Maxis Prove that Franchising isn’t just for the Young
The perception that life is a gloomy downhill slide after turning fifty is vastly changing as more business veterans are realising the opportunities available to entrepreneurs in the franchising industry. Unlike novices who buy a franchise with one thing in mind – to make a ‘quick buck’ – the immeasurable advantage of ‘matured’ experience and ability to delegate responsibilities are unmatchable for a healthy retirement.
Wessel de Beer, Johan Roelofse and Chris Groenveld, the franchisees of Maxi’s Zambezi, Maxi’s Centurion and Maxi’s Kolonnade respectively, express their familiarity with the dynamic world of franchising and the benefits of such an investment in the long-term when planning for retirement.
The trio believe that there is no better way to gain firsthand experience than from the changing eras which encapsulate the franchising model. From traditional corner cafés to conventional fish and chip shops and small matinee cafés, the concepts remain similar. “There is no textbook that could teach you the complex fundamentals of franchising such as an established structure, employee relations, and basic business management. I emphasise complex because you do not only buy a restaurant and become a franchisee, you build your own community to surround you and your fellow franchisees,” says de Beer.
When asked about what role experience plays in starting a franchise over the age of fifty, it can be concluded that having basic business skills such as financial planning and human resource management is essential. It is more likely that entrepreneurs over fifty have convincing credit ratings and are able to recognise and surround the franchise with driven leaders and staff who see the franchise as more than just a job. Roelofse, who was previously in the forensic investigations industry before becoming a Maxi’s franchisee says, “Most of the problems in starting a franchise begin with staff and this should not be brushed off as employees can either make or break a business.”
De Beer says that the most obvious drawback to franchising when you are reaching the end of your career would be the longer hours involved in successfully running a business. However, this is where the ability to delegate responsibilities is beneficial. “My Maxi’s franchise is family driven. My son manages the restaurant which has allowed me to be more flexible in the level of involvement and time spent at the franchise, but I still know I have a reasonable return on investment for retirement purposes.”
For veteran entrepreneurs who have previously been self employed, it can be quite an adjustment to suddenly have to follow the systems set out by the franchisor. Conversely, the support network supplied by the franchisor and franchise network made available substitute the challenge.
The saying that you can’t teach ‘an old dog new tricks’ is irrelevant when entrepreneurs over the age of fifty are determined to make the most out of their unparalleled ingenuity.