As a female franchise owner, is work/life balance possible? Are the competing demands of business and family too vast to realistically expect there to be a way to maintain control of both?
Surprisingly, many women franchisees say it is the move into franchising that has allowed them to find and maintain the sought-after work/life balance most of us aspire to.
Here is a closer look at how franchising helps women achieve a better work/life balance.
Why Franchising Offers Balance
As seen in the recent post, 'Women in Business: Is Franchising in Your Future?', the number of female business owners is growing in terms of sheer numbers and the rate of ownership growth. Many of those business owners are women, attracted to the name recognition, support and networking that franchising offers.
So why does franchising promote balance?
“The franchise model attracts entrepreneurs seeking financial security and schedule flexibility, which is often challenging to find in corporate America,” noted Michelle Rowan, president of Franchise Business Review.
It is the flexibility that helps the most in achieving work/life balance, allowing owners to be home when kids finish with their school day, to coach a youth sports team, or spend time with family and friends.
But Rowan noted that the flexibility is dependent on the work that is done at the beginning of franchise ownership and the franchise they buy into. “Their success as a franchisee will be based on how they work their business, and flexibility will depend largely on the business model they select,” she said.
When your franchise is in its early days, it is likely you will be spending more time understanding how it operates, hiring and training employees and being a hands-on boss.
Over time, many franchise owners find they have the staffing, practices and organization in place that gives them the flexibility they need.
Unique Needs and Solutions
While men and women alike seek work/life balance, the reality is different for female business owners. Women are still more likely to take on many of the household responsibilities and child-rearing tasks. That means being available to cook dinner, care for sick kids and make sure there is milk in the fridge.
That may be why some franchises are more popular with women entrepreneurs. According to Franchise Business Review, there are five franchises with more than 80 percent female franchisees:
- Rhea Lane’s (92%) – Children’s consignment stores
- Nothing Bundt Cakes (90%) – Food products
- Just Between Friends (89%) – Consignment sales
- Drama Kids (84%) – Acting lessons and public speaking
- Young Rembrandts (82%) – Children’s art lessons
Tips for Balance
Here are some tips for franchise owners on finding and maintaining work/life balance:
- Identify your objectives. Articulate your vision of balance – the number of hours and days worked, vacation days, most important commitments.
- Make a plan. Create a plan that lets you achieve your objectives. Set your hours and priorities, delegate tasks others can handle and identify each week’s and day’s priorities.
- Stick to it. If a client calls on a Sunday, and you have told yourself and others that that is a day with no work obligations, honor that pledge. Tell the client you will speak with them during the week.
- Use your network. You are not the only entrepreneur balancing these issues. Use your networks of other franchise owners or businesses in your community for advice and support.
- Value happiness. Your happiness and that of those you love is of utmost importance. Be sure you have your own feelings and the emotions of those around you front of mind when making work/life decisions.
Having the right business partners is also important to maintain a work/home balance. When opening a business, you not only need funding to open the doors, but also an income to cover living expenses while the business is ramping up. Benetrends Rainmaker Plan® not only allows you to fund your business without inucurring upfront taxes and early pre-payment penalties, but allows you to pay yourself a salary from day one.provides business support services and small business funding using existing 401(k) funds. To learn more, speak with a Benetrends funding expert today.