1 – Running a business is different to having a job
If you are considering running a franchise, always remember that you are investing into a business framework and an experienced support network. But you won’t be working for a new employer. If you’re the sort of person who needs to be told what to do every step of the way, then owning a business or running a franchise is not for you.
2 – Do something you love but remember it’s not a hobby
Whatever franchise you choose, always remember it’s a business – not an expensive hobby. Identify what you would like to do, whether it’s working with children or offering something creative or perhaps something else. You still need to check out the status of the franchise: Are they the market leader? Are they proactive? What initial and on-going support will they provide?
3 – You will work harder running your own business than being in a job
It’s really hard work running a business. You will need to spend time and energy on your business. Most successful businesses are not built on a few part-time hours per week. So ensure you have enough time to commit to your business. However, you will be the one who reaps the benefit of your own hard work and it is extremely rewarding. Running your own business gives you an opportunity to really challenge yourself and develop new skills. And, along with hard work, there is flexibility to spend time with your family and on other commitments.
4 – It takes time to grow your business
You will not earn big money overnight. Building a solid, successful business takes time – sometimes years. Make sure you factor some additional money into your initial start-up costs. This cash will make certain your bills are paid on time during the early weeks, months and years – so important for reputation and credibility.
5 – Make the most of your precious time
There are many things about running your own business that you won’t know anything about until you start trading. So always view this as a positive opportunity to learn new skills and never be afraid to ask for help. However, there are only so many hours in the day and your time is precious. If there is someone else who could do a particular job quicker, then take advantage of that. Buy their services, free up your time and move on to the next item of business. For example, don’t spend days filling out and submitting your tax return. Find someone else to do the job, allowing you to focus on finding new business. How much is your time worth versus paying someone else to do the job for you. Sometimes it’s a ‘no-brainer.’
6 – Build your tribe and raving fans
Surround yourself with a reliable and genuine support network. Things will be tough sometimes and you need people who will build you up – not pull you down. The Creation Station network is amazing and has so many people available for advice and support. It helps you feel less isolated in the busy and fun world of being a business owner.
7 – You can’t please everyone all the time but get it right, and it’s brilliant!
No matter what people say, your business will always be ‘personal’ to you. It will hurt if someone criticises your ‘baby’ but it’s important you take the time to listen to their concerns, while valuing and respecting their feedback. And when you get awesome feedback, which you will, it’s a wonderful feeling. This will arrive in many ways, such as 5-Star testimonials, or thank-you cards from franchise partners. These make you feel on top of the world. Our own success stories are now shared in our regular Creation Station newsletters. We have a Creative Hub within our head office team, while franchisees can also tap into a local regional support manager for assistance. You will make friends during the training process and the entire franchise family is there to help. There is always someone to celebrate with, when these moments arrive.
8 – Remember why you started your business
Take time out every now and then to remember why you’re in business. Is it because you wanted more flexibility, or more family time, or for personal growth? It’s extremely easy to get side-tracked and allow your business to take over your life. Do you feel you are achieving what you set out to do?
9 – Be kind to yourself
When you own a business, you wear many ‘hats’. You also need to multi-task every day. Yet every now and then take a step back and catch your breath. The world will not stop turning if you don’t reply to an email immediately. Step off the conveyor belt for a few days to recharge your batteries. Your business supports your family financially. However, it’s still important to take a break so you can enjoy your home life.
10 – Choose your business wisely
If you do something you love, then you’ll never have to ‘work’ again. So understand what your day-to-day activities will look like. Do the franchisor’s values align with yours? Will you earn the income you need? Do your homework and go on ‘Discovery Days’ organised by the franchisor. All of these will help you to make an informed decision – and hopefully the correct one.
Once you choose your franchise, it is something you will want to grow over time. Therefore, make certain it’s the correct fit for you. You won’t have all the skills required – and this is where HQ comes in – but it’s important to possess some. Our franchisees come from a wide variety of backgrounds but one thing they have in common is that they enjoy dealing with people. They are friendly and proactive, and take our training procedures seriously. What is truly essential is that you love what you are doing and that you are prepared to work hard.
This Blog post was written by Sarah Cressall from the Elite Franchise Magazine here. Sarah Cressall is a board member of the British Franchise Association, co-founder of the Children Activity Association, a best-selling author, multi-award winning entrepreneur, speaker, and founder and managing director of The Creation Station.