ALL AdviceInsightsPodcastsStoriesSustainabilityUpdatesVideos

What’s The Right Age for Franchise Ownership?

Are you contemplating the idea of becoming a franchise owner but wondering if your age plays a significant role in this decision? Is there a best age to become a franchisee?

Buying a franchise can be a fantastic venture at any age, and each stage of life comes with its unique advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a real quick look at the pros and cons of buying a franchise at different ages. Read on!

diversity in age in franchise ownership

From Gen Z to Baby Boomers—franchising doesn’t discriminate

The world of franchising offers unique opportunities for individuals to become business owners and tap into proven systems and established brands.

Whether you’re a fresh graduate, in the prime of your career, or even contemplating retirement, the potential for success as a franchisee hinges less on your age and more on your personal drive, work ethic, and abilities.

Millennials are poised to make up a whopping 75% of the workplace by 2025, with Gen Z hot on their heels as more of the youngest generation become working age. Many of these younger individuals are breaking the mold—no longer following the linear path set out by previous generations, but instead looking for more dynamic ways to seize their futures, startups and franchise businesses both topping the list.

“Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, with Gen Z hot on their heels … Inversely, the youngest baby boomers will reach full retirement age by 2031.”

Inversely, the youngest of the baby boomer generation will reach full retirement age by 2031. Many of them will be looking to franchising as a potential semi-retirement or retirement exit strategy with which they can continue building wealth past their standard working years.

Interesting fact: The current average age of franchise owners is trending down, standing at 44 years old as of 2021.

There are advantages and disadvantages to running a franchise at any age, of course. That being said, whether you’re a young and ambitious entrepreneur or someone seeking a second act in life, let’s unravel the possibilities that await you in the thriving and diverse world of franchise opportunities.

Note: The advantages and disadvantages included in this article are very broad and non-specific. The exact benefits and possible pitfalls one may experience go much deeper and will be far more personal in real life. We intend to set the stage, and then encourage you to reflect deeply on your own situation as you read this article. Let’s dive in!

Starting out young

Buying a franchise at a young age—however many years old you would consider “young”—can be a remarkable and forward-thinking decision. While many might believe that youth and entrepreneurship don’t always go hand in hand, there are compelling reasons why taking the plunge into franchise ownership early in your career can be a great idea.

Note: “Young” is a very subjective word. For the purpose of this article, we’re referring mainly to how a new franchise business model might apply to Gen Z and millennials from late adolescence through to their mid-30s.

In fact, the youngest generations are already taking advantage of the unique investment opportunities presented to them. Our friends at Franchise Help say that “At a young age, people can start to realize their business aspirations. Either from starting a lemonade stand as a child, or taking leadership roles throughout schooling. The youth can start to build their entrepreneurial spirit in their early preteen years. Cryptocurrency, stocks, and new business opportunities, like franchises, have Gen Z investing at a record young age.”

“Cryptocurrency, stocks, and new business opportunities, like franchises, have Gen Z investing at a record young age.”

Owning your own business or a new franchise when you’re young can be fantastic, provided you have the passion, dedication, and a well-thought-out business plan. While it may come with its own set of challenges, the potential for long-term success and personal fulfillment makes it a compelling option for aspiring entrepreneurs who are ready to embark on a rewarding journey of business ownership.

Key advantages:

  • Energy and Enthusiasm: In your early years, you’re likely to have abundant energy and a high level of enthusiasm to kickstart your franchise venture.
  • Long-Term Investment: Owning a franchise early in life can potentially mean more years of reaping the rewards and building substantial wealth.
  • Risk Tolerance: Youth often comes with a higher tolerance for risk. While entrepreneurship is inherently risky, being young can mean you have fewer financial commitments and responsibilities, making it easier to take calculated risks.

Potential disadvantages:

While there are certainly benefits to buying a franchise at a young age, it’s essential to acknowledge that it might not be the right choice for everyone. Here are some reasons why buying a franchise at a young age could be considered a bad idea.

  • Limited Experience: Lack of experience can pose challenges in terms of business acumen and decision-making.
  • Financial Constraints: Younger individuals may face difficulties in securing financing or investment due to limited personal assets or credit history. Upfront costs and franchise fees don’t always come easy when you’re just embarking on your working life.
  • Maturity and Leadership Skills: Effective leadership and maturity are critical for running a successful franchise. Young franchisees may need time to develop these skills, which could impact their ability to manage employees and make crucial decisions.

The best mindset for buying a franchise young is to lean into that fearlessness and higher aversion to the potential consequences of taking risks. The franchise model is ideal because it gives you a roadmap to follow to business success, even without years of experience or understanding under your belt. Looking for something with low startup costs, a great training program and support system are ideal.

