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Franchising is a popular option for many women who want to combine flexibility and independence

Written on the 23 August 2013

motherpedia.com.au
By Kirsten Anthony

With more and more people wanting to be their own boss and have independence in the workplace, more businesses are being created daily.

The Council of Small Business Associations estimate that 700,000 small or micro-businesses (fewer than 4 employees) are owned by women. According to the editor of Franchising magazine, Sarah Stowe, many of those women are turning to franchises for their business choice.

“The benefit of a franchise is that it’s a helping hand,” she says. But she also warns that people shouldn’t see it as a safety net.

“What you’re getting with a franchise is a tried and tested process. You’re buying into a brand, someone else’s experience and know-how, and drawing on that expertise to give it your individual stamp.”

She says a franchise can be anything from a McDonalds and Jim’s Gardening through to micro businesses - most of which are home-based.

“I know franchisees who are bookeepers, make chocolate bouquets, bake cakes, market educational books, sell children’s clothing, provide home-based nursing care or after-school activities, troubleshoot computer problems for other home-based businesses and personal fitness.

“The important thing is to find something you know you can do day-in, day-out. If it becomes a chore, it’s like any job.

Sarah’s other tips for a successful franchise operation are:

1.  Trust the franchisor

It’s a partnership and there’s give and take on both sides. If you’re not comfortable with the franchisor, walk away. Trust your instinct.

2.  Ensure you have working capital

You need to have an investment level up front and to keep you going. Don’t expect you’re going to make money instantly or that everyone will pay on time.

3.  Access to training

Make sure there is training available when you’re starting-up as well as ongoing.

4.  Talk to others

Find out from other franchisees what they like, what they don’t; what they’ve learned. No system is perfect, so it’s important to have as much information as possible to make up your own mind.

Sarah warns that franchising isn’t for everyone.

“Those who fail as a franchisee generally do so for two reasons.

"Either they’re doing something they don’t like. People like the idea of being their own boss and running their own business but it has to be in something you want to do. The second one is if you’re a person with 150 ideas running through your head. Franchising is not for you.”


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