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“We can survive this storm together”

“We can survive this storm together”

The British Franchise Association promises to be the rock for the industry

What a start it’s been to the new year. 2021 promises to be as challenging to navigate as 2020 was and for each of us that means finding ways of keeping healthy and remaining positive.

Experts have talked at length over the last 12 months about the difficulty we can all face maintaining focus during the types of large-scale disruption we’re currently witnessing.

Self care

One of the positives to come out of the coronavirus pandemic is an increased awareness around self-care and mental health, as we all seek to support each other.

One guilty party - and an unlikely star - in all of this is the amygdala, the part of the brain that acts as the emotional centre. It determines whether what we see and hear is stressful. If the answer is yes, all sorts of mental and physical responses are triggered.

Physical manifestations of stress are well documented, but the amygdala can also override our prefrontal cortex, the logical part of the brain.

Positive steps

With a global pandemic, political upheaval and financial uncertainty, it’s no surprise the amygdala is pulling some spectacularly long hours on the shop floor at the moment. If you are experiencing fuzzy brain, this may well be the culprit. However, there are a number of things that can be done to help with this.

Ensuring you step outside during the day is critical. Exercise aids sleep and sleep is key for good mental health.

It’s also worth turning off devices a good while before going to bed. Reading a book instead or 20 minutes of meditation is much better for centring your mind, relaxing your body and easing stress before turning in for the night.

From a work perspective, many of us are taking on multiple new roles and responsibilities as we pivot to stay afloat and survive the pandemic.

My personal approach has been to break down every big goal into smaller achievable steps, as sometimes Association when you look at everything that needs to be done it can appear as a series of insurmountable tasks.

Help and support

We don’t know what 2021 holds for any of us, but we can be there to help and support each other. That is the pledge we have made at the British Franchise Association - to be there as an anchor during this storm, to be the rock for the industry and to offer what support we can for everyone in franchising, not just our members.

To this end, we continue to operate our support@thebfa.org inbox. Email us there if you need someone to talk to and we’ll reach out. We also provide free support to all franchisors on our LinkedIn group The Franchise Collective and to franchisees via our Facebook franchisee hub.

We know that, for many people in our industry, franchising represents an exciting way to take control of their own destinies. It offers the flexibility, independence and excitement of being in business for yourself, but with the financial security and support of a parent brand.

We look forward to facing this year together with everyone in our industry and to coming out the other side stronger and more resilient.

The author

Emily Price is chief operating officer at the British Franchise Association.

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