Finding a work life balance

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The ‘struggle with the juggle’ is a common experience for many women trying to achieve a satisfying career as well as be there for their children. But an increasing number of mothers are saying they have found a way to achieve the perfect work life balance.

Ali, Mum of two, is a typical example of a professional woman whose priorities changed when she had her girls: “I had started thinking about flexible work opportunities because I wanted something that would bring in a good income and give me the flexibility to spend more time with my husband and children. My dream was to have a work life that could fit around my family and I’ve found that with the Creation Station.” Ali Webb, Creation Station franchisee, Somerset.

Investing in a successful business franchise is a great way to become your own boss and earn money doing something you really enjoy and believe in. So if you are a mother looking for a more flexible and satisfying way to balance your work and family commitments could this be the answer?

What is a franchise?

We may be in a recession but according to the annual NatWest/bfa Franchise Survey the franchise industry is bucking the trend. Franchises contributed £11.8bn to the UK economy last year and 94% of owners said they are optimistic about future business. The survey also reported an 86% increase in the number of women franchisees.

Many high street names such as McDonalds are run on a franchise basis as are a large number of local services such as gardening companies and children’s activity classes. This ‘business format franchises’ is created when the ‘franchisor’ the owner of the business, grants a licence to another person – the ‘franchisee’, to operate the business in a specific geographical area. The franchisee owns the business in their allocated area, and they have the exclusive rights to deliver goods or services under the franchisor’s trade name. Usually the franchisee pays an initial sum to the franchisor and then a management fee.

Increasing your chance of success

Having a proven business model to follow gives you a huge advantage and significantly increases your chances of success. Rather than start from scratch you can hit the ground running. Your local marketing is strengthened by head office advertising and there will be established relationships already in place with trusted suppliers. There will also be a network of other franchisees operating under the same brand so you are part of a team rather than an isolated new business start-up.
This is all very encouraging but starting a business of any kind carries an element of risk. The trick is to minimise the risk, but how? If you think franchising could be for you, choose carefully. Look through the membership list on the British Franchise Association’s http://www.thebfa.org to see a full range of opportunities and find out more such as:

• How much does the franchise cost?
• What’s included and is there ongoing support?
• Can this business be successful in your locality?
• How much money can you expect to make?

Finding a good fit

But by far the most important influencing factor in the success of your business is you. Carefully consider your own strengths, weaknesses and interests. Be realistic about how much money you want to invest, how much time you can devote to work and how you want it to fit around your family.
Whether you have ambitions to build a business empire or simply want to spend more time with your children – looking at a franchise could be the next logical step to achieving your goal and investing in your future
To find out whether the franchise route is right for you email franchise@thecreationstation.co.uk for your free Franchise Report.

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