Once established, some franchises can provide a good way to build a business around other commitments, Gaby Lixton, founder of Turtle Tots, says
The headlines are regularly littered with stories linked to the increasing demand for flexible working. More parents are wanting part-time roles and careers that work alongside family and lifestyle commitments, but is franchising a viable solution and is it really a part-time role?
Anyone who has ever been self employed will know that the first year of starting any business is extremely hard work and is by no means a part-time job. Successful businesses, including franchises, are built on commitment and self-discipline.
You get out what you put in and in the beginning that means it’s a full time job. That said, how you manage the hours around that full-time job are often a lot more flexible than they would be if you were working nine to five in an office.
Business Health First
Franchising is a great way to test what you are made of in terms of running a business with the security of an already established brand behind you. But going it alone also means you are in control of your own destiny, which means that although your business can be managed and developed around your family commitments, you may find that initially it’s a ‘business first’ approach.
Once a franchise business has been established and is up and running over a good period of time, flexibility will become more fluid. But your business has to be healthy first - you need the right people in place to ensure it’s fully functional from a marketing, operational, financial and accounting point of view.
Once you’ve reached this point in the lifecycle of your business, you’ll be able to operate smoothly and more flexibly.
The question for many people is: how do I know if franchising is the right career path for me? Another argument is whether that decision should be based around a desire for a better work-life balance.
In order to make their business successful, a franchisee needs to give their venture 110 per cent - especially in the first year. Giving the business a solid launch platform is vital to its ongoing success. You have to get the beginning part right if you’re to be successful long-term.
A franchise business is scalable and flexible and having your own business in the long term, once the right structure is in place, can be a fantastic way to create a better worklife balance.
But forget about focusing your efforts around flexibility in the early days, because you may be disappointed. As a franchisee, you need to be willing to go the extra mile, as it’s going to be an extremely busy full-time year to get the business where it needs to be.
It’s worth remembering that while a brand is successful nationwide, you’re the only person who can make it a success in your own territory.
There are, of course, many common misconceptions about running a franchise business. One myth is that buying and running a franchise is easy.
Although any reputable franchisor should offer a significant amount of support and guidance, just because it’s a profitable and proven business model in other locations doesn’t guarantee success for you. Success still relies on the franchisee’s hard work and commitment to help the business flourish.
No two people are the same, nor do they need to be in business. We always look for people who are passionate, self starters, confident, resilient and aren’t afraid to ask questions and listen to advice. The franchisor has a proven business model, so is best placed to understand the market you are operating in and can give the right support early on. Like many employed positions, we often know within the first two meetings whether someone is cut out for franchising.
Not For Everyone
Around 60 per cent of our franchisees have come to us through either being customers or teachers at our classes. They have come to our classes while on maternity leave, loved them and haven’t wanted to return to their previous corporate careers.
They are looking for a flexible, scalable and lucrative business model - this should be the same mindset for any would-be franchisee across any industry.
As the saying goes, the harder you work, the more successful you become. But that means different things to different people. A myth is that anyone can be a franchisee - but the reality is the reverse.
Franchisees are usually tenacious, passionate and determined individuals, who possess the right skill sets and personality to make a success of their business from day one. Flexibility will come in time, but hard graft comes first.