Angela was a high-flying executive well able to juggle her demanding job, family life and leisure. Every day was non-stop activity. Then one day she was looking forward to an afternoon off (booked months ago), to see her daughter take a leading role in a school play. This was a once in a lifetime experience for her as a parent. However, Angela’s boss hadn’t noticed the booking and told Angela she must attend a very important meeting that afternoon. When Angela said she couldn’t be there her boss became angry and made veiled threats that her “attitude” could affect her bonus, her promotion prospects and even her job. Very reluctantly Angela agreed to attend the first part of the meeting and then dashed off - managing to arrive at the school just after the performance had started.
Angela now says that experience was a turning point. She decided that she wasn’t going to allow that to happen to her again. After a lot of thought she decided that the only answer was to be her own boss but she couldn’t see how she could possibly arrange it. For one thing she was the main breadwinner in the household and for another she had seen friends take ages to earn a decent income from their start-up businesses.
Nevertheless, the more she thought about it the more determined she became. She also realised there’d be other potential benefits if she could work from home. Her daily commute by train took a big chunk out of her day, made worse by the fact she often had to stand, unable to do anything productive or even relaxing.
Stuck for ideas, Angela searched the internet for an answer. She found it quite quickly but initially rejected it. The word that kept coming up on her browser was “franchising”, a word Angela associated with businesses that might be suspect or that wouldn’t interest her, such as burger bars and white-van men. Yet when she looked more closely at the full range of franchises on offer some seemed quite appealing to her, especially some of the “white collar” franchises aimed at people with previous experience as professionals, managers or executives.
Eventually Angela found a franchise where she could use all her accumulated experience in her current business sector. After very carefully assessing the franchise, including meeting some existing successful franchisees, she resigned her job; extended her mortgage to borrow enough money to buy the franchise and live on for a few months and signed up.
She says that it was very tough and nerve-wracking for the first few months. It took a full 18 months before she reached her previous earnings level and she worked all hours to get there. After over three years she says she now earns 50% more than she did as an executive. Angela operates her business from a home office and she uses the time she used to spend commuting to keep fit and enjoy her children. Angela also says that although she probably works even harder and longer than before she never has any trouble booking time for important events with family and friends.
Angela’s story is a familiar one. People who buy franchises like the idea of being their own boss and earning more money - but perhaps the biggest appeal is the chance to be in control of their own lifestyle with the flexibility to spend time how and when they want.
So, how about you? Is your current job giving you the lifestyle you really want? Would you like to be your own boss and really be in control? It doesn’t have to take an unpleasant experience to create a turning point. There are franchise opportunities out there waiting to be taken. They’re not for everyone but if you look beyond the obvious choices you could find the lifestyle business that’s just right for you.
Note. The name and a few details have been changed to protect her identity.
About the author.
Carl French is a specialist advisor on franchising and a director of Replico Ltd a company that provides a range of services to businesses that want to be or already are franchises.
Carl says that many people who want to be their own boss and control their lifestyle don’t consider franchising because of a number of popular misconceptions. He hopes that some readers might read this true story and give it a second thought.