The term blue-collar worker has been around since the 1920s, and at the time it was coined due to the color of shirts manual labor workers were wearing in a mid-western United States newspaper story. Today, it typically refers to manual labor jobs that are compensated by an hourly wage. Some industries known for their blue-collar workers include construction, manufacturing, plumbing, maintenance, mining, telecommunications and more. In other words, they are known to be members of the working class.
These blue-collar professions require leaders and managers with executive skills as well, and typically they come from employees who have climbed the ladder a rung at a time. They bring with them a deep, practical knowledge about the products and services offered by the company and are well respected by their co-workers. But what happens when a blue-collar executive wants to move upward and onward?
Blue-collar executives looking for something more inevitably start looking towards opening their own blue-collar business. As with any entrepreneur searching for the right fit, blue-collar executives also have the option of opening a franchise, transitioning their executive skills into business ownership. Growing a blue-collar franchise is much like working in the industry, it requires the entrepreneur to get their hands dirty and invest a lot of hard work. They also need to make sure they have the right personality traits to do the job.
Blue-collar executives often carry with them a completely different mindset than those working in corporate America. That being said, there are several personality traits that are necessary in order to be successful when opening a new business, and blue-collar executives looking to make the leap need to make sure they have the right ones.
Strong Work Ethic: Blue-collar workers are known for putting in a hard day’s work, day after day. Even blue-collar executives take pride in getting their hands dirty and putting in a full day to get the job done. This trait translates nicely to business ownership and will inspire employees to work just as hard to help the business succeed. Blue-collar franchise owners that are willing to go above and beyond find that their employees want to do the same.
Honesty: Blue-collar executives are known for shooting from the hip and telling it like it is. They believe that being honest takes not only courage and strength, but moral fortitude as well. This trait earns them respect from everyone they deal with, from vendors and suppliers, to their employees and customers. An honest blue-collar franchise owner will see a lot less employee turnover, lower stress, higher motivation, and other things that contribute to a successful business.
Sense of Community: Many blue-collar executives are very active in the communities they live in. To them there is nothing more important in their lives than their families, who they associate with and their neighborhoods. They believe that if their community is doing well, their business will do well too, which means they will do whatever they can to make sure their community gets all the help it needs. Their point of view is simple, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, and by helping and collaborating with the community, both the community and the business will be the best they can be.
Moral Code: Having a strong moral code is perhaps the trait blue-collar executives are best known for. Maintaining strong values is important to them, and it helps inspire their employees to invest more of themselves into their work. In many instances they use their moral code to improve not only the business, but their employees’ lives as well. All of this leads to a more passionate, inspired employee who will work as hard as they can. Simply put, high morale and respect for their employer is good for the company.
The blue-collar franchise owner really isn’t very different from the blue-collar executive. It’s just another rung on the ladder they’ve climbed their entire career. Many find the transition from one position to the other to be smooth, because they can take the personality traits they’ve fostered throughout their working lives and translate them into a profitable business. The traits are beneficial in helping foster a happy environment and create a healthier company poised for long-term success. They can help define the communication and management styles, workplace environment and overall culture of the business.