When people are starting a business, they rarely put work life balance at the forefront of their to do list. But, in our opinion, it's a must. Without which, you're simply boarding a train that's bound to run out of steam.
If, from the beginning, you establish a flexible schedule with designated timeslots for recharging your battery spending time with the family, then we believe you're setting yourself up for major success.
We can only speak from our experience and, as such, we know that a bookkeeping franchise is a wonderful opportunity because it provides easy entry and flexibility. But, many franchises offer the same quality of life.
Together, let's take a deep sigh of relief, trust the fact that we can, in fact, have it all, and earmark today as the first day in a landslide of success.
Lay Down Your Boundaries
When beginning your own bookkeeping business, or any other business for that matter, you must establish set work hours and (try to) adhere to them. Sure, the early days will require long hours. In fact, some people even have to juggle two jobs in the early days.
But, you must lay down boundaries. And the reason we list this as the first step in our guide is because it's often the hardest. Sometimes, it feels like America is the land of the workaholic. But, true success isn't measured by the number of hours we clock in.
Rather, it's measured by our ability to draw healthy boundaries and you must be stern about them. If you say you shut the laptop down at 7 p.m. and don't return again until 7 a.m. in the morning, make sure you do it. Set a precedence for anyone and everyone you're dealing with and take it seriously.
After all, you are your own boss now. So, you must abide by a work schedule, even if you're the one who set it. Your friends and family (especially your family) won't thank you for disappearing into a cloud of franchise development and forgetting their mere existence.
There's something in the prior section that we touched upon but really need to draw out. We said, "Draw healthy boundaries and be stern about them." We wanted to break this point out because it almost inevitably leads to something we're all familiar with: a slippery slope into burnout.
Blocking out your evenings for family time is important. But, let's say you also choose to block out Sundays for church or family. What do you think you'll do when you receive an e-mail from a potential client over in Australia on a Sunday afternoon?
Will you drop your spatula on the barbecue, ask your spouse to take over, and go into the computer? No! Be stern about the fact that you said you will not work on a Sunday.
Heed this bit of advice. The moment you step across your boundary and decide to do a little work "just this once" is the moment you've stepped onto the slope and it is, indeed, very slippery.
Call On Your Network
We bet there's someone in your contacts list who has started their own business. Better yet, is there someone in there who's started their own franchise? Don't be afraid to call on these acquaintances and friends.
Most people are happy to share their experience if they've overcome something. Think about it - whether personal or professional - most people want to encourage others who are going through a battle they've already survived.
So, reaching out to someone who's successfully started a franchise can open up the floodgates with life-altering tips and tricks. If they have the time, they can answer anything from how to advertise a franchise to how to spend adequate time with the family.
If all goes well, one of these contacts may go on to become a bit of a mentor to you. They've tried to do it all on their own and found out they couldn't; they struggled to relinquish the reins, but found out it was the best thing they could've ever done.
And, you know what they say about paying it forward. You may be gleaning all kinds of helpful advice right now. But, in a year's time, you'll be well-positioned to pay it forward and usher someone else into their new chapter of life.
Don't Go It Alone
You don't have to go it alone - not forever. Of course, in the early stages, while you're building capital, you may not be able to hire employees. But, as soon as the opportunity presents itself, make the hiring process one of your top priorities.
Business owners need to divide and conquer so they can continue to expand their business plan. Fielding customer service calls for the bulk of your day when you really need to be reviewing spreadsheets and devising a social media marketing plan will do you no good.
Hiring the right employees takes a huge load off the more menial tasks while you continue to learn how to evaluate a franchise opportunity and market your services.
And, don't forget, we live a world where highly talented folks offer their services as freelancers. That's always a place to start until you're ready to commit to tried-and-true W-2 employees.
Schedule In Break Time
Given our line of work, we feel that the answer to, "What is the hottest franchise opportunity?" lies in bookkeeping. It's a service that every business needs, from small to large, and it's not something that comes easy to everyone.
