Gender Differences in Franchising

According to FranchiseFacts' Franchisee Satisfaction Survey 2010 Annual Report released this week, women go into franchising better educated than men, but with less business experience (p. 8).  Women are newer to franchising with 61% of those responding to the survey having owned their business for four years or less compared with only 31% of the men who responded (p. 8). Women reported taking a much longer time to achieve profitability than did men.  50% of the men who responded to the survey reported becoming profitable in under three years while only 9% of the women reported being profitable in under three years (p. 19).  The survey concludes that "[a] closer look at this data, however suggests that these differences have nothing to do with gender.  Female respondents are much newer to franchising than their male counterparts.  61% of female respondents have owned their business for less than four years compared with 31% of male respondents." (p.19) The survey states that women seem to have more balance in their lives and work less than 50+ hours per week.

What does this mean in terms of women looking to buy a franchised business? In my review of the survey, it appears that there may be some flaws in the statistics.  Nowhere in the report do I see the number of respondents to the survey.  In order to place significant value on the statistics, a statistically representative percentage of United States and Canadian franchisees would need to have replied to the survey. How do we know if this survey is a representative sampling of the body of franchisees?  Although interesting statistics, I question their validity.  In order to put more value to this report, I would recommend that FranchiseFacts identify their methods of sampling and divulge the numbers of franchisees who responded, percentage of respondents who were male and female, ages, geographic locations, retail versus service, home-based versus store-front, etc. Once shown to be statistically valid, this type of survey could prove to be an invaluable resource for franchisors, prospective franchisees, consultants, attorneys and others in the franchise field.

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