October 17, 2014
We know that franchise businesses are important in the U.S. as employers — about one third of all the revenue in the U.S. flows through franchises and one in 16 American workers is employed at a franchise. But ownership is not the same as employment.
And that’s a good thing for people considering investing in a franchise, because being an employee in America today is not always a good thing. Only 30% are happy with their paychecks and only 29% are satisfied with the stress levels of their jobs. Fewer than half are satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive and how hard they have to work and fewer than a third are happy with their chances of promotion.
A 2012 global study by Gallup was the source of these numbers, and the bottom line was that only about 30% of U.S. employees are happy at work.
The infographic above, which uses different sources, found that employees — compared with business owners — earn less for more work. Small business owners, which describes most franchisees, get enough sleep, work about a 40 hour week on average, and believe that their business ownership is good for their health.
The top reason people go into business, they report, is for the improved lifestyle, not just for the money.
This squares with information from a 2013 global study, which found that business owners are much happier than employees.
Why? One possibility is presented by the fact that employees asked why they did their jobs usually cited money, while business owners tended to cite things like opportunities to grow and learn, passion for their business, or long-term goals related to their families or communities.
Studies on happiness consistently show that money doesn’t buy happiness. Accomplishing goals, helping other people, and making connections with communities do. So business owners, since they tend to have loftier goals, are bound to feel happier with the struggle to achieve those goals than employees, who are most often working only for a paycheck — which, we saw above, most workers think is too small anyway.
Entrepreneurs also feel more in control of their lives, and they may not take as much time off as employees do, but the image of business owners as working 24/7 isn’t true, once the business is established. The survey found that more than half get two weeks off each year. Only 11% of business owners never take time off.
The two global studies were not the only research done on this subject. Another 2013 study found that 91% of small business owners described themselves as happy. In 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that business owners were the happiest of all occupations in the U.S. More surveys during the early years of the 21st century found that entrepreneurs were happier than people working for someone else. In 1987, a U.S. study found the same thing.
We have to go back to 1975 to find research which shows employees happier than their employers.
The other point which the infographic makes is that franchising makes small business ownership practical for more people. With the support of a franchise and a proven system, business ownership is within reach for the average American.