Over the recent Easter break, David Glover of Caremark took time away from the franchise’s West Sussex-based head office to enjoy a holiday with his wife and son – something he prioritises, for the good of the franchise and his family. Here’s why
Every year, without fail, I take my family away on two holidays. I always look forward to them. I’m a creature of habit so during the Easter break we fly to Orlando and enjoy some much-needed R&R and in the summer we spend a week enjoying the stunning scenery Austria has to offer. I love my holiday in Austria but I really need the vacation in America as it’s often eight months since I had a good rest.
Maintaining a healthy approach to managing work and family life is something I just won’t compromise on. It’s a component of successful business management that I’ve lived by since the early days of my career and something we’re mindful to stress with our franchisees.
For me, personally, taking time away from the office doesn’t necessarily mean I’m out of reach. After touching down in Orlando, I can often be found on the golf course but I like to check my emails every hour or so. I find this method of checking-in more relaxing than if I were to go off-grid entirely. Although I very rarely action any of the emails that come through, I can signpost them to the right person in the team, feeling safe in the knowledge I can continue to enjoy my break. This approach certainly won’t work for everyone, so I encourage franchisees and business leaders out there to find a balance that suits them, the needs of their business and their team.
The allure of a owning a franchise is often the flexibility they can afford and we discuss this with prospects during the recruitment process at Caremark. Although our franchisees must work the hours required to be able to run a compliant and successful business, they’re welcome to fit their working day around their personal circumstances and life.
For instance, a large proportion of our network are working parents, so many choose to start their day at 9am, leave the office at 3pm for the school run, before carrying on with admin once the kids are in bed. That routine works for their business because the jobs are still getting done but, perhaps more importantly, they’re able to watch their children grow up – a luxury the general working public don’t always have access to. For others, they may want the flexibility for other responsibilities or a sporting passion – plenty of franchises can support variety of work-life balance needs.
Everyone needs a break, there’s no denying that running your own business can take it out of you. Our franchisees build a great team around them who they can rely on when they take time away from the business – just like the team I can rely on at Caremark head office. As a domiciliary care franchise, the care manager role is integral to the success of a franchisee-led business. They’re essentially a franchisee’s second-in-command, eyes and ears and right-hand person, all rolled into one. Whilst the franchisee is ultimately responsible for the operations of the business – whether that be in terms of recruitment, retention, staff management and marketing – the care manager is a trained professional with experience in the sector, who is capable of managing the responsibilities of the business. A care manager who has been developed efficiently is able to step into a franchisee’s shoes with ease.
We all look forward to a holiday, whether that’s on a beach in Florida or walking in the Yorkshire Dales. I’m a firm believer that time out invigorates you. The best franchisees, business owners and leaders have the ability to inspire and motivate their teams – it’s difficult to muster up passion when you’re burnt out. Many of our franchisees take two or three holidays a year once their business is established.
Getting your work-life balance right is an art in itself and can take years for business owners to perfect. It’s worth taking the time to stop and think if you have the best balance for you or how you could tip the scales in your favour.