipment; apps that make owning your products interactive; and other advanced technological tools. Modern marketing and management methods can also be part of the technological experience they seek. If you can fascinate them with a focus on marketing and sales programs that use social media and apps, you will win their interest and attention.

A significant human connection with the franchised company and other owners. Since many young owners want to be part of a team, invest effort in building strong one-on-one personal relationships between them and members of your management team, as well as with vendors. Start building those connections during the sales process. Franchise Advisory Boards offer another compelling reason to be part of your franchise family. Remember that young owners are more likely to want to be part of a community and are less attracted to the idea of ​​”going it alone”. Also encourage potential owners to speak with a number of your current owners during the buying process, as you are a family of franchisees and not a group of unconnected owners.

Excellent modern training. All franchisees want good training, one that gives them more confidence in their success. Potential young owners will be attracted to modern training options that allow them to train on their smartphones, tablets or computers, and which allow them to train their employees in the same way – as well as other forms of training based on technology such as gamification and learning management systems. When interacting with potential young owners, emphasize that your company will invest in their success by providing excellent desktop and cloud-based continuing education technologies.

New questions for new buyers

To attract younger candidates, also update the questions you’ve asked candidates from previous generations. Here are a few to get you started:

• This is what our company stands for. Does it resonate with you and your values? How?

• What is important to you?

• What excites you every day and what do you like to do?

• What did you enjoy most about your previous job?

• Where do you hope to be in one year, two years and further in the future?

• Here is a copy of our franchise manual. How would you develop it to make it more personally exciting and rewarding?

• Which of our products and services are you most passionate about? Are there any you would like to add or expand? Would you like to upgrade or eliminate some?

• Do you have any suggestions on how you would like to apply your technology knowledge to aspects of our business such as sales, distribution or anything else?

• How do you imagine a day you would spend as an owner?

• We have a very active Franchise Council where you can share thoughts and ideas with other owners. Are you interested in joining us?

• If there is one thing you could change about our franchise, what would it be?

Members of younger generations bring remarkable skills and energy to the franchises they own. They can, quite literally, become the future of your franchise if you recruit and sell them the right way – and support them with the right opportunities after they arrive.

Evan Hackel, a 35-year franchise veteran, is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company, and director and founder of Ingage Consulting. He is a speaker, author and host of “Training Unleashed”, a podcast covering training for businesses. This article is adapted from his latest book, Ingaging Leadership Meets the Younger Generation. Contact him at, follow him on @ehackel or call 781-820-7609.


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