Did you choose your business or did your business choose you?
When someone considers owning a business or a franchise, many think about what they might be good at or perhaps what might make them the most money quickly.
But here is another angle to consider:
What about looking at what you want from your life first?
What if you took into account the lifestyle you want to create?
Starting a business can be incredibly tough and it’s difficult to determine what the end result might look like in terms of your lifestyle.
But if you start with an idea of what you want your life to look like, you can work backwards to determine what sort of work will fit your present and your future.
Set intentions for your life
Start with setting your intentions of what you want to create. Here are a few questions to get you thinking:
• Do you want to continue studying?
• Do you invest time in your health?
• Do you want to be able to pick your kids up from school?
• Do you need to work around your partner’s career?
• Do you want to be able to see your kids at the school carnival?
• Do you want to spend more time with your partner?
• Do you have relatives that you need to care for?
• Do you want to invest time in developing you?
• Do you want to take time nurturing you?
• Do you plan on living in a very different location in the future?
There aren’t any right or wrong answers, but by defining what you want from your life, it can help you work out what type of business would best suit you.
And even if you already own a franchise, by coming back to this list, you can look at tweaking your role to enable you to enjoy and focus on what you want.
What to ask when choosing a business or franchise
If you’re looking at buying a franchise or starting a business, don’t just look at the bottom line. Look at some other aspects that you may not have considered:
• What are the hours of trade?
• Do you need to work additional hours outside of this?
• What role will you have?
• What skills do you need?
• Is it possible to outsource some of the tasks?
• Can you bring in a partner to job-share the role?
• Can you choose how you run the business or is it a non-negotiable?
• What is provided to you to run the business?
• What do you need to develop yourself?
• If you need to undertake your own business development or marketing, do you know what you have to do?
• Do you have the freedom to hire your own staff?
• Is there clear guidance or training on each part of running the business?
Once you have an understanding of the expectations, you can then determine whether the franchise could be a good fit for you and potentially your family.
I already have a business. How can I make it fit with my life?
So what happens if you already own a business but your current situation isn’t working for you or isn’t how you want it to look in the future?
What can you do to improve your work/life path?
To start, evaluate your intentions and what life you want to create, and then think about these ideas:
• Look at what you currently do.
• Determine what you like to do.
• Determine what you are less happy doing.
• Look at outsourcing some of the basic elements of the business. This could include bookkeeping, cleaning, website development etc.
• Set your own hours – rather than staying at work until everything is done, work out what can be feasibly completed in your chosen hours.
• Grab a day planner (I use Quill) and put everything in that you want to achieve for the day but then prioritise and identify the top three things that you want accomplished that day – it really works.
• At the end of the day, transfer things you haven’t completed to the next days planner – start with a clean slate.
• Consider getting an online project management tool to help manage the larger projects – I like Asana but there are loads out there. This can help you to breakdown the larger tasks and allocate the different elements to your team
• Think about hiring a Personal Assistant. Obviously this can depend on funds, but even hiring someone for a few days a week can make a massive difference to the bits and pieces that you rarely get a chance to address.
Why does it matter?
We spend so much time working and we seem to be getting busier and busier. It feels as though we get up in the morning, speed through life and then fall down in a heap at the end of the day.
I know for me, when I really stopped and determined what I wanted my path to look like, my everyday changed.
It was as though I was on a really fast rollercoaster and exhaustion at the end of each day and week was the only answer.
Please know, that choosing your life first is not an easy task, nor is it one that takes a few minutes to work out. And secondly, making changes in your work life is really, really difficult.
But what I also know is that by choosing to make some changes that help you to spend time doing things that you love (and that can be a simple as stopping to read a magazine), your life and your attitude can improve dramatically.
I guess there is another way to look at this too… If you think about what your life looks like in 12 months’ time, or even six months, are you ok with what you see?
Are you ok that you missed an important event or are you ok that you neglected your health? If the answer is no, maybe you need to reconsider your path.
Being a business owner has so many benefits. But if it isn’t contributing to the work/life path that you want, the negatives can start to outweigh the benefits.
So take a little time to be proactive so that your franchise serves your desired lifestyle – and not the other way around.
This article first featured in Business Franchise Magazine, Australia and New Zealand, July 2016.
And that’s the Dish. Until next time, Belinda.
I am Belinda Bow
I love all things marketing and I thrive on seeing a business become re-energised and flourish. I am excited about life and I adore my family.
Within these articles, you’ll find some helpful tips and some real guidance to help you make the most of your business, and gain a good understanding of all things marketing.