There are a huge amount of successful women in franchising, something I would like to get across to attendees on the 20th of June, when I will be attending the third annual Mums Enterprise Roadshow. The free event is aimed at helping mums get into the right frame of mind for change and is a must attend for those looking to retrain, find flexible work and start or grow a business, whilst still being there for their family.
The work that the Mums Enterprise Roadshow does is important and sorely needed—recent figures from the Health and Safety executive find that women are generally much more stressed in the workplace than men, with women aged 35-44 being the most commonly stressed of all.
In the modern work environment, a lot of women find themselves having to choose between their career and their family life. Sadly, many workplaces don’t offer the flexibility needed to manage a stressful situation at home—especially where children are involved.
Of course, the idea of becoming your own boss can be very attractive to women seeking an alternative to inflexible working conditions, but conversely the thought of taking responsibility for the success and failure of a business can be intimidating.
One of our own franchisees, Kerry Miller, found herself in a position like this—and, by investing in an NIC franchise, she turned her dilemma into a success story. A story so successful that Kerry’s profitable business currently turns over in excess of £1million per year. Franchising is not just about small business!
When Kerry Miller and her business partner were looking for an opportunity to gain more independence, they were aware of the potential risks. “We understood that many start-up businesses fail in the first few years”, says Kerry, “so we did a lot of research and we ended up attending a franchise convention.”
The results of their research were surprising but encouraging: “[We] found that actually, its’ the opposite with franchising—that most of them succeed, and very few of them fail.” Starting a franchise became the practical thing to do for Kerry and her partner.
Kerry recalls that NIC’s support and training broke down any potential remaining barriers: “We could enter a market that we had either no or little experience in”. Looking back, she concludes, “It’s been a very good decision for me in terms of lifestyle and income.”
Kerry’s experience is borne out by the statistics: According to the bfa Natwest franchise survey, roughly 30% of the 40,000+ franchise businesses in the UK are run by women, compared to 18% of women-run SMEs.
Kerry’s story proves that franchising is a safe investment with NIC, but one particular mother and daughter team bring the importance of a well-controlled work and lifestyle balance for a woman with young children to the fore. Nicola Collis-Smith and daughter Charlotte got their business off to a fantastic start, achieving over £320,000 turnover in their first 6 months.
With the help and support of NIC, they have built on an existing client-base and offered an even slicker service. One such existing client is the national pub chain, Wetherspoons, where they are already providing cleaning services to 5 pubs in the Cardiff area, with the promise of many more to come.
Nicola reflects on those first six months by stating that “We are so pleased with how well the business is growing” and mentions quite importantly, what being her own boss has meant for her role as a mother, “For the first time ever, I am now able to take my son to school every morning, which I love! Running my own business allows me the flexibility to create the right work and life balance.”
Investing in a franchise can be an empowering and life-changing experience, and I’m proud of NIC’s women franchisees across the UK for taking the challenge head-on. I’m looking forward to the Mums Enterprise Roadshow, and I hope you’ll join me in attending.
Steve Calvert, NIC Franchise Recruitment Director
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