Age is Just a Number When it Comes to Franchising
From a pre-teen manning a lemonade stand to a seasoned professional launching a global company, entrepreneurs of every age are driven to realize their business dreams. This reality is particularly true when it comes to franchise ownership.
Some individuals align with a franchise company right after high school or college, while others decide to exit retirement to try something new. The takeaway is that because franchise ownership is powered by a national brand that provides resources and support at any stage of one’s career, there’s no “right age” to start a franchise. At Sam the Concrete Man, a residential and commercial concrete service provider founded in 1989, we see this every day because our owners represent a range of ages, from Generation Z to baby boomers.
Who Owns What?
As of last year, entrepreneurs ages 41 to 56 — the demographic commonly referred to as Generation X —dominated franchise ownership by owning 47 percent of the businesses, according to research from Franchise Insights. Millennials (individuals ages 25 to 40) outnumbered baby boomer franchise owners (ages 57 to 75) by 24.7 percent to 23.4 percent. And within the professional home services sector where hundreds of franchise brands are vying for market share, each of these demographic cohorts is robustly represented – including at Sam the Concrete Man.
One of the reasons franchise ownership is so popular is because it’s not age-dependent. There are no restrictions as to the minimum or maximum age. In other words, when you own your business, you’re in charge. No one can deny you a promotion, overlook you as a hire, or put up a roadblock because you’re too young, too old, underqualified, or over-experienced. With the right funding, drive, and tenacity, franchise owners can launch a business at any age.
The Young Gun
Take Jason Daley as an example. The 20-something spent much of his childhood watching his grandfather grow his own construction business. While Jason also felt the pull of entrepreneurship, he didn’t know exactly what type of company he wanted to run. So, he tried out several, working as a mover, landscaper, and even at an event rental company. But none were a long-term fit.
“I was looking around for jobs and just didn’t feel intrigued by anything that was available to me with the experience I had,” Jason explained. “I’d look at businesses for sale, hoping to run one and be my own boss, but knew I didn’t quite have the experience to jump right into something like that all on my own.”
As luck would have it, Jason came across a Sam the Concrete Man ad online and requested more information. A few phone calls later, he thought franchising might be the way to go. He said the relatively low start-up costs (compared to other businesses), manageable overhead, brand support, and the ability to stay in the Colorado area gave him the confidence to make the leap. In April 2021, Jason launched Sam the Concrete Man Boulder and hasn’t looked back since. While his initial year came with a steep learning curve, he knows he made the right move.
“My first year in business was full of lessons. Being as young as I am, I didn’t have experience handling certain aspects of business ownership. That being said, coming into my second year has been great. I’ve learned how to manage many of the common issues that may arise, like dealing with customers or fixing something that happened during the job.”
Part of the reason Jason could navigate a new business successfully was because the franchisor was there to provide guidance. With Sam the Concrete Man, Jason had a team of mentors ready and willing to consult. In May 2022, Jason had his largest growth month to date, proving that with the right team, resources, and support, success as a franchise owner can happen even at the beginning of one’s professional journey.
And it can also happen for those searching for a second — or even third — career.
The Experienced Visionary
Dave Wood was looking for a change. After working as a masonry and concrete contractor for several years, he sold engineering services for brands like Westinghouse, Eaton, and Caterpillar. He left the corporate world in 2020, exhausted from his grueling travel schedule. Yet while he’d done so much in his 45-year career, Dave wasn’t quite ready to retire. When he found the opportunity to become a franchise owner with Sam the Concrete Man, he knew the scheduling flexibility and independence meant he could work when he wanted while still enjoying the freedom to spend plenty of time with his family.
In winter 2020, Dave and his wife launched Sam the Concrete Man Des Moines to serve the central Iowa market — and they’ve been on a steady growth trajectory ever since.
Dave says part of his business success is tied to the fact that he has a “good time” meeting people and helping them with their projects. Like Jason, Dave also enjoys the ability to work outside the office and be his own boss. He says having a business requires some long days, but that doesn’t bother him because the benefits of franchise ownership outweigh the obstacles any day.
“I used to spend an average of 150 nights a year in hotel rooms,” he says. “I missed a lot of my own kids growing up, but now I can be there for the grand kiddos.”
Find Your Place in Franchise Ownership
Jason and Dave agree that owning a business in an industry they know and like is important to their success. And so is the experience of meeting new people and completing projects.
While the U.S. has 753,770 franchise establishments, none of them have rules around just how old someone must be to run them. The industry welcomes newbies like Jason and experienced professionals like Dave — because in the world of franchise ownership, age is just a number.