The relentless juggling act of combining a career alongside the needs of family life can be testing. The flexibility of franchising as a business model combined with the unique features of such opportunities means that they can be particularly appealing and successful for parents.
Many employers are recognizing that workplace family-friendly policies are beneficial for staff wellbeing and the overall business. Yet for plenty, there’s still a long way to go. Franchising offers an entry route into running your own company without some of the significant risks associated with startups. Here’s why.
There has been a rapid rise in women entering the world of franchising in recent years. According to the International Franchise Association, the number of female-operated franchise businesses rose from 20.5% in 2006 to 27% by 2017.
That is because a significant proportion of many franchises for sale involve working from home and being able to set hours worked plus meetings and appointments around child and home care commitments.
While the phenomenon of women making up an ever-greater share of those in the economy who are self-employed, there is no reason why the principles of “mumpreneur” can not also be termed “poppreneur”. They also apply to anyone who shares childcare commitments with a partner, making franchising particularly suited to a couple with kids.
Being a parent also equips you with certain skills and traits that can be applied to running a business. You’re also right at the heart of a huge community of potential customers and clients for whose needs you will inherently understand.
If you’ve ever watched one of those TV shows where entrepreneurs pitch their business idea to a panel of potential investors, you will have noticed just how many moms and dads appear who have invented the very product that solves a problem faced by people with children. That understanding of what it is to be a parent can not be taught and can create unique selling points for connecting with customers.
Starting any new business takes time and patience. Having a family alongside this often means that parents have less time and resources to devote to it. A good franchise business will provide support, training, resources, and access to business strategies plus policies and procedures. Most franchises for sale will not have become successful operations without these.
Growing franchise businesses will also have become something of a community. Those who have gone before will be available to provide you with advice. Having a whole team around like this makes the leap of entering the world of running a business less daunting.
Generally speaking, investing in a franchise business can be considered a ‘safer’ financial undertaking than going it alone. Many parents, with a young brood to protect, take a more cautious approach to make monetary commitments than other types of investors. Parents also tend to have bigger monthly commitments than other people, meaning they need to earn an income quickly rather than waiting for an investment to bear fruit in the long term.
As a franchisee, you are likely to be joining an established brand with a proven track record. When the product or service is already established, with systems and procedures already in place, you’ll be up and running and receiving cash far more quickly than if you were starting from scratch and having to go through all of the development stages.
You may have gone to school with a childhood friend who was raised in a family that ran a business. You might even have been that kid who was brought up alongside a parental operation. If so, you will have noticed that those children were not only a part of a family but also a big part of the family business.
These days, many children do not experience anything approaching the world of work until their teenage years, yet various studies have shown that kids whose parents are sole proprietors of a business begin working in the family firm at a much younger age.
That doesn’t mean opening a shop at 6 am every day before school or milking the herd after homework. But it does translate to years of additional work experience that children of a similar age don’t get to experience until much later.
The opportunity to learn about money, responsibility, community engagement, and entrepreneurship should not be underestimated. And when a family business grows, the family grows together – even during tough times. That’s an incredibly powerful lesson for any child to learn.