Who said you need to retire when you can adopt a franchise model?
More and more business men over the age of fifty have taken on the venture to thrive and capitalise on existing opportunities available in the franchise industry. After gaining experience in the working world, entrepreneurs with sound practice and knowledge are now capable of succeeding in the business world on their own. Life does not seem to go downhill around the age of retirement.
Fayyaaz Seedat and Anthony Lolwane are commendable franchisees who run The Fish & Chip Co. stores in Kroonstad and Maponya Mall, Soweto, respectively. Both of these franchisees, currently in their fifties, have expressed great eagerness towards the dynamic world of franchising and believe that this investment is very beneficial in the long-term, especially when planning for retirement.
These entrepreneurs believe that they have an advantage due to the vast amount of knowledge and experience they have gained over the years compared to anybody starting up in the business world for the first time, however they do believe that franchising is the way to go for anybody at any age.
They also agree that age is definitely not just a number. “With age comes experience, which in turn gives you increased confidence, a better understanding of life, a stronger sense of responsibility, and as importantly, an understanding of business in general,” states Lolwane who joined The Fish & Chip Co. family at the age of 54.
Seedat echoes his sentiments, “I believe experience in business, as in life, is priceless. It is not something that can be bought or sold. There is also no textbook that can teach you all the complexities of business management. You learn things throughout your whole life – and never stop. Age is therefore not a hindrance in the world of franchising, if you have the needed skills.”
Aside from being better equipped with the needed tools to fill the shoes of a store owner, it is also more likely that entrepreneurs over fifty have compelling credit ratings and are able to distinguish and surround the franchise with focused leaders and staff who see the franchise as more than just a job.
“If there is one thing that time teaches you, it is the importance of building relationships with people who choose to work towards the same goals as you do. When everyone moves in the same direction, things will progress forward smoothly,” Lolwane adds. He also reiterates the fact that challenges will occur no matter what your level of expertise or the depth of your relationships are.
Seedat continues 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. “It is hard work managing a business at any age as there are always challenges that one needs to face and when you reach a later stage in your life, working long hours can be tiring. However, if you are passionate about the business and have a good relationship with your franchisor, you will make it. I can proudly say that The Fish and Chip Co. have kept all their promises and really listen to their franchisee – which goes a long way.”
For experienced 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. On the other hand, the support network supplied by the franchisor and franchise network made available substitute the challenge.