Franchising · 27 September 2016

Senior decision makers look to franchising to fulfil entrepreneurial ambitions

mcdonalds
Lack of business control and job satisfaction are turning the heads of senior decision makers towards franchising.

New research from McDonalds’ UK has revealed that a third of the UK’s senior decision makers are planning a change in careers in the next five years.

The survey assessed the job satisfaction and career plans of 931 senior decision makers of UK businesses.

Of those looking to begin a second career, 50 per cent cited a frustration with company decisions – such as frequent strategy change – as the primary trigger, while 49 per cent revealed that “unfulfilled personal ambitions” were a major factor in planning a career change.

McDonalds’ study suggests that the career restlessness traditionally associated with younger workers is finding its way to the more experienced business heads, as a quarter of senior company executives over 40 were likely to want follow a new career path.

The research revealed a growing attraction towards the world of franchising among senior decision makers who have become frustrated with corporate life. The study found that almost a fifth of respondents would consider entering a franchise due to a lack of business control in their current roles.

Half of respondents perceived a franchise as posing a lower risk than setting up their own new business, while 58 per cent acknowledged the benefit of having a proven business model to work within.

Commenting on the research, McDonalds’ vice president for franchising, Jason Clark, highlighted wider economic trends as the catalyst for senior decision makers looking to change their career.

“Unsurprisingly, at a time when certain macroeconomic trends are causing uncertainty in business, many senior executives are finding themselves wanting a change in direction – a second career,” Clark said.

Diana Norris, a career coach at consultancy CareerBalance, attributed the growing unfulfillment among senior figures as a desire to seek “something different”, as they redefine success on their own terms.

“Despite the uncertainty of heading down a different career path, high achievers want a chance to create success on their own terms, fulfil their entrepreneurial ambitions, and take control of their own future,” Norris said.

Tired and bored of their corporate careers, Matt and Jen Snell started up a Trophy Pet Foods operation in 2013 and spoke to Business Advice about their new-found job satisfaction.

On making the decision to become franchisees, the couple cited “low initial investment, proven business systems, full support but no interference” as driving factors in starting their new business.

Matt and Jen highlighted the benefits of being part of a wider, proven business, and advised those thinking about making the shift to becoming a franchisee to persevere and take advantage of the support network provided.

“Be prepared to work hard and stay focused. Starting up is difficult for lots of reasons, but through franchising, and with a quality brand behind you, you will have all the support you need and ask for,” they said.

McDonalds’ has used the new research to highlight its own franchising opportunities.

Clark said: “Our franchisees were drawn to McDonald’s by the challenge and opportunity – giving people with broad senior management experience and entrepreneurial ambitions the chance to build their own business.

“With much of our future growth based on increased franchising, the opportunities are potentially life-changing; opening up new ways of working for experienced corporate leaders.”

Read our interview with international franchise development consultant Nick Williams.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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