Pack Your Bags: How To Enjoy A Stress-Free Holiday As A Franchisee

21/02/2018 18:00 | Start a business

Going on holiday as a franchisee

Planning a holiday can be difficult if you're a franchisee, and it can be even harder to enjoy the holiday if you do manage to go. Owning a franchise can make it tough to switch off - your mind may wander back to the business, rather than allowing you to spend time enjoying the sun, sea, sand and sangria.

This is probably why over half of small business owners took fewer than five days holiday during 2016, according to the Aldermore SME Future Attitudes report. Even more worryingly, 21% didnt take any days off at all.

To own and operate successful franchises, its essential that franchisees understand the importance of relaxation to charge the batteries. So, how can a franchisee manage the balance between work and personal life during a holiday? Here are some tips on how to enjoy your well-deserved downtime.

Plan your holiday well in advance

Choosing the right time to take your holiday and putting a plan in place for when youre away is a good start to enjoying a stress-free holiday. If your business has busier and quieter periods, it makes sense to book a holiday during the slow season. This may not always be possible though if youre trying to arrange your getaway during school holidays, for example.

If your franchise model is based on providing a service to clients, make sure youre proactive in telling them the period youll be unavailable. One sure way to get on the wrong side of a good client is for them to receive an automated out of office response if they try to get hold of you. Try and rearrange meetings or deadlines where possible and reassure your client base that your leave will not impact the service they receive.

It's also recommended that you don't plan any launches while you're away. This could be a new product, marketing campaign, refreshed website, or a member of staff starting. You want to minimise the stress of things going wrong while you're trying to relax, so try and maintain business as usual during the weeks leading up to your holiday and while youre away.

Find a replacement

Some franchisees will believe they can't be replaced. No one can run the business as well as they can and so delegation becomes impossible. But, if you can bear to hand over the reins for a relatively short time, then your franchise can continue to operate and make money while youre relaxing on a sun lounger.

Successful franchises can achieve this by choosing the right person to manage the business while the franchisee is on holiday and training them to do it in plenty of time. After all, the whole point of the franchise model is that the business can be taught to someone else. So, just as the franchisor taught you to run the business, show one of your team how to do the same in your absence.

Firstly, focus on picking the right person to step into your shoes. If you have a team of employees, select the most experienced and dependable person. You may have already identified a deputy for when you're away from the office. If this is the case, then you need to trust that they'll manage in your absence. The extra responsibility will be great for their personal development.

If you dont have any staff, then you should approach the franchisor about potentially asking another franchisee to cover your geographical area while youre on holiday. Alternatively, another franchisee may have employees who are knowledgeable and confident enough to step up to the challenge of running your franchise for you.

Secondly, you need to provide sufficient training for your stand-in. If theyre already an employee, then theyll know the operational side of the business, so you just need to share with them managerial elements that theyre likely to encounter.

Make a list of essential procedures and information and make sure your replacement has sight of it in plenty of time before your holiday so they can ask questions. Even better, have a week or so before you go on holiday where they're in charge. This practice week will give them a feel for what owning a franchise is like, with the peace of mind that youre around should they need help. You can even use this time to pack!

Set boundaries for work time

You may have planned well in advance and found the perfect replacement, but it doesnt mean a thing if you end up being drawn into work all holiday. If youve agreed a time of day that youll touch base with the business, stick to that time. This can be a challenge in our modern era of technology and social media, but what has made staying in touch much more accessible, can also be a burden when you want to switch off.

Constantly checking up on your stand-in franchisee will not only make them think that you don't trust them but is also bound to annoy your family or friends that you're travelling with.

Enjoy every precious second

You should endeavour to put as much hard work and determination into enjoying your holiday as you put into owning a franchise. Running successful franchises very often requires long hours, weekend work and missed family time. A holiday is a perfect way for you to spend quality time with your loved ones and for you to have a well-earned rest from the business.

Fully immerse yourself in your downtime, and you'll come back from your trip refreshed and ready to take on the challenges that being a franchisee has to offer.

So, remember, the franchise model is vital to the UK economy and as a franchisee you're crucial to its success. To ensure your longevity in the industry, you must recognise the need to take regular breaks to accomplish a healthy work/life balance.

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