Franchisors matter too

You may be away or reading this at a more convenient time, but as you focus on looking after your network and staff, are you looking after yourself, too? Paul Clegg has some top tips for consideration.

Franchisors matter too

Over recent months, there’s been increasing focus on the wellbeing and mental health of staff and your franchise network. These last couple of years have really brought to the forefront the necessity of making sure our people are all doing ok. Here at Coconut, we’ve made massive steps to ensure the wellbeing of our team is a priority for us, as Directors, and no doubt many of you share this within your franchises. We’re well aware of the importance of investing in improving people’s wellbeing, and the benefits it brings to the success of our businesses.

However – let me ask you this: How are you? 

Many business owners are so focused on those around them, they forget about themselves. With reports of them not taking a break for over six months, and working well into the weekend, there are worrying signs of burnout amongst entrepreneurs.

Let me highlight some of the recent stats:

According to a joint survey by Mental Health UK and iwoca:

  • Four in five small business owners report experiencing common symptoms of poor mental health at least a few times a year. 

    • 66% unable to focus
    • 64% felt anxious 
    • 63% experienced sleep problems 
    • 24% have panic attacks 
    • 37% experience depression

  • Despite this, 44% of small business owners have never accessed mental health support

PayPal released their annual The Business of Change in June. This year, they focused on Wellness & Empowerment among SME’s and found:

  • 52% are concerned about the uncertain future of their business
  • 33% said say they’ve felt alone and isolated
  • And 60% admitted they found running their businesses stressful.

These figures are quite stark for us as business owners. And although within franchising we know there is a sense of togetherness for our franchisees, as we encourage them to draw together, what about you as the franchisor?

So,  let me ask you again: How’s your wellbeing?

As a business owner and franchisor myself, I know the challenges we face because we have to be always “switched on” to our business, right? However, even we need to put in to look after ourselves and bring the best of ourselves to those we’re leading. Giving yourself a break from the day-to-day running of your franchise is good for you, for your franchisees, and for the future of your brand.

If you have already put measures in place, are they working? If not, where can you make changes?

These are some basic lessons we can all learn, and assess during the quieter seasons, especially during the summer, when most businesses slow down a little. But, here are three simple ways to start:

Set boundaries

Know when you are you the franchisor, you the parent, you the partner, or you the individual for example. Protecting these boundaries should be as valuable to you as protecting your brand. If necessary, schedule time in to do something you enjoy, for your own wellbeing – it may be playing a round of golf, going for a run or a swim, or seeing places new. It’s OK to switch off your phone during these times – and be present, in the moment, focused on you.

Take care of you

We hear it all the time – eat healthy, exercise more… yada yada! There’s a reason why it can sound like a broken record – because the message is a simple, but effective one. If you’re regularly skimping out on meal times, or remaining sedentary for long periods during the day, your body will suffer in the long run. When we’re young, we think we’re invincible, but as we age, we realise we do need to take those supplements, sign-up with a gym or a PT, and eat properly. 

You’re not alone

Even as a franchisor, you’re not alone. We’re part of an amazing industry and there are people who are here for you at any and every stage of your franchise story. Reach out. Don’t bottle things up. Connect with other franchisors, or others in your sector. Even people completely associated with what you do in work, who you can just connect with as a human being. Talk to others regularly – use them as a sounding board, and to vent (mutually) so you don’t internalise your problems.

There are many other ways in which you can look after yourself – so find whatever works for you.

I know this editorial has been a little different to the marketing tips and advice I normally offer, but part of your strategy should be around making sure you’re doing as well as everyone else in your network. If I or any of the Coconut team can help, then please do reach out.

Paul Clegg
Paul Clegg