More women than ever are learning to think big about the nature of work. Many are breaking away from corporate jobs that don’t encourage professional growth. Others are breaking away from stagnant careers in male-dominated industries. These women are becoming entrepreneurs, pursuing a line of work that they feel passionate about.
While some prefer to start their own business, others find franchises a good fit for their assortment of talents. The franchise business model allows them to get a fast start as business owners even if they had no previous business experience because they spent most of their working lives as employees.
photo credit – Ilya Pavlov
In response to this interest, UPS and other global companies are encouraging franchise opportunities for women because they tend to excel at time management, attention to detail, adaptability, and other highly sought after traits of the business world.
5 Business Skills that Come Naturally to Women
Here are five insights about why franchisors are eager to encourage women business ownership:
- Women make great organizers.
Organization skills are not just about good planning. They extend far beyond mapping operations on a piece of paper, creating schedules, or arranging business processes in an orderly way.
Women tend to be good organizers because they are often skillful at delegating, which comes from a natural interest in relationship building. Relationship building requires empathy—understanding how the other person feels about something—and clear communication.
The franchise model is all about creating strong partnerships. Consequently, this knack for relationship building fits perfectly with what franchises need—someone who can build relationships with head office, employees, customers, and the local business community.
- Women are good at multitasking.
A franchise owner has to wear a lot of hats. One minute, they could be at the counter serving customers like a retail sales clerk and the next minute they could be on the phone negotiating an advertising campaign as skillfully as a seasoned account executive.
In addition, besides internal multitasking, owners who get involved in local community events often bring in more business. Consequently, they have to be good at multi-tasking between their roles as business owners and community builders.
- Women are passionate.
While a natural tendency to feel strong emotions might not work well if you’re an engineer or a surgeon, it is essential when it comes to working with people all day. People-oriented work benefits from those who have high emotional-intelligence and passion. As an entrepreneur, passion is almost a necessity. Motivating staff and selling often require conveying a sense of passion. It’s hard to engage people if you’re dispassionate.
- Women are good at hiring the right people.
When interviewing prospective employees, intuition may play a significantly larger role than what people say on their resumes or job applications. After all, a professional resume writer can make almost anyone look experienced, competent and hardworking, and they can also be skillful at hiding discrepancies in employment history. Intuition, on the other hand, is something of a nonverbal skill. An employer with sharp intuition can immediately discern if a person will be a good fit for their organization.
- Women often do more with less.
In today’s economy, big budgets and bold plans often go awry. Instead, at a time when it’s difficult to get handsome loans from financial institutions and venture funding, women who focus on profit over revenue and frugality over ostentatious consumption are managing better at building more businesses and providing more jobs.
While men, of course, may be good at many of these 5 traits, too, and not all women have these traits, on average more women have these traits than men. This is why they make excellent franchisees.
An Independent Business vs. a Franchise
Women who leave corporate jobs to start their own business are faced with two choices: should they start their own business or join a franchise?
Naturally, there is no one right answer, but here are four things to consider:
- The business model.
A small business has the freedom to choose what products or services to sell and how they will run their business. They are also free to change their product line or service opportunity at any time. By contrast, franchise owners don’t make any decisions on products, operations, or any other variables. Alternatively, almost everything has been market tested to make sure it works.
A small business will cost more than a comparable type of franchise business.
A small business has to grow their brand from scratch. Before someone buys a franchise, the brand has already been developed through years of heavy advertising. Most consumers recognize the brand instantly.
- Business knowledge.
The more business knowledge you have as a new small business owner, the more likely you are to succeed. If you don’t have much business experience, you will not make expensive mistakes. When you join a franchise, you are trained on how to use business systems and can also access corporate support if you need further assistance.
Your choice, ultimately, depends on your personality, interests, and business ability.
Women Owned Businesses on the Rise
Few people realize how many successful business women are contributing to the economy. CBS news reported:: “According to the Department of Commerce, the number of women-owned businesses increased 44% from 1977 to 2007 and added 500,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the number of men-owned businesses increased just 22% and lost 2 million jobs.”