A good support network can help you overcome the challenges of running a business. It can even be the difference between failure and franchising success. We have gathered four reasons why you need to build a network of support during your franchising journey.
Running a franchise can be stressful at times and it’s vital to build a strong support network to help you through difficulties. Establishing a reliable network of people that you can turn to when you’re struggling with stress management, or looking for emotional support, will make your life as a business owner much easier. Trying to go it alone at one of the most challenging times of your life will just exacerbate existing problems.
According to the Gallup Wellbeing Index, 45% of entrepreneurs report being stressed. Another study by the University of California Berkley’s Institutional Review Board revealed that entrepreneurs are more likely to struggle with mental health issues like depression (30% of entrepreneurs compared to 15% of other workers) and addiction (12% compared to 4-8%). Trying to start a business without anyone to turn to will only put you at greater risk of these problems. Need a bit more convincing? Here are four reasons why it’s so vital to build a strong support network as a franchisee.
Support as a franchisee
Franchising is a great route to business ownership if you’re seeking plenty of support. You’ll get access to both peer support from your fellow franchisees as well as from your franchisor and support team. Give your support team a call or get online and head to your franchisee forum/internal communication platform where any burning questions will be answered quickly and thoroughly. This level of support is standard across every network – from child care to automotive franchises.
Even if you don’t have any problems, you can learn tips and tricks to improve your business and chat through topical issues with people who understand your situation. However, there are plenty of other reasons why you should build your business support network.
1. You can find solutions quickly
As we touched on above, having access to a network of people with business know-how can make it easier to solve problems. Most franchisees and business owners will encounter the same hurdles at the start, middle and end of their journey. Once you’ve built a network, you can reach out to people with more experience at various stages of their franchising journey and ask for advice.
Even if you’re experiencing something completely unique, your support network can help you come up with a solution. As they say, two heads are better than one, so imagine how powerful a whole group of talented business minds could be when required to problem-solve. If you’re the one with answers, you can stop your fellow franchisees and entrepreneurs wasting time on a problem you know how to solve.
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2. You can help other entrepreneurs develop
Some people already have a fantastic support network of friends, family and like-minded entrepreneurs in place. If you’re that fortunate franchisee or entrepreneur, establishing a wider business support network can help you guide less fortunate people. A support network isn’t about just taking. It’s a mutual endeavour to keep yourself and other businesspeople from feeling alone.
If you’re lucky enough to not need extra support, you could establish a welcoming network for others that struggle to speak up and ask for help. You’ll get the satisfaction and pride of helping others flourish in their career and could also build useful professional contacts to help you grow your business even more. You might also discover that fellow entrepreneurs who need support could be bursting with innovative advice and ideas. All it takes is a bit of encouragement for those who are doubtful to reveal their true potential.
3. You won’t have to suffer in silence
The number one reason why you need to build a strong business support network is so that you never have to go through adversities alone. Many of us struggle to reach out and get the help we need. Establishing a network that regularly checks in with each other will give you the chance to speak out, without having to take the scary step of making the first contact.
Try and get into the habit of checking in with everyone at least once a week. Whether you’ve set up a group of local entrepreneurs, contribute to a wider business group or just maintain a network of great friends, it’s helpful to catch up regularly. A simple message asking how everyone’s week is going will start the conversation and allow everyone to air their grievances.
If you’re noticing that it’s always you who checks in, you may want to find a more reciprocal support network. Some friends or associates might need more support, but it’s important to find people that will return the favour regularly.
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4. You’ll have people to celebrate with
One of the nicest parts of a support network is that you’ll have a team of cheerleaders just waiting for you to succeed. The best networks are just as willing to raise a glass to your wins as they are to console your losses. You can find enjoyment in encouraging each other and make it a cause for celebration every time someone makes real progress with their business.
There’s something pretty special about celebrating with fellow entrepreneurs as they will understand just how hard you’ve worked. When times are tough you can schedule in calls, video meetings or pub lunches and share even small victories to keep your spirits high.
A problem shared …
Establishing a business support network is crucial if you want to have a happy and healthy life as a business owner. It offers the opportunity to lead the next generation of entrepreneurs through the problems of business ownership and ensures that sectors are growing and thriving for years to come. If you’re looking for a new challenge, check out our UK franchise directory where you’ll find some of the most exciting franchise opportunities in the country.
Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©