A guide to home-based franchising and what to expect
It’s the dream of many an employee fed up of travelling to and from a workplace every day. To be able to wake up and be at work in seconds. To put an end to all that time wasted in the car or on the train. To escape from the daily rat race.
Surely that’s what makes home-based franchises so appealing?
You can switch off the alarm and roll out of bed, then be downing coffee and getting on with your work before your ex-colleagues have even hit the shower.
You will, of course, need to shower at some point during the day! But working from home means you get to choose when – and for how long. And, as long as you haven’t got to meet anyone else, you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in while you work. Just don’t Skype anyone important in your onesie. So you won’t have to endure the morning or evening commute. You can get up later, you can finish earlier or you can do something far more productive while everyone else sits in traffic.
And that’s not the only upside. There are plenty of other benefits surrounding home-based franchises. Like flexible working patterns, or just being at home when you need to. Just think of all the cash-strapped and time-poor parents who want to work without neglecting their parental responsibilities.
Finding a business that can be run from home, while running the home, could be the perfect solution for them. But it doesn’t even have to be about the money. For some parents, home-based franchises give them the opportunity to exercise their brains away from the primary colour overdose that accompanies small children.
It can, of course, become a bit of a juggling act at times. You can be wheeling and dealing on the phone one minute, while negotiating the children’s television quota the next. Overall then, home-based franchises let you manage your time more effectively. You waste less and you gain more. But that’s only if you settle into some sort of routine.
Get organised, and find your coffee shop retreat
Working at home does sound wonderful. But it isn’t without its challenges. And you definitely need to balance all of that freedom and flexibility with a healthy dose of focus and dedication. You have to mark out a defined space – and time – to get down to work. Without interruption.
It really is important you separate your home and work commitments. That you have some form of schedule. Because developing a daily routine will help you get the work completed on time. Set yourself up with an office space. And if you don’t have room for that, at least find a place where you can work undisturbed throughout the day.
You might want to source a few local coffee shops too. These offer a welcome escape from home and provide a neutral environment to foster creativity. Plus they serve their skinny lattes with complimentary Wi-fi.
And even if you have space at home for an office, getting away from it with regular walk in the fresh air can be a routine worth sticking to. It gives you much needed exercise, as well as a change of scenery and a break. It’s a luxury you really should afford yourself when you become the boss.
Home-based franchises let you leave behind those arduous daily commutes. And, as we all now know, that is a huge bonus. But you still need to get away. You still need time to ‘travel’ to and from work, even if it is just mentally. That can take the form of a short walk or ride. Or even just a wander to the end of the road and back. In doing so, you give yourself time to adjust from your working state to your domestic state – and vice versa.
Are home-based franchises right for your home?
How big is your house (Or your garden; plenty of home-based workers invest in garden offices)? How many people live there, and what are the daily comings and goings of its inhabitants?
Because the interruptions you get in a typical workplace – office gossip, colleagues cutting in and managers dragging you into pointless meetings – might be frustrating, but home-based franchises bring a different type of distraction.
Can you work through the kids’ breakfast, or when they pile in after school. Or do you have family or housemates around during the day? Unless you have somewhere quiet to go, it can be difficult to focus on your work (you’ll find the buzz of a coffee shop far less intrusive than domestic din).
Home-based franchises can be a hotbed of procrastination: there’s the washing that could be hung out, the dishwasher to empty or that cupboard that definitely needs tidying up. All of which can seem more pressing than canvassing or developing a new marketing plan. And, now that there’s nobody stopping you wasting hours checking your social media feeds, you’ll need to harness all of your self-discipline if you want to survive.
Other benefits of home-based franchises
Clearly the flexibility of home-based franchises are one of the biggest draws. Working when you want, or when you can, leaves room for other activities and domestic responsibilities. You could work early in the morning before the rest of the household awakes, or late at night if that suits you better. But, remember, your clients might need you during the normal nine-to-five business hours, so working patterns will depend on the franchise you choose, and the clients it attracts.
People are drawn to home-based franchises because of their low running costs. With minimal overheads, you should be able to turn a profit quickly. Plus, there is less pressure to deliver than if you had the burden of rent, rates and staff to pay out every month.
But not every home-based franchise is a sole operator. Some require staff, and lots will need vehicles. You’ll also need to budget for business expenses such as marketing, insurances and other costs associated with typical trading activities.
So what should you expect when taking on a home-based franchise? You’ll have freedoms and flexibility, and you’ll have frustrating times when work and domestic life clash. Like any business, there will be good days, and there will be times when you wish you’d stuck with PAYE. But ask any franchisee – or business owner for that matter – and they’ll tell you they have very few regrets.
For a list of home-based franchises, visit home based franchises for sale right now.