Franchising is not often considered by the approximately 139 million Millennials and Generation Z population (as of 2020). But, with so many qualified people looking to start or extend their careers, and on their own terms, every job option merits consideration.
First things first. Let’s understand who makes up this segment of the U.S. population that will make up the majority of the workforce for the next 30-40 years:
Millennials were the largest generation group in the U.S. in 2019, with an estimated population of 72.1 million. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the biggest group, and they will continue to be a major part of the population for many years.
Generation Z is the most recent to have been named, and many group members will not be able to remember a time before smartphones and social media. However, the group already makes up around 20.35 percent of the U.S. population, and they are said to be the most racially and ethnically diverse of all the generation groups.
The number of Baby Boomers, whose generation was defined by the boom in births following the Second World War, has fallen by nearly six million since 2010. However, they remain the second-largest generation group, and aging Boomers are contributing to steady increases in the median age of the population. Meanwhile, the Millennial and Gen Z generations continue to grow, and a big reason for this is the increasing number of young immigrants and refugees arriving in the United States.
Thanks to Adecco’s ‘Way to Work’ survey, which surveyed 1,001 Americans who are mostly currently in college or recently graduated and in their late teens to mid-20s, the primary differences between the two generations and how these differences might play out in the workplace have been identified. Three key takeaways, or differences between Millennials and Gen Z regarding work include:
- Members of Gen Z are more concerned about the cost of education (21% of respondents), compared to Millennials (13% of respondents).
- Millennials value stability (34%), while Gen Z puts more of an emphasis on finding their dream job (32%).
- More Gen Zers follow their parents’ influence (42%), compared to their Millennial counterparts (36%).
So, what about business ownership and franchising, once the American Dream of Baby Boomers?
Here are five important considerations for Millennials and Gen Z open to this path of entrepreneurship:
Affordability. Most people between the ages of 18 and 35 cannot afford $800,000 for a brick-and-mortar business but a home-based business might cost between $40,000 and $60,000. There are a vast variety of franchises. Millennials and Gen Z can find one that fits their budget as well as their ideal income, lifestyle, wealth and equity.
Digital Minds. Both groups are digital natives who can capitalize on the Internet to grow their business. Every type of franchise can benefit from someone proficient in the cyber realm, whether that be growing an at-home business in pajamas, creating a digital work force or driving business with a creative social media campaign.
Control. Some franchises have a web presence that is systemized from the top. If that’s the case, Millennial and Gen Z candidates need to decide if controlling the social presence is important to them or not, then choose a franchise accordingly.
Do Good. Many young people are as concerned their life work be meaningful and socially responsible as they are with money. A franchise allows Millennial and Gen Z candidates the opportunity to “do good” while being their own boss. Franchises exist for dog sitting, tutoring and healthy food, among countless options available for those looking align livelihood with their social mission.
Difficulties. Both generations like their own voice on social media, their own marketing plan and are generally excited to execute their next big idea. Franchisors offer a replicable model so customers know what to expect. A Millennial or Gen Z candidates who decide to become a franchisee must be sure they completely support the system they choose.
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As the future of works rests on the shoulders of Millennials and Generation Z, changes to the work force will continue and most likely, not return to any semblance of what was common pre-pandemic. I guess the most important questions (concerns) for me are, Will Millennials and Gen Zers pull professional culture in opposite directions, or do both generations have common ambitions? After all, the workplace structure cannot be a work in progress forever.
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