When you’re a working mum, making time for family can be difficult - but it’s not impossible. There are many mothers who successfully run businesses, balancing their work and personal lives. Here, we’re exploring how to be a good franchisee and a good mum at the same time.
According to studies, 80 percent of female entrepreneurs launched their businesses after becoming mothers, and 44 percent sometimes feel guilty about entrepreneurship. However, 55 percent spend under eight hours a day on their venture and 69 percent cite flexibility as the key advantage of business ownership (99designs).
As a working mum, it can be dangerously easy to let either your workload or your childcare duties slip. And if you manage to juggle both aspects of your life, you might forget your own needs. The good news? Franchising gives you extra flexibility and freedom when it comes to running your business.
Running a franchise as a working mum
If you’re struggling to combine work and family life, try using these tips on running a franchise business as a working mum:
1. Set clear boundaries
This tip is important for all working mums, but particularly those who run their business from home. You should make it very clear when you’re working, when you’ll be available and when you’re happy to be disturbed. This step is much easier to achieve if you have a physical office space - even if it’s just a desk in the corner of the room.
You may also want to develop a system to let your loved ones know your plans. Create a schedule which shows when you’ve arranged meetings or calls, and when you need some quiet time to focus. You can't blame your kids for interrupting an essential call if they didn't know it was taking place.
When you’ve created your calendar, you can stick a paper copy on the fridge or share it electronically, so your family can see it on their phones or computers.
2. Boost your productivity
Working alone can make it easy to get distracted, whether you’re in the office or at home. Either way, the key to achieving a healthy work/life balance is to be productive during your working hours. Check out these productivity tips to enhance your efficiency.
Being able to dedicate 100 percent of your time and energy to your family when you finish for the day is crucial. Not only will you be protecting your mental health, but also making sure you return to work refreshed and ready to grow your business.
Depending on your priorities, you may prefer to work part-time. There are many franchises offering investors the chance to launch a business they manage for a smaller number of hours. But if you do choose this route, you still need to manage your time effectively. There’s no point taking on a part-time venture if you end up working for hours after your scheduled stop time.
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3. Separate your roles
Blurring the lines between your work and home life can be easy, but it’s risky if you want to maintain a healthy mindset and a passion for your job. Answering emails on a family night out or ordering birthday presents at work can lead to confusion and feelings of guilt about letting your business impact your family.
It's also essential to separate your roles emotionally too. If you commute to work, you may be able to easily associate home with relaxation and switch into ‘mum mode’ when you get back at the end of the day. But, if you run a home-based franchise, it might not be this easy.
Closing your laptop and rushing immediately into childcare duties will make it difficult to switch off from work. Just taking 15 minutes to gather your thoughts, reflect on the day and plan your evening will help you transition from one role to another with a clear head.
>> Read more:
- Women In Franchising: Stats and Insights About a Rapidly Changing Industry
- Women in franchising: Why female franchisees are rising
- Gender pay gap in franchising
- Franchise Success Stories: Women in Franchising
- Mythbusters: "There's No Such Thing as a Working Mum”
- Keeping mum: know your rights about maternity leave
4. Celebrate business successes with your family
While it’s important not to let your work life seep into your family time, it’s a good idea to involve your loved ones with your franchise unit on some level.
You’ve decided to become a franchisee and run a business around your family; it’s a difficult commitment, but one you should be proud to share. So, make sure your family gets to see how things are going and understand the reasons why you chose to become an entrepreneur.
Your family will have supported you through the tough times, so it’s only fair they get to help you enjoy the good moments too.
5. Don't neglect yourself
When you become a franchisee, you dedicate a significant amount of effort to growing your business, and any remaining time is usually devoted to your family.
The best way to make sure you look after yourself is to view self-care as a vital part of business success. If you become ill or experience burnout due to the stresses and strains of being your own boss, your chances of keeping your franchise unit profitable are slim.
Whether you book yourself an indulgent spa day or just take a couple of hours out to read a book, make time to do the things you love every now and then. Your mind, body, business and family will thank you for taking a break. Not only will you feel refreshed and invigorated, but you’ll be a more attentive mother and a more productive franchisee.
More advice on balancing work life and home life
Chances are, you’re already a great mum running a successful business, but sometimes it can be easy to compare ourselves to others and think we’re inferior. Don’t be harsh on yourself. With advice from your franchisor, guidance from other franchisees and love and support from your family, you’ll be surprised at just how much you can achieve.
If you’re struggling to balance all your commitments, you might like to read our guide on avoiding burnout as a franchisee.
Or, for more inspiration, take a look at our other articles on women in franchising:
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©