Could becoming a franchisee help your stress levels?

That might sound like a strange question, everyone surely knows that giving up your job to start a business would be hugely stressful, right?

Could becoming a franchisee help your stress levels?

That might sound like a strange question, everyone surely knows that giving up your job to start a business would be hugely stressful, right?

But according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2023 report, nearly every UK worker (90%) is unhappy at work.

And the UK rate of engagement at work (10%) remains one of the lowest in Europe, ranking near the bottom among peer countries (33 out of 38).

The survey also claims that more than half of employees (59%) are ‘quiet quitting’ (not engaged) and 18% are ‘loud quitting’ (actively disengaged).  And more than half (51%) of global employees are actively looking to leave.

Those really are some shocking statistics and when you look at the length of time you spend at work and think about how unhealthy living with stress can be, maybe buying a franchise could help!

Of course, running your own business is not for everyone and you need to have some financial strength behind you to even think about giving up the security of a regular salary.

So how could franchising help you?

The blueprint

Buying a franchise gives you access to a proven business format, where the franchisor has tested it works, honed and improved it over the years and can show evidence of other franchisees running successful businesses under this format.

Already, that takes away the uncertainty of whether there is a market for the goods or services you want to offer and you can see that others have made it work.

The plan

Many new start-up businesses do no real research or planning which is one of the reasons some don’t succeed. With a franchise, you will normally need to do a business plan and market research before the franchisor will award a franchise. This is a positive step, as it ensures that you understand your territory and market and have a plan of action to follow as you build your business.

Banks will also want to see a business plan to agree any funding needed, so having the help of the franchisor to get your plan in place is a bonus.

The support

This really is what makes the difference! At the outset, you will receive training in all aspects of the business and that training will help you to understand what is expected of you, providing some clarity around your new role. If you have any problems or questions, the franchise support team are there to help you, so you are not alone trying to work things out for yourself. And the training should continue as your business grows and changes.

The network

You will be part of a network of fellow franchisees, running similar businesses in different parts of the country. There will usually be regular peer to peer, regional or other franchisee meetings facilitated by the franchisor and an annual conference where you all get together.

This network really adds to the support you have as a franchisee, you are not on your own in business, you have people to call on for support and advice.

The autonomy and freedom

That might seem contradictory as buying a franchise means that you need to follow the system, keep within the parameters of the territory, and often cannot change things.

But having your own business instead of being at the whim of an employer, means that you can call the shots in a way that you couldn’t previously do. Want to attend your child’s daytime school event, maybe a sports day or a play? You have the flexibility as a business owner to make that decision.

This doesn’t mean that hard work is not needed, of course it is. But you are your own boss now, you don’t have to ask for permission to set your own timetable and working hours.

That freedom is a huge intangible benefit and is what the majority of prospective franchisees I speak to are really looking for. Having the ability to make your own decisions and the freedom to make your own choices is vital for personal wellbeing.

So, will buying a franchise really reduce your stress levels? I can’t promise that, of course it will depend on so many things, not least your financial situation.

But what is clear is that many people are not happy at work, they don’t feel that they have autonomy or power to change things without leaving.

And with a third of UK adults thinking about starting their own businesses, according to research by Enterprise Nation, franchising could really help those individuals to reduce the risk of going it alone and with that, make it a much less stressful outcome.

Cathryn Hayes
Cathryn Hayes