Before purchasing his cleaning franchise from the previous owner in 2021, Dan Reid, Managing Director of Poppies Leeds North West, worked full-time as a national account manager in the drinks industry. He now employs a team of 25 staff, including an operations manager and two supervisors who run the day-to-day operations of the business, meaning Dan can concentrate on the bigger picture. This hands-off approach has also allowed Dan to strike the perfect work-life balance; he is able to spend much more time with his family, making time to go away with them once a month and work remotely from anywhere in the world, along with many other lifestyle benefits.
Here, Dan takes us through how becoming a management franchisee has shaped his day-to-day life to achieve the work-life balance he desired.
I’m an early riser naturally, so by choice my day usually starts early and finishes early. On a normal day I’m on the laptop by 8am whether in the office or at home. Mornings are usually fairly busy getting staff organised for jobs and dealing with client changes. I tend not to get involved as much anymore now the business is in a good place and leave my wonderful operations manager and supervisors to it… but I do make myself available in case they require any support.
My first priorities tend to be checking over and sending out any invoices, dealing with any escalations or customer queries, reviewing CVs and calling potential candidates to book interviews. In an industry with such high staff turnover, I knew I wanted a real focus on employing the right candidates who would stay with us and find real fulfilment in their work.
Once the busy morning is done, I usually dedicate some time to projects or the bigger picture tasks that will keep driving the business forward. I know my fantastic team have everything else under control, so I’m able to take some time to focus on the more strategic areas of the business.
On days when I work from the office – ideally once or twice a week – I normally schedule appointments back-to-back so my day is planned out and then I can have the other days to focus on my own work. My operations manager does these appointments when I’m not around, but if I’m available, I love to keep my hand in all aspects of the business.
Even though I can run the business fairly remotely, I like to return to the office to make sure the team feel that I’m available when they need me! If I’m ever on longer holidays or away for a longer period, I usually will work a couple of hours a day to keep things pushing forward, but my team work fantastically in my absence.
99% of cleaning jobs are done by 3pm, so while I often work later than 3pm, I don’t always. It’s fantastic to feel like I have the flexibility to choose my own working hours, and it also means that I can plan the length of my days around exactly what work needs to be done.
In all honesty, in an evening – or late afternoon, depending on the day – I can more often than not be found on a long walk with my two dogs, especially if the weather is good. I didn’t realise how much I valued time with my family and my dogs when I was working full-time in a rigid role, so to be able to fit this into my daily routine is quite possibly, for me, the biggest plus point for being so hands-off.
Dan’s story highlights the key difference between being a management franchisee and an owner-operator franchisee: flexibility. In the last 12 months alone, Dan has managed to get a new puppy, gets out for walks with his two dogs every day and spend time in his Spanish home for a total of 11 weeks of the year. It also allows him the time to work on other interests, which in Dan’s case includes running his own family-run coffee shop. His results speak for themselves: since taking over the business just two years ago, Dan has seen a growth of 80%, thanks to his ability to spend time focusing on the bigger picture rather than small day-to-day management tasks.
As a franchise, Poppies believes in the importance of a healthy work-life balance; in the ability to spend time with those you love, while running a successful, thriving business. Almost all Poppies franchisees run on a management model as opposed to owner-operated, which allows for a hands-off, flexible approach while still driving the same exceptional results and growth.