Women may have more reasons to celebrate their achievements in franchising beyond March and Women’s History Month. Business and trade publications have indicated that 2023 is an ideal time for women to enter and excel in the field of franchising.
Guidant Financial estimates that women own about 31% of all franchises in the U.S., an increase of 23% from 1995. Moreover, the International Franchise Association notes that there are more women than men looking for information about purchasing a franchise (especially among younger generations) and “there is no indication that this trend will slow down any time soon.”
This reflects my own experiences as a NY franchise lawyer. In recent years, I have represented an increasing number of women in franchising. Some are new franchisors who want to expand statewide or even nationwide, while others are franchisees seeking to grow their portfolios and expand from single unit ownership to multi-unit operators.
Let’s explore what’s going right for these and several other franchises owned by women, and how they can teach lessons in brand management by virtue of their accomplishments.
Full-Time Fashion Franchisors
Women’s clothing trends may evolve, but the franchise concept is always in style. I recently worked with the owners of women’s boutique clothing stores in New York who have started franchising their brand.
Two of the three owners are women and I hope they are representative of the next generation of female franchisors. Their entrepreneurial spirit was contagious – even via videoconferencing – and they have clear plans for how they will provide a style-curated shopping experience, which is already a driving factor in their success.
They are also demonstrating a key trait among young women in franchising – harnessing social media for promotional and advertising. Maximizing their presence on Instagram, for example, has converted views to purchases. Perhaps more importantly, it has clearly generated enough foot traffic to warrant a broader physical presence.
The “sell what you know” philosophy seems to be at the core of their business, and it’s easy to root for entrepreneurs who are so passionate about their products and their overall industry.
Multi-Unit Operator Shakes Up Her Local Market
Another client wanted to buy area development rights for smoothie franchise units. This client had a strong local presence and a positive reputation, having started her career at a smoothie counter and who was subsequently promoted to manager. Her successful track record in the market made her an ideal multi-unit operator.
She had business savvy, but needed some extra direction on the finer points of area development. Through our review of the documents and discussions with the franchisor, we ensured that she understood the terms of the agreements and the potential impact of those provisions on her current and future business operations.
She now operates multiple units. This expansion will also strengthen her position should she want to explore the acquisition of development rights for other franchise brands, particularly if further expansion is not viable in her market.
Lessons in Brand Management
The aforementioned clients established themselves in their local markets and took practical steps to advance. Further, they stuck by their work ethic and created their own brand which customers and industry peers will recognize and remember.
Menu items and wearable brands speaks for themselves more obviously. But the owners’ personal brands as dependable revenue-generators is irrefutable. Their reputation for success can help fuel their careers and lead to new partnerships.
They also possess a deep knowledge of their respective markets, including:
- Their existing and target audience
- Where there is potential to expand
- How to leverage trends and react to external factors, like the economy, and public health risks.
These women franchise professionals are just a sample of many who are uniquely positioning themselves for longevity in very competitive industries. Everyone can learn from their accomplishments. As more women with a similar drive enter the profession, leadership demographics in franchising will hopefully achieve equilibrium.
Forming a Franchise Firm
I have represented many clients with inspiring stories of developing and operating franchises or expanding through franchising. Each one renews my enthusiasm for practicing franchise law in New York.
I launched Lusthaus Law in 2017, following almost 20 years at another firm. I loved the work I was doing and wanted to create stronger relationships with clients. The only way I could provide that level of service was to take the risk and start my own firm.
“If you build it…”
As simple as it may have sounded, she was right. Taking the leap is what all franchise stakeholders – and law firm owners – must do to find success. While it seemed like I was stepping off of a cliff, it turned out there was ground beneath me all along.
That ground is the faith clients have in me to represent them. In celebrating Women’s History Month, I’d like to honor and thank all of my clients for that trust. I am always appreciative of the unique opportunity to help clients realize their dreams in business and franchising.
Contact Lusthaus Law
Lusthaus Law P.C. has a proven record of assisting franchisors and franchisees with their business operations at every stage of development. Contact us today to learn more about how Lusthaus Law P.C. can help you navigate a clear path for your franchise’s successful future.