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Shattering the misconception that lifestyle franchises are only for women

Shattering the misconception that lifestyle franchises are only for women

Owning a lifestyle franchise is for all – an inclusive business opportunity that has the potential to produce amazing results for everyone

An enormous part of building on gender relations is challenging and questioning the myths that can separate the two groups. Spending time analysing why these misconceptions are unfounded is vital in challenging traditional gender stereotypes. A common myth in franchising is that lifestyle franchises are more suited to women. This can be detrimental for both men and women who may be put off a lifestyle franchise due to this unfounded myth. However, in the experience of Petpals – the UK’s largest multi-service petcare franchise – its lifestyle business model offers opportunity and profitability for all.

Here’s some expert insight from the director, Kevin Thackrah and his team at Petpals on why owning a lifestyle franchise is for all – an inclusive business opportunity that has the potential to produce amazing results for everyone.

Support goes a long way
The support offered by a franchise such as Petpals is a universal need. Having a business is complex, and it’s widely known that many new businesses fail within the first five years. The journey of an entrepreneur can be a lonely place if you don’t have the right people around you. The beauty of being part of a franchise network is that it gives you the flexibility to be your own boss whilst also having access to a whole network of like-minded business owners. Even if you are working from home in a lifestyle franchise network, you are never alone. Access to ongoing training, conferences and franchisee forums are all ways to keep you connected to a broader community. Mental health is an important consideration that has rightfully gained more focus in recent years. No matter who you are, feeling heard and valued is a big part of fulfilment in your working life.

At Petpals, when things are tough, you have a family of franchisees to call for advice and support. You will often find that the problem you have is something that another franchisee has also come across and has worked out a solution for. Fundamentally, even though being a franchisee gives you the flexibility of running your own business, you are never in a position where there is no one to offer you a helping hand.

Flexibility is key
An increased amount of people seek the option to build their working life around their home life, and lifestyle franchising offers this – essentially, gender has nothing to do with the undeniable appeal of a flexible business model. The working-from-home revolution has come into increased focus since the changes made by many businesses during the pandemic. As a result, owning a business that you can operate from your home has never been a more appealing quality for many prospective franchisees.

At Petpals, we have built an established network that now offers both managerial and lifestyle options, so you can build the business in a way that suits you. If you desire to care for the pets yourself or to develop your own network that you will manage, we have the experience and the support available for you to achieve your goals. The managerial option is something that has developed as our territories and market share increased. Due to this success, it became clear to us that there’s real value in offering Petpals with both the option to launch as an owner-operator model or as a management model. This is an exciting new phase for Petpals, as we bring in more gifted people who will support us in reaching our full potential.

Family time is important to all
One noteworthy advantage of a lifestyle franchise is how it offers the flexibility to spend more time with your family. Family is important to all, and it can be damaging to suggest one gender is more suited to working from home to be closer to their loved ones. Eliminating the need for a regular commute can make a huge difference in freeing up time for your personal life. Also putting a structure in place to support your growth saves a vast amount of time and effort. The time you save every day through utilising systems will quickly add up and free you to be further involved in your home life. Having a central team that supports your marketing and administrative requirements can also make a powerful difference to your work-life balance. As a franchisee, the usual effort spent generating materials for marketing campaigns and navigating sector regulations can be utilised elsewhere. A well-structured franchise creates a work-life balance that suits all by offering a comprehensive and winning system. In 2021, wanting more than a traditional career is a widespread right, and the flexibility of lifestyle franchising undoubtedly delivers this.

At Petpals, we often find that family members end up working together as they love the business offering so much. Seeing how the systems in place in our network supports family collaboration makes us incredibly proud. This is not something that you have to do as a franchisee, but it does highlight how a lifestyle franchise model can offer the flexibility to fit around the everyday needs of family life.

The proof is in the pudding
While we do have many thriving female franchisees in our network, we do also have a long history of successful male franchisees. As director of the business, I strive to build a culture of innovation and growth enjoyed by all.

We’re really all very blessed to be part of a network that accepts all. We truly believe that Petpals is for anyone who loves pets and is passionate about providing industry-leading petcare. I think the idea that lifestyle franchising is suited to a particular group of people is rather outdated and I’m proud to say that the model we offer is inclusive to all. Pet ownership has massively increased since the start of the pandemic, and this means that there is a huge market out there for prospective franchisees with the right skillset. I don’t think wanting to work from home, with the tools to build your own business, in an established network is necessarily suited to any group or gender. Instead, we look at the traits of the individual in front of us to see if they fit in with what we have worked so hard to build at Petpals.

One franchisee who has experienced the power of the Petpals network is Ray Hipwell, who owns Petpals Chislehurst. “I think the best part of being part of the Petpals’ network is the level of support you receive,” said Ray. “Whenever I have had any problems to solve, Kevin and the head office team have always been accessible to help offer advice and solutions. At Petpals everyone is on the same page. We all love pets, and it’s delightful to be part of such an inclusive franchise. The level of comradery at Petpals is brilliant, and I feel so lucky to be a part of a network that shares the same passion for caring for pets as I do.”

The author
Kevin Thackrah is the director of Petpals UK.

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