Leading in a Male-Dominated Industry: Tips for Females in Franchising
Finding a career that offers both flexibility in work schedule and financial security is difficult to obtain in any industry – similarly, an adjustable schedule and workflow is often an unachievable desire, especially among women. Franchising is uniquely one of the few industries that offers both the ability to own a personalized business and provides the resources necessary for success, which is favorable to females who may be juggling any number of family or non-work-related priorities.
As such, the franchising industry has seen an increase in women interested in pursuing opportunities over the past few years. Many females find value in the skillsets and traits that diversify their work in the industry. They also find strength in network and support groups that help them gain knowledge and industry insights to excel in their line of work. While there are many benefits to service-based franchising, operating a small business of any kind is not easy. Running a successful and profitable franchise takes time and achieving work-life balance sometimes requires the willingness to put in extra work.
To help address some of these challenges, BELFOR Franchise Group (BFG) provides strong networking opportunities, viable resources and ongoing technical training so that female franchisees can continue to build their skills and make their footprint. Operating under the established BFG umbrella, BFG owners get entrepreneurial experience along with the support of a reputable brand with numerous franchises across the U.S. and the globe.
For women who are thinking about opening a franchise or have just started on their entrepreneurial path, here are a few tips on how to succeed as a female franchisee.
Identify unique strengths. It’s no secret that women have distinctive skill sets and traits that differentiate them from men in any industry or role. Working in the male dominated field of franchising can be challenging, but the ability to connect with customers by demonstrating emotional intelligence and compassion is what sets many female franchisees apart.
Take for example Carol Tippett, owner of HOODZ Clackamas in Oregon, whose work in a male-dominated industry has brought out her leadership skills and traits such as commitment, integrity, and honesty. Her clients have been surprised to see a female at the reigns of a service-based franchise, but her demonstrated knowledge and proven ability to provide quality services has garnered confidence from customers and new business.
Knowledge is key. As you start or look to grow a franchise, it is important to evaluate your businesses’ successes and failures as well your own as a leader. Knowing your business inside and out will help you to understand your customers and how to market them.
For Patty Clisham, owner of DUCTZ of West St. Louis, continuing to build her business expertise has been key to her success in the air duct cleaning franchise industry. She says that fellow franchisees are often the best resource because they have seen many unique, real-world situations in the field that are not always addressed in training.
Grow your network. In addition to tapping into the foundation of support that comes with operating an established franchise, an important piece in maintaining and growing a business is networking alongside other owners. A great first step in building your support system is to attend a networking event, not only to build relationships but also to learn best practices and discover shared experiences. Developing an inner circle with support and collaboration from family, friends, employees is beneficial for overall success.
Within our organization, a popular initiative started with an in-person meeting that transformed into a Facebook group. This virtual support group allows female franchisees to actively encourage each other and share business practices that they’ve seen success with on a daily basis. Great relationships will go a long way in any business and especially help women-run franchise cleaning businesses be successful.
As more women seek entrepreneurial opportunities, it is important that they are confident in sharing the value and expertise they can bring to the franchising industry. While starting a business is not for everyone, female franchisees are able to develop a balanced work and life that works for themselves and their employees. A strong foundation of knowledge and resources as well as support from other franchisees will help any woman start and run an effective and profitable franchise.
Melanie Parker is a Senior Vice President at BELFOR Franchise Group, a leading name in restoration and services franchise opportunities which operates franchises including 1-800 WATER DAMAGE, Chem-Dry, Delta, DUCTZ, HOODZ, N-Hance, PACKOUTZ and Z PLUMBERZ. For more information on BELFOR Franchise Group, visit https://www.belforfranchisegroup.com.