Highlights from our Webinar with Franchise Expert Chris Cynkar
In a world where people like to pit Millennials against Baby Boomers in some kind of generational showdown, franchise expert and industry consultant Chris Cynkar prefers to point out one very important commonality between the two groups:
Boomers and Millennials are both driving new and transformational trends in the franchise industry. They’re just going about it in very different ways.
We chatted with Chris during a recent webinar to find out how this phenomenon is manifesting and how franchises are responding. If you missed it, here’s a link to the webinar replay, [JE1] but we thought we’d jot down the highlights for you here so you have them at-a-glance. Because, truly, they’re fascinating revelations. But more importantly, they’re essential to understand if you want to serve these disparate generations (and maybe even a few of us who fall in between), because they’re driving massive change across markets.
According to Chris, Boomers are a group that’s currently 74 million strong, and they’re the first generation of people who aren’t beholden, as they age, to transition to nursing care, assisted living, or a family member’s home.
Why? They don’t want to. They’d prefer to stay in their homes. And these days, they can do that, because the healthcare industry has responded to their desire. That response is being guided most prominently by franchises, where savvy entrepreneurs who are paying attention have developed successful, replicable business models to fulfill a growing need for comfortable, independent-focused senior services.
Companion care companies, visiting nurses, and in-home service provider businesses have exploded over the past several years, allowing Boomers to live independently and on their own terms. In-home monitors and ‘smart’ devices have gained traction and technology has become much more sophisticated in recent years.
Instead of large, wired necklaces, nowadays, digital health wearables are light, discreet and fashionable. Seniors are downloading smartphone apps that send automatic reminders to take their prescriptions. They can send weight and blood pressure measurements electronically to healthcare providers with in-home equipment. And specialized systems can detect movements, notifying emergency contacts when there’s been a possible fall or irregular heartbeat.
Moreover, modern conveniences and consumer demand are driving ability-appropriate home design. Businesses that install wheelchair ramps, remodel closets so everything is within reach without a step ladder, or build slide-out drawer systems that seniors can access without excessive bending are flourishing in today’s market. As the thirst for convenience only gets stronger, the outlook for continued growth in these areas looks positive.
On the other end of the spectrum, Millennials, 73 million strong today, are at the height of their careers, so their collective, economic impact can’t be ignored. More than any generation before them, Millennials value wellness, convenience, and experience. In response, franchises that cater to these niches are seeing incredible success.
Personalized fitness classes, focused on a specific activity like spin, rowing, or Pilates, are enjoying rapid growth. Millennials gravitate to these ‘boutique’ wellness experiences for their specialization and personal touch. Building rapport over time with a consistent instructor alongside a tight-knit peer group gives 30-something consumers the sense that they have their own fitness-focused cheering team. And team collaboration that builds community is something this generation prioritizes more than previous generations who continue to value more do-it-yourself oriented activities.
In similar fashion, Millennials are driving change in the workplace, too. Franchises have responded by providing collaborative co-working spaces that encourage communal information exchange, regardless of the industry in which the people there are working. Today’s shared office spaces come equipped with technology tools that allow for remote access so that visiting workers can plug into what’s going on at HQ no matter where they are. As Millennials advance to leadership roles, Chris Cynkar believes we’ll be seeing more and more of these decentralized workplaces.
Franchise businesses that provide convenience services, too, are seeing rapid growth due to Millennials’ demand. This generation seems more willing than their predecessors to trade money for time, so they’re paying service providers to take care of things like laundry and dry cleaning pickup and delivery, light home remodeling, and pet care more frequently.
This trend toward outsourcing chores extends to the final demographic Chris talked about, and that’s dual-income households—of any age.
Franchise businesses that cater to busy professionals’ desire for fast, easy solutions to domestic responsibilities are experiencing widespread success. From paying for lawn care to house cleaning to nannies and tutors, workers who are putting in 40+ hours per week at the office are far more open to hiring experts to take care of their homes so that, come Sunday, they can sit back, relax, and enjoy quality time with their families.
To catch the whole webinar, take a listen here!