Summer Business Ideas

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Getting your home-based franchise summer ready

For many budding entrepreneurs, home-based franchises seem to be the best franchises to invest in. After all, what’s not to love? You get the freedom of running your own business with the flexibility that comes with starting a franchise from the comfort of your own home.

Of course, working from home isn't right for everyone but if you can learn to be disciplined, it can be the ideal solution – that is, until summer arrives. Suddenly the smell of barbeques fill the air and invitations from friends to join them in the local beer garden tempt you outside. So, how you do make sure that you and your business are prepared for the summer months?

Here are some tips on how to stay focused on your work commitments even when the sun is shining.

1. Plan ahead.

Being prepared is vital when it comes to running a successful home-based franchise any time of the year, but during the summer months, your organisational skills are even more critical. Start by reviewing how your business has performed during the summer in previous years. If you've just started your franchise, speak to other franchisees in your network to see how much business they generated last summer.

The point is, if summer tends to be very busy for your business, you need to sustain an efficient work-life balance throughout the summer months. However, if work tends to slow down when the sun shines, you may be able to adapt your diary so you can take some time off.

If you can’t afford to take two weeks off in the middle of the school holidays, work out whether you can just slow down a bit. For example, if your workload allows it, take a Friday off so that you can spend some quality time with your children or go to your favourite yoga class. Alternatively, you could start work late on a Monday so you can make the most of the weekend with your partner. Being prepared enables you to make decisions about how much time you need to invest in your franchise during the summer.

2. Identify what distracts you.

Try to work around your distractions rather than becoming overwhelmed by them. So, if you find that the heat tires you out in the afternoon, set your alarm early so that you can finish up just after lunch. If the lure of the sun lounger in the morning stops you from focusing on work, then top up your tan first thing and work through the afternoon and into early evening.

Remember, you’re in control. Starting a franchise means that you're the boss, so you can work whatever hours suit you and your ability to be productive.

There are certain techniques that make sense all year round. For example, it can be helpful to get up from your desk at lunch time and take a walk in your local neighbourhood. If you have a pet, give them some attention, as this will relax you both. Take a break from screens and read a good book or cook something delicious. All of these activities will help to refresh your mind and give you more energy when it comes to sitting back down for the afternoon. Then, you should be able to power through without getting distracted.

3. Brief your family on your work schedule.

The best franchises to invest in for parents are ones that you can fit in alongside family commitments. But even the most flexible franchise businesses are tested during the long school holidays in the summer. If you’re used to working in the peace and quiet of an empty home while the kids are at school, you’ll be faced with a whole host of new distractions when they are suddenly around all day.

If you have very young children, you may need to arrange childcare while you’re working. However, this can be expensive, so if your franchise doesn't need to be managed during core business hours, perhaps you could work in the evenings when your partner or spouse is around to look after the children. If neither of these options is feasible, you may need to have a conversation with your family about what hours you'll be working and explain to your children that you won’t always be able to play with them when you’re in the house.

You could take the same approach with your friends. If you find you’re being tempted to leave the house to meet for drinks or even just a wander round the local park, tell your friends that you’re trying not to let yourself be distracted. If they know you’re working hard to make your business a success, they’re far less likely to send you invitations during the day.

4. Don’t let the light evenings fool you.

If you don't have a family to distract you at home, it can be easy to get carried away and work later than you planned to. Even if you do, you may find yourself stopping as soon as they walk through the door and deferring any remaining tasks until after your children’s bedtime. This technique can be great if you need to catch up on work or if you’re putting in extra hours so you can have time off the next day.

But, if working late becomes a regular occurrence, it can lead to burnout. It may also encourage you to sleep in the next morning, which will shift your whole day by a few hours, forcing you to work later again. If you find yourself stuck in this pattern, identify a few jobs that aren’t urgent and leave them on your to-do list. Once you’ve had an early night, you’re bound to feel rejuvenated and ready to work well the following day.

Alternatively, aim to wake up earlier than you normally would if you feel time is slipping away from you or you find yourself dropping everything when your family gets home in the afternoon. It is far better to have the satisfaction of having completed your day’s work while you spend quality time with your loved ones, than have the dread of having to carry on with it once they’ve gone to sleep.

Also, being able to properly relax in the evening should have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing. If you’re not constantly worrying about all the work you’ve got left to do, you are likely to feel more cheerful and optimistic. Your family life should also improve, as you’ll be able to give your loved ones your full attention and really let your hair down.

5. Take advantage of your business' flexibility.

Starting a franchise from the comfort of your own home is great. What’s even better is that most home-based franchises can be run from almost anywhere. If you’ve got your laptop, your phone and a good Wi-Fi connection, chances are you’ll be able to do your job. That means you can take advantage of being able to work in your garden, at the beach or from a cafe. This could not only improve your attention span, but also your mood. Having something new to look at or even being around other people could have a significant impact on how much work you get done. It’s even thought that topping up your vitamin D by getting some sunshine may help with concentration levels!

Of course, there’s no point working from the beach if you’re just as distracted there as you would be at home. Cafes are a popular choice for remote workers, as you can sit in a comfortable chair and treat yourself to a sweet treat when you fancy it. The trick is to find a place where you can work well. Once you’ve identified it, you could decide to work there a couple of mornings every week, for example.

6. Enjoy a holiday

Even franchisees who work from home need a break. Just because you don’t commute to your workplace every day, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a holiday. The one drawback of home-based franchises is that it's likely you work alone, without a team of employees for support. This can make planning a summer holiday a little more difficult than it would be for a franchisee who can delegate work and arrange cover in their absence.

But it’s not impossible. You just need to be organised and plan your holiday carefully. You should communicate the dates of your leave to customers and suppliers, so they don't have any surprises if they need you while you’re away. The effort of planning and preparing for your holiday will be worth it to enjoy rest and relaxation for a while. And it may mean that you don’t have to regularly check your emails or resolve queries while you’re away. As a result, you’ll be able to return to work recharged and rejuvenated and ready to work hard on building your franchise. Well, at least until the distractions of Christmas come along!

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