That’s the question often reserved for bright-eyed and green-behind-the-ears recent college graduates during their first job interview.
But for the rest of us who have been working for most of our lives, when was the last time you were asked that question? And if you were asked it, how would you reply? As you get further along in your career, that question may be harder and harder to answer.
Many people often reply, “5 years closer to retirement, I hope!” But the fact is that people may not know the answer, because they see themselves “stuck” in their current career path. The reasons for this could be many: “I’ve been here for so many years already, it just seems like the path of least resistance.” Or, “I’m too old to switch careers. No one would hire me.”
In fact, according to research conducted by the American Institute for Economic Research, 82% of survey respondents “reported making a successful transition to a new career after age 45.” (1) Think about that number: 82%. That is a huge percentage of people successfully making the transition to a new career. However, according to the same research, some of those who successfully made the career switch did have to take pay cuts upon the initial switch.
Why You Should Consider a Career Change
You’re Not Getting Any Younger
None of us are. And the longer you wait until “someday” or “next year,” the less likely you are to break free from your current career. As you’ve worked in your career, you’ve no doubt experienced the feeling of “I could do X better,” or “If I was in charge, we’d be able to do this with better results.” When you’re later on in your career, though, what’s the best way to do that? One way people have found success in their “second” careers is through buying an existing business or through buying a franchise.
The statements may change, but the sentiment is the same: Maybe you have what it takes to run your own business.
Buying an Existing Business
For some people, the idea of embarking on a new career by purchasing an existing business is appealing. For one thing – there’s an existing customer base, there is some sort of track record – and hopefully, 3 years of P and L’s and tax returns to prove it. In other words there are existing records to help make your decision as to the “value” of the business.
The downside, though, is that there may be intense capital costs like equipment replacement or improvement, a lackluster location, or inheriting problems that weren’t disclosed during the negotiations. If the business is so great – why are they selling? EVERYONE says they want to retire. Another issue is that in any given city there are maybe a very small handful of businesses that are in great shape that are for sale. So very little selection. I frequently talk to people looking for an existing business and ask them how long they have been looking and the answer is along the lines of “2 years.” It is hard to find a GOOD existing business that is in an industry you’re interested in, in an area that you’re interested in; where the seller has a good reason for selling (i.e., the business isn’t going down the tubes) AND, the way, one in which the seller has reasonable expectations (rather than listing the business for $1 million when it’s worth $800k). FYI … statistics show that only 18% of all businesses listed in the under $1 million range ever sell…and the reason is mostly that sellers DON’T have reasonable expectations (either it’s a “let’s throw it out there and see if anyone bites or frequently because brokers come along who tell them, “oh, you want to sell for $1 million, we can list it for that” just to get the listing … so when someone comes along with what is actually a reasonable offer…their expectations are so unrealistic a deal never gets done) … So what that means is that 80% of what you are looking at on the market is just “junk” – and overpriced junk at that.
One way to think about this is to ask yourself – when you bought your first house, did you buy one that was ready to move in or did you put some sweat equity into it? This is a little the same…You may not get the existing cash flow right away with a new franchise, but when you look at getting the return on your investment, you have far more upside potential. Not to mention, we have a multitude of industries available in the area of town you want to be in so you have far greater selection and a higher likelihood of finding something fun or exciting that you can feel passionate about.
Owning a Franchise
Franchising provides you the opportunity to run the show. By taking your years of prior work experience, paired with the expertise, resources, and support of an existing franchise, you have the opportunity to explore the benefits and empowering challenges that come with running your own business – but with the warm hand of tremendous support.
Franchises also help and know what works in terms of ensuring you get customers through your doors: It is in the franchisor’s best interest to drive traffic to your business, and part of your franchising fees go towards sophisticated marketing efforts and brand development as well as your launch. You’re also provided with a set of best practices, access to and encouragement to continually connect with fellow franchisees, not to mention given guidance on location, hiring, and legal matters, and basically everything else that can be lumped into complete and ongoing training and support.
If you’re considering a career change, it is important to weigh all of your options while also asking yourself, “How will this change help me achieve my personal and professional goals?” As a second-career person myself, I can personally attest to the life-changing effects that come when you take the plunge into a new career. While franchising isn’t the right fit for everyone, I have seen countless cases of people running successful franchises later on in their life, with amazing results.
If you’re looking to make a change and franchising sounds like a good fit, reach out to Your Franchise is Waiting to learn more.