25 February 2017

Franchising tips: how to spend more time with your family

Twelve years ago, Laurence Arnell-Smith of Bedshed Rockingham decided he wanted a change in lifestyle. Tired of working extended hours every day in an office environment and wishing to spend more time with his family, he decided to purchase a Bedshed franchise with his wife. Since then, he hasn’t looked back. He’s now able to spend more time with his wife and two children, and thoroughly enjoys the challenging yet rewarding nature of franchising.

Here Laurence shares his advice for parents who are considering starting a franchise.

1. Be disciplined

Franchising is a great opportunity to be more flexible with your time and spend more time with your family. However, you do need to be disciplined to ensure this flexibility happens. Planning ahead to take holidays and time off and then sticking to the plan was something I learnt early on. Discipline is the only way you are going to be able to reap the rewards of a flexible working environment.

Since joining Bedshed, I’ve rarely missed a school, sporting or awards event for my children. This would never have happened in my previous career, and is all thanks to the flexible yet disciplined nature of working for myself.

2. Speak to existing franchisees

Work life balance is often touted as a benefit by many businesses, but the best way to find out how it works in practice is to talk to other franchisees. Go out of your way to get to know the existing franchisees in a network. Do they have a family? Can you get a sense of their work / life balance satisfaction?

One of the things I love about franchising with Bedshed is the sense of community I feel within the network. For me, this was an important aspect to look for when researching different franchise networks.

3. Family friendly

While there are many benefits of running a franchise, one of the things I like is the opportunity it provides to bring your family into the business. My wife and I wanted to invest in something that was family friendly and going to suit our needs for the long haul. The fact that Bedshed had a network of existing family friendly franchisees was a big plus for us.

My Bedshed store is a safe environment and provides the opportunity for my two daughters, who are both currently in high school, to gain some practical work experience.  This is a great way to teach them the importance of showing initiative and responsibility in a professional environment.  If they are keen to work in a retail environment they can get involved in the business and learn retailing from the “ground up”.