For franchisors, franchisees, and even staff, the demanding nature of today’s business scape can lead to neglect of personal care, ultimately stunting growth, performance, and satisfaction. Here, Frank Milner, the Global President of Tutor Doctor, explains why it has never been more important for those in the franchise industry to look after their own physical and mental wellbeing in order to stay healthy, productive, and successful in their business ventures.
When people hear the term ‘self-care’, often it conjures images of bubble baths, face masks and cosy nights in, but many don’t know what self-care can look like for themselves and their business. The first step to good self-care is recognising what self-care isn’t; it isn’t avoidance, or procrastination, nor is it about over-indulgence or only doing what feels comfortable. It’s not a miracle cure; it’s something to be worked on, practised with regularity and intention.
Self-care doesn’t have to be time-consuming; it can be easy to fit around a busy schedule and is more about creating a consistent routine to ensure you don’t neglect your own health.
Here are my six top tips for incorporating self-care effectively and realistically into a busy schedule.
- Schedule your time: scheduling your time allows you to have regular breaks. If it’s not in your schedule, it is often overlooked, so this helps to ensure you’re planning your routine effectively.
- Treat yourself: take time to do something you enjoy and which stimulates you. Small, big, or somewhere in the middle; do one thing just for yourself every week.
- Set boundaries: we’re all too familiar with the impulse to be available 24/7, especially when starting a new business. It’s important to set workday hours and personal boundaries to avoid working all hours of the week. Try turning off your work phone when you’re on leave and set clear expectations for your employees and clients.
- Delegate: again, not an easy one to do when you have a personal investment in your business, but learning how to delegate frees up your time for other tasks.
- Listen to your body: treat your body well and it will work at its best for you. Eat good food, rest properly, exercise regularly, and you’ll reap the rewards.
- Learn your limits: we’re all guilty of saying ‘yes’ when we’re already at capacity. Learn what capacity looks like for you, and make sure you protect that all-important work-life balance.
When running your business, it can be easy to neglect yourself. All your time and energy are focused on succeeding and ensuring your business runs smoothly, so usually self-care is the first thing to fall away. Around 81% of business owners work overtime, which usually includes working during the night as well as the day. Although they work flexible hours, 89% of small business owners also say they work on weekends to keep up with their busy schedules, leading to little time off or downtime1.
This can all lead to burnout, a syndrome resulting from chronic stress at work, characterised by negative attitudes, overwhelming exhaustion, lack of commitment, and dissatisfaction with performance. In 2022, nearly half of small business owners said they had experienced burnout in the previous month, with 24% saying they were currently experiencing it2.
By encouraging self-care, franchisors can nurture a culture of wellness that can directly contribute to improved business outcomes, from increased resilience to stress to enhanced decision-making and improved relationships. Here at Tutor Doctor, we ensure franchisees are never on their own and always have someone to turn to. We run an Active Coaching Programme, supporting new franchisees as they embark on their journey with us and Collaboration Squads, which offers our franchisees the opportunity to collaborate, share and learn from each other. Along with the business benefits this brings, it also ensures that franchisees never feel unsupported when it comes to coping with the stresses which can accompany starting a new business.
By taking better care of yourself, you are much better placed to take care of your clients. When you are at your healthiest, you can organise more effectively and get the best out of those around you. It’s not easy to make time for yourself, especially when running a franchise, but with regular practise, self-care can become a natural, everyday part of your routine and can completely revitalise the way you work.
1 Tumisang Bogwasi, 2022, Business Statistics You Should Know in 2023
2 Capital One Insight Centre, 2022, Inflation Not Dampening Small Business Confidence