Investing in a franchise is becoming an increasingly popular option for business-minded women
In the past, the franchise industry may have been considered a male-dominated domain. However, not only are more women getting into franchising, but they are thriving, with many franchises geared to their strengths, abilities and experience.
Franchising makes a lot of sense to professional women who want flexibility without compromising on their career progression or lifestyle. Here are the reasons why women are succeeding in franchising and the opportunities that are available to them:
Flexibility and fulfilment
Women who’ve had a successful career and then go on to have a family will certainly enjoy the flexibility that running their own business offers. Trying to find a job at a senior level that offers the level of flexibility you need with a young family can often be challenging in the modern workplace.
Flexibility of working hours is a critical factor for many women when determining their career path. For example, at Kidslingo we have franchisees who have children with additional needs - they need to factor in time to go to numerous health appointments, which can be difficult in traditional employment. Equally, this applies to people who want to focus on a healthy lifestyle away from the 9-5 or those who have other responsibilities, such as having to care for an elderly relative or pets at home.
Our franchisees are committed to languages, but many want to step out of the traditional roles of teacher or translator. A Kidslingo franchise gives them the opportunity to inspire children to love languages outside of often rigid systems and bring their passion to life. A huge sense of fulfilment comes with the success of creating a business that you’re truly passionate about.
They possess the necessary skills and experience
When you run your own business, even if it’s a franchise, you need the ability to multitask.
Traditionally, women are recognised as having the ability to spin many plates at a time and this ability to juggle is imperative when running a franchise. Kidslingo franchisees not only deliver the classes but have a number of other roles - from sales and marketing to admin and financial management - so it’s important to be willing to turn your hand to anything.
Many women are good at adapting to new situations and embracing new challenges - being brave and stepping outside your comfort zone are hugely important factors in driving business success.
Women are often aware of their own weaknesses, which makes them ideal franchisees, as they can identify exactly where they need training and additional help. This allows a franchisor to offer bespoke support to the individual to create a structure that works best for each franchisee.
Empowering franchisees and giving them the confidence they need to be a success is a major part of a franchisor’s role. Ultimately, running your own franchise will require great communication skills and an understanding of your customers. Many women thrive in this area and have the experience to deal with numerous different situations.
Things to consider
Transitioning from employment to self-employment can be challenging. Swapping the day-to-day camaraderie of having a natter during a coffee break in a busy office with having to motivate yourself while working at home can feel quite alien in the beginning. We recognise that self-employment can be lonely at times, so we promote local mentors, informal franchisee get-togethers and networking groups so people don’t feel isolated.
It’s also important to remember that although someone is investing in a franchise, they still need to be the one driving the business and acquiring customers. With many plates to spin on a professional and personal level, it’s vital that women remember to have boundaries and give themselves enough time to dedicate to growing their business.
For the women in our network, success, fulfilment and happiness can look different for each one.
We have some franchisees who have come from corporate roles who still want the same level of financial reward they enjoyed as an employee. For others, the measure of success is in finding a career they are passionate about and that fits with their home life. One of the unique benefits of becoming a franchisee is that the same franchise can give people the different things they personally need to be happy.
Very few Kidslingo franchisees have run a business before, but we have created a network and business structure where they can succeed if they put in the time, effort and follow the process. We are always open and honest, not only about the benefits of running a franchise, but also the challenges you might face, as we believe everyone needs to go into franchising with their eyes wide open. One of the ways to facilitate this is to introduce prospective franchisees to existing franchisees, so they can talk about their own journeys and the challenges they have faced.
We also do everything we can to make the onboarding process as easy as possible to enable women to join us - from online training they can do in their own time to providing a ready-made to-do list.
We find some franchisees require significant handholding, while others are happy to be more autonomous - we are there throughout the entire process to offer the support that’s appropriate for each individual franchisee. We tailor the support to their needs throughout their franchising journey, so they can continue to grow as business leaders and inspire more women to find their own success.
Anna Neville is the CEO and founder of Kidslingo