It’s important to enjoy the ride of franchising despite occasional setbacks

When you hit a bumpy patch on your franchise journey, don't forget all of the positive things that have come with the success you've achieved so far

It’s important to enjoy the ride of franchising despite occasional setbacks

Sometimes it is hard to keep on track and stay focused in business when it feels like you’re on a rollercoaster. The positives and the negatives. The ups and the downs. The highs and the lows. However, you describe them, they are balanced on a set of scales that fluctuate monthly, weekly and daily. Staying strong and carrying on is the only solution but it’s tough. As a business owner you take everything so personally and it can be gut-wrenching at times. I experienced just this situation a few weeks ago and it took a lot of strength to overcome how I was feeling and move on.

The festive period started and, having been high as a kite because I had been nominated and shortlisted for a national ‘Mumpreneur’ award, I soon came crashing down in floods of tears. One of the longest-standing, most loyal members of my team and a dear friend handed her notice in. I was devastated and I could not see anything good or positive at all. It overshadowed my entire Christmas and infiltrated my mindset. But from somewhere deep inside, the strength came to reflect on all the positives and everything that I had achieved.

As the new year loomed, it was time to give myself a good talking to and reflect on where I was and what the future looked like. I sat down and talked with the trusted confidantes I have around me – my mum, my husband and my franchisor – and took a long hard look at where I was. This is eye opening and I recommend that you do this regularly. It is startling to reflect on, revisit and acknowledge all that you have achieved and how far along the journey to your goals you have come.

I remembered that I must have been doing something well: I was shortlisted for a national award by my franchisor, who thinks the world of me and all that I have achieved. This is recognition in itself for all my hard work and the growth of my business. I reflected on my recent appraisal at work and how I was managing to juggle so many balls while still being a fantastic teacher at school with all the responsibilities that brings. I looked at my children and they make me beam with pride: they are blossoming as young people. They’re watching their mum achieving week after week, learning the art of diplomacy, effective communication, organisation skills and all sorts as they witness me running a business, being a teacher, a mum, a daughter, a wife and all things to all people all of the time.

Not only could I clearly see that I was running a business really well, but the benefits it provides make a real difference. It provides additional income and enhances my family life. Doing what I do I get a good feeling from our customers, our parents and pupils and I needed to remind myself of that. I have so many parents sending me cards and messages to thank me and my team for all that we do for their children: this feels good and is incredibly moving to receive. I have the pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life, everyday and again it is really fantastic.

I am captain of my own ship but never alone: I always have support when I need it and guidance from a network of fellow franchisees and a franchisor who fully understands my challenges and can offer me support and solutions. I am not alone on this journey in business and that is a huge comfort. I am successful and I am proud of that but most of all I am thrilled that my children and people around me are proud of my achievements. The realisation that I really am a businesswoman and acknowledged as such by all of those around me is important to me and no other role in my life offers me this recognition and feeling of success.

The ups really do make up for the downs but you need to constantly recharge your battery and focus on the right things. There are days worrying about money, decisions I make, letting people down, my staff and taking care of everyone and everything. It is hard when my franchisor introduces change and it affects me and my business but ultimately despite all of these challenges that arise I love what I do and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

This whole experience has taught me the need to focus on the right things and eradicate the worry and the upset that provides me with little benefit and a whole host of heartache. Worry is not real: it is not tangible and it can disable you. So as a working mum running a successful franchise, I have learnt two very valuable pieces of advice in the last few weeks: remember all the things that are good and all that you have achieved to date. And keep that goal you have firmly in your mind’s eye.

Rachel Bradshaw
Rachel Bradshaw