Before the pandemic, the number of female business owners was growing at an unprecedented rate, with a 45% increase from 2007 to 2016 compared to a 9% increase among all businesses. That’s an impressive five times the national average, although it’s worth noting that as of 2022, only 31% of small businesses and franchises are owned and run by women.
The coronavirus pandemic undeniably created some setbacks for women in the business world. Women were statistically more likely to have been furloughed or had to change careers as a result of the pandemic’s economic fallout, and at that time, around a quarter of all women were considering downshifting their careers. Thankfully, though, life has begun to return to normal, and women are returning to the workforce in droves.
The problem is that despite the ongoing shift in many industries towards female workforces, women still don’t have an equal chance when it comes to corporate leadership. The glass ceiling is still firmly in place in most companies, and the gender pay gap persists across all management levels.
If you’re sick of working long hours for less pay with fewer opportunities for advancement, you’ve come to the right place. Owning a janitorial services franchise, such as a Corvus Janitorial Systems franchise, offers a way out for women who are tired of dealing constantly with corporate America’s ongoing gender inequality problem. You can find out how below.
The Future of Franchising Is Female
Let’s start at the beginning. A franchise is a type of business license. It grants you, the franchisee, access to another business, the franchisor’s knowledge, processes, and trademarks so that you can provide services or sell products under a known and trusted business name. To acquire a franchise, all you need to do is pay for licensing and give the franchisor an initial start-up fee.
According to the International Franchise Association, women owned just 8.5% of all franchises in 1995. Now, that number has grown to 31%, and there is no indication that it will plateau. There are currently more women looking for information about how to purchase a franchise than men, especially among the younger generations.
Why Women Make Fantastic Franchise Owners
Have you ever stopped to think about the amount of unpaid labor you provide in the home? From cooking and cleaning to childcare, the chances are good that it’s a lot. On average, women spend almost four and a half hours on unpaid labor, which is more than many people spend each week at part-time jobs.
There are few bright sides to the extremity of the gender gap in unpaid caregiving and home maintenance, especially if you’re still working a full-time, 9-5 job for 17% less pay than your male counterparts. Thankfully, though, women tend to be more adaptable than men and better at both multi-tasking and quick thinking. After all, you have to be able to handle everything on the average American woman’s plate.
In many families, women keep their homes organized. They keep track of all kinds of details, from grocery lists to home finances and personal schedules, and communicate all of that information effectively to the entire family so that everyone is on the same page. If there’s one thing all of these varied skills have in common, it’s that they are fantastic qualities in a business owner.
These observations may sound anecdotal, but they’re backed up by research. In 2012, researchers evaluated 7,200 surveys tracing the judgment of different leaders’ peers, bosses, and reports. Participants rated leaders’ overall effectiveness and strength over 16 competencies. Women were rated higher in 12 of those 16 core business competencies, including in traits that have historically been considered male strengths, such as taking initiative and pushing to get results.
The Unique Benefits of the Franchise Business Model
If you finished reading through those last few paragraphs and feel empowered, that’s good. You should. Now, it’s time to talk about why you should take all the skills you’ve developed both at home and in the corporate world and put them to a different kind of use. It’s time to discuss the unique benefits of the franchise business model for modern women.
Create Your Own Opportunities
When women start working at corporate offices, they’re almost always told that there will be plenty of opportunities for advancement. While that may be true for lower- to middle-management positions, CEOs and other higher-ups are still overwhelmingly male, and women are rarely offered the level of mentorship and help with advancement extended to their male colleagues.
As a result of these and other factors, men outnumber women at the CEO level by around 17:1. While it’s perfectly understandable to be upset about these statistics and laudable to put in the work to change them, it’s also undeniable that women with an entrepreneurial spirit will have a better chance of success creating their own opportunities by opening franchises.
Greater Freedom and Flexibility
Office jobs don’t tend to offer much flexibility. Even companies that have made the switch to offering remote work to some of their employees some of the time still place exacting demands on workers and expect them to build their lives around their jobs. This applies to men as well as women, but because women take on the bulk of unpaid household labor, they suffer more as a result.
Purchasing a franchise offers women an opportunity to take control of their careers and levels of work-life balance. Instead of building their lives around their jobs, franchise owners build their businesses around their lives. This level of flexibility will allow you to prioritize not just family but also yourself. In a world where women are taught from childhood to prioritize the needs of others, that change can be incredibly empowering.
Fewer Financial Barriers to Entry
Men aren’t just paid better, on average, than their female counterparts in the corporate world. They’re also 20% more likely to be able to secure small business loans as entrepreneurs. This statistic might help to explain why male entrepreneurs continue to make twice as much money, on average, as their female counterparts.
Thankfully, franchises offer a lower barrier to entry. Most have either in-house financing options or established relationships with outside financial institutions that can be leveraged by potential franchisees to fund their ventures. Corvus Janitorial Systems, in particular, strives to provide strong financial support and guidance throughout the franchise purchase and onboarding process. This creates new opportunities for women who are unable to secure traditional small business loans.
Help Other Women Succeed
Finally, owning a franchise offers an opportunity to help other women succeed in the business world. It’s not just that as the owner of the franchise location, you’ll have the ultimate say over who gets hired and will be able to ensure gender parity in the hiring process. Once you’ve gotten on your feet, it will also offer an opportunity to act as a mentor and serve as a positive role model for girls and younger women. At Corvus, we make the hiring and vetting process easy and straightforward for our franchise owners and will provide strong support along the way.
It can be incredibly frustrating to continue working towards a gender-equal economy only to find additional barriers every step of the way, and some women leaving the business world feel like they’re giving up the fight. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Women who choose to redefine their roles in what is still a male-dominated business world and step into positions of leadership are doing their part to create a more inclusive society.
Why the Janitorial Industry?
Hopefully, by now, you’re suitably excited about the possibility of franchise ownership. The question remains, though, of why the janitorial industry offers such a great opportunity for gaining true independence. There are a few answers to that question, so each new franchisee will have a different set of reasons for starting a local janitorial business, such as a Corvus Janitorial franchise. Some of the most common include:
Meeting the Needs of the Market
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the market for all sorts of cleaning services has exploded, and that includes commercial cleaning. There are plenty of residential cleaning services out there, but few janitorial businesses that can meet the increased needs of local schools, hospitals, gyms, offices, and other large or specialized spaces. At Corvus Janitorial Systems, we have the infrastructure and support in place to provide cleaning services to all industries.
Easy Transition From Residential Cleaning
While the janitorial industry has historically been male-dominated, the majority of residential cleaning businesses are run by women. Making the transition over to owning a janitorial franchise will be much easier than learning the ins and outs of an entirely new and unrelated industry. Corvus is there with our franchise owners every step of the way to guide them on building a successful janitorial franchise business.
Support From Established Franchisors
While it’s true that women-owned businesses, in general, and franchises, in particular, are becoming more common every day, not every industry is keeping up with the changing times. In the janitorial industry, female entrepreneurs can find the support and acceptance they need from Corvus Janitorial. In fact, business owner guidance and mentorship is a core tenant of the Corvus franchise program and one reason our franchisees have enjoyed strong success and opportunities.
Contact Corvus Janitorial Systems
If you’re a female entrepreneur ready to embrace everything that janitorial franchises have to offer, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can fill out our quick and easy contact form online, or call us today, to schedule a meeting with a Corvus representative who can tell you everything you need to know about starting a woman-owned janitorial business with the help of the established Corvus Janitorial Systems brand.