Women turning to franchises for a second income

As the public sector jobs cuts look set to bite soon, more women could be seeking a different livelihood but don’t want to make the big leap just yet.  Workingmums.co.uk. looks at how it’s possible to set up a franchise as well as keeping the ‘day job’.

As the public sector jobs cuts look set to bite soon, more women could be seeking a different livelihood but don’t want to make the big leap just yet.  Workingmums.co.uk. looks at how it’s possible to set up a franchise as well as keeping the ‘day job’.

Why give yourself two jobs?
The economic downturn has sharply focussed many women’s thoughts on to what they could do to earn money if they lost their current job.  The comprehensive spending review last week revealed 490,000 public sector jobs are to be cut by 2014-15. Critics have labelled the cuts unfair to women because many are employed in this sector.  But the Government has firmly signalled its intent to carry out austerity measures, so the outlook is bleak.  The forecast by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned the impact could be even worse – the organisation predicts the true amount of jobs scrapped in the public sector will be 750,000 by 2015-16.
So are women trying to get a back-up plan installed in order to ditch the day job when the time is right or if they’re forced out of the the workplace? Emma Jones, author of Working 5 to 9, said she was surprised to find 51% of the women she interviewed who were doing their job plus another one planned to give up the day job in the next 12 months.  ”I fully expected most of them to say ‘yes’,” she said.  ”But 49% were happy to maintain both job and business.  One of the great upsides of having a 5 to 9 business is you pick up skills in the business that benefit your performance in the day job, so increasing job satisfaction.  Happier people, earning more money.  Wins all round.”

It’s not just for the money
Although any more income injected into the family budget is always welcome, whether you want a bit extra for Christmas or want the means to whisk everyone away for an extra special holiday, money is not the only motivation for many women who set up a business on the side of their original job.  They want a platform to use their other talents and learn new skills.  ”What struck me is certainly people are starting businesses in their spare time to earn extra income, but a side venture can also be an outlet for your creative talent,” said Jones.  Out of 60 women she interviewed for her book, she found 73% had a business that was unrelated to the day job.  A good example is Mandy Key, who by day has a senior role in the NHS and by night is a Jamie at Home consultant, hosting parties in people’s homes selling kitchen and homeware.

What characteristics do you need to pull this off?
”I don’t think you need any special characteristics as such,” says Jones, the founder of Enterprise Nation. ”Of the 5 to 9’ers I’ve spoken to over the past couple of years, they are of all ages and from all kinds of background.  Certainly, you need to have good time management skills and I would also say be realistic in what you can achieve in the business when working on it part time, but as long as you’re prepared to put in the hours – and 5 to 9’ers always comment on how they feel more energised by having a business as opposed to feeling exhausted from it all – then anyone can hold down a job and build a business at nights and weekends.”

Why’s a franchise a good idea?
Jones says there has been a ”significant increase” in the number of women holding down a day job and running a franchise in their spare time.  ”A big motivation for this is with a franchise you benefit from the freedom and flexibility of being your own boss, whilst having the support and infrastructure of a central team,” she says.
Typically, a franchisee will receive training from the franchisor, so they’re not exactly going it alone.  Advice and tips will always be forthcoming from the franchisor, plus the all-important voice of experience.

But how do you manage to do two jobs?
Don’t keep it in the dark that you’re building up a business on the sidelines, says Jones.  ”Tell your boss,” she advises. ”If you’re not doing anything to compete,  most employers are pleased for you to run a side venture as they benefit from the new skills you’re gathering.”
Top tip: Get your family and friends and family involved too. ”This will be the way to continue seeing them,” says Jones.  ”A good number of the people profiled in my book are business and life partners – they are building a business together so they can spend time together.”





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