You’re young—you have the time and energy to throw caution to the wind and put in the hard work. That’s your edge and a source of envy to those older than you. But youth is fleeting… so there’s no better time than now!

The mid-life leap

Purchasing a franchise during middle age can be an incredibly smart and rewarding decision. Middle-aged individuals often bring a wealth of life experience, stability, and a solid financial foundation to the table, making them well-suited for franchise ownership.

The financial stability and breadth of experience lead to a wider variety of franchise brands that would be realistic. Recent data show that most franchise owners are between 45 and 54 years old, so the list of best franchises is wider at this age.

“Most franchise owners are between 45 and 54 years old, so the list of best franchises is wider at this age.”

Relying on a franchise consultant to point you in the right direction could be most advantageous, too. This is because the more options and preferences you have, the more you’ll want someone with expertise in matching franchisors with potential franchisees successfully.

Key advantages:

  • Accumulated Experience: By middle age, you’ve likely gained significant work experience and may have honed valuable skills that can translate into successful franchise ownership.
  • Stable Financial Situation: You may have a more stable financial footing, making it easier to secure loans or investments.
  • Diverse Skill Set: Years of work and life experience contribute to a diverse skill set. Middle-aged franchisees can draw on their varied talents to solve problems creatively and adapt to changing market conditions.

Potential disadvantages:

Investing in a franchise during middle age, although a viable option for many, may not always be the most advantageous decision.

While middle-aged individuals bring a wealth of life experience to the table, there are scenarios in which this stage of life might not align well with being a successful franchisee.

  • Time Constraints: Balancing family and other commitments might be more challenging in your middle years.
  • Adapting to Change: Adjusting to the franchisor’s policies and systems may require more effort as you may be used to your own way of doing things.
  • Retirement Savings Impact: Investing in a franchise may divert funds away from retirement savings, potentially jeopardizing financial security in later years.

It’s best to understand that maintaining growth and a healthy bottom line for a franchise isn’t something that is on autopilot. The work needs to be put in, so figuring out whether or not you’re fully committed or if you might have conflicting things happening in your life is the first decision you should make.

Semi-retirement or the golden years

Embarking on a new journey during semi-retirement or retirement age may seem unconventional to some, but buying a franchise at this stage in life can be an exceptionally wise and fulfilling decision.

As the boundaries of traditional retirement evolve, more and more individuals are seeking opportunities to remain active, engaged, and financially secure during their golden years—and running a small business can satisfy those needs.

Key advantages:

  • Financial Security: With retirement savings in place, you have a safety net, reducing the financial risk associated with franchise ownership.
  • Life Experience: Years of work experience and life lessons can equip you with excellent decision-making skills and the ability to handle challenging situations.
  • Flexible Work Schedule: Franchise ownership allows retirees to set their own work hours, making it easier to balance work with leisure and personal commitments during retirement.

Potential disadvantages:

While the idea of buying a franchise during semi-retirement or retirement age may hold a certain allure, it can also be fraught with challenges and drawbacks that make it, for many individuals, a decision worth reconsidering.

Retirement age typically signals a time for relaxation, reduced work-related stress, and personal enjoyment. However, investing in a franchise at this stage can pose significant risks and complications that might not align with the well-deserved leisure many hope to achieve.

  • Health Concerns: Aging can bring health issues that might affect your ability to actively manage the franchise.
  • Long-term Commitment: Franchise ownership often demands a long-term commitment, which may not align with your retirement goals.
  • Exit Strategy: While buying a franchise can be seen as a long-term investment, retirees should also consider their exit strategy. Selling a franchise at a later stage may be more challenging, especially if the business has not performed as expected.

In conclusion, the ideal age for buying a franchise largely depends on your personal circumstances, financial situation, and goals. There’s no magic number, but it’s crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each life stage carefully.

The Fibrenew family spans generations

Remember, franchise ownership is a long-term commitment, and it’s essential to choose a brand and industry that aligns with your interests and values.

Whether you’re young and bursting with energy or enjoying your well-deserved retirement, the world of franchising can be a rewarding adventure with the right preparation and mindset. So, take a deep breath, assess your situation, and take that positive step toward franchise ownership whenever it feels right for you.

Fibrenew is proud to have hundreds of franchisees from all walks of life, from late adolescence all the way to retirement age. The flexibility and support we provide are a huge part of the reason we attract such a diverse and outstanding variety of franchisees.

Get your free Franchise Information Report for everything you need to know. We look forward to getting in touch and hearing more about your own personal journey!

Avatar photo
Meet the author

Julian Foulds

Marketing Communications Specialist

A marketer first, a writer second, I enjoy finding unique, data-driven ways of demonstrating Fibrenew’s values while providing our community of franchisees with the resources they need to be consistently successful.

See other posts by Julian Foulds