Why the Great Resignation Could Lead to a Franchising Boom As people leave their jobs for a better work-life balance, they are discovering new opportunities in the franchise industry.

By Don Daszkowski

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Saying "I quit" has become the new normal thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Great Resignation is the new reality, with workers leaving in droves. The American workforce has had a taste of the flexibility of working from home and now wants to keep that improved work-life balance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than four million Americans quit their jobs in August 2021. That is nearly three percent of the workforce. As people leave their jobs, they are discovering opportunities in franchising with flexibility and opportunity. We have entered the You Only Live Once (YOLO) economy which was born from several factors: burnout, a need for a work-life balance and a taste of the flexibility of working from home.

Related: Buying a Franchise versus a Business Opportunity - Buying a ...

Great Resignation stats

There are interesting stats behind the workers driving the Great Resignation. According to the Harvard Business Review, mid-career employees, or those between the ages of 30 and 45, saw the greatest increase in resignation rates. Between 2020 and 2021, 20 percent of workers in this group jumped ship in search of something better.

There are various factors behind the resignations of mid-level employees. As more people move to work remotely, employers can see hiring those with no experience as risky due to the fact that they cannot be trained in person. Thus, these mid-level workers have more leverage in finding new positions.

Among industries, departures from the healthcare and tech sectors are the highest. Since these skilled workers saw increased demand during the pandemic, burnout is a likely factor. The tech sector saw a 4.5 percent increase in dropouts, while healthcare saw a 3.6 percent increase from 2020.

Enter Gen Z

Most of Gen Z hasn't started careers yet, but they are aligned with the vision behind the Great Resignation. Considered one of the most entrepreneurial generations ever, 62 percent of Gen Zers indicate they have started — or intend to start — their own business. This generation, born between 1997-2012, grew up using technology. They have seen others become rich by building empires on YouTube, TikTok and other social media platforms. This generation knows that there's more to life than the 9-5 grind.

A move to franchising

Franchising has become a logical next step for people leaving their jobs and has become an attractive option for Gen Zers as well. This billion-dollar industry offers many benefits and opportunities to have it all. Franchise owners can be their own boss, have a great work-life balance and have financial independence. And it's not just for multi-million dollar investors. There are low-cost options in franchising that don't require expensive build-outs or leases. Many can be run from home and offer the flexibility and work-life balance that people are seeking today.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

The International Franchise Association (IFA) stated in its economic outlook that franchising is set to open 26,000 new locations by the end of 2021. The industry is also expected to add 800,000 jobs, mostly from the retail, food and services sectors.

Related: Buying a Franchise Post-Pandemic

The boom in franchising, along with a rise in people seeking new opportunities, has led to an increased need for franchise consultants. Owning a franchise can be a major life change and investment, so people seek franchise consultants for advice and guidance to determine if franchise ownership is a good fit. By definition, a franchise consultant provides support and advice to prospective franchisees. Besides being an advisor, the consultant can provide:

  • A good education on how the industry works

  • An assessment of a candidate's skills and background to see if business ownership is a good fit

  • Guidance through the due diligence process

  • Suggestions for franchises that fit the candidate's investment level, background and interests

  • Resources for funding and legal advice

Cultural shifts can lead to positive change. If any good has come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is that we have realized that we don't have to be stuck in a dead-end job. Workers now have the leverage to change careers and have the opportunity at a better work-life balance by launching a franchise business. The numbers don't lie: people are looking for better options. If given the opportunity to be happy while working from home versus staying at a soul-crushing job, people will choose happiness every time. The Great Resignation may just be the beginning of this movement.

Related: Basics of Buying a Franchise Business for Entrepreneurs

Don Daszkowski

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Founder of IFPG

Don Daszkowski is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of the International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG). Along with his innovative team at IFPG, Daszkowski has raised the bar industry-wide as a leader in the franchise sales process.

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