So, we were quite impressed to read that the managing partner of one of the Big Four firms, Ernst & Young, promotes the company's "Better You" program. They pay for employees' gym memberships and smartphone apps like Sleepio and Calm.
The folks over and Ernst & Young even consider the arts to be an important element of their staffers' overall wellness. They've arranged for employees to attend Broadway shows and meet with cast members afterwards to discuss the play. Indeed, intermittently taking the mind off of work is critical to their success.
Imagine scheduling 15 minutes a day to power down and complete a meditation on the Calm app. It can be this simple. And you may say, "I don't have 15 minutes for some Calm app meditation. I want to be off by 7 p.m. to be with my family."
Even though it sounds counter-intuitive to remove yourself from your productivity for 15 minutes, you're actually resetting the brain, calming the mind, and providing yourself with an opportunity to return to the work more productive than when you stepped away for a moment.
Be a Task-Master
We have a confession to make: we love to research new and developing apps. And, one of our favorite areas to shore up on is organization apps. Yes, we may be a tad on the nerdy side, but we're okay with that!
You've probably heard about a lot of these: Trello, Evernote, Wunderlist, and To do list. Consider them to be virtual assistants in your pocket. As a franchise owner, for a time, nearly everything falls on your lap.
You must manage incorporating the business, marketing the business, providing the service, and hiring new employees. Whew that's a lot! Let's not forget drop offs and pickups from school, ballet practice, and jujitsu at six.
We don't know anyone who can manage the inception of a business alongside family time without some method of organization. Being able to encapsulate it all in one place is a major benefit.
Best of all, some of these apps even allow you to store and share documents. So, as that need arises in your business, you will be well on your way to organizational triumph.
We know; we just cited a consistent work schedule (a.k.a. a boundary) as a pillar of work life balance. And boundaries remain integral. But, in doing so, don't be afraid to promote flexibility.
Let's say one of the biggest perks to being your own boss is the ability to pick your kids up from school and enjoy an afternoon snack with them. That's wonderful! Set aside your spreadsheets from, say, two to four p.m., and mark this on your calendar.
When you're able to hire employees, a great tip is to have a shared calendar. Team members will know that, every day, from two to four, you're handling afterschool activities.
Then, what if you hire another mother who likes to take her daughter to piano lessons every evening? Encourage her to annotate that on the shared calendar so you'll understand (and respect) her schedule.
If you're fostering a franchise opportunity that allows you to work from home, you're establishing an environment where people can, technically speaking, work all hours. You're also establishing a global network.
Perhaps your California team will handle certain workloads at certain times. Then, your New York team will come up to bat.
Then, your fellow man over in Britain can take things home. The point is, no matter the person or the locale, a tremendous amount of flexibility can be not only offered, but also encouraged.
Take Your Pastimes Seriously
Okay. This one might sound a little silly. But, hear us out. Don't just ask yourself, "What is a franchise opportunity I can be successful in?" Ask yourself, "What is a life portrait I can be successful in?"
We're not supposed to live to work; we're supposed to work to live. Personally speaking, we find our work to be meaningful.
As bookkeepers, we feel fairly fulfilled because we know bookkeeping is a valuable service to nearly every company. But, do we fall asleep at night thinking about balance sheets and tax exemptions?
Not typically. At least, we don't want that to become the norm. So, the question becomes, "What will make you feel utterly fulfilled, not just fairly fulfilled?" Is there somewhere you can volunteer your time and talents?
Is there something you can help build? Perhaps you can look into the creation of a community garden or a local book club. Whatever it is, the point is that work will not fulfill us, not in the long-term.
So, one of the golden little nuggets to work life balance when owning your own franchise is to remember to look at the big picture. Never neglect overall fulfillment in favor of temporary success.
A Golden Franchise Opportunity for You
While a franchise opportunity is, indeed, a multi-faceted opportunity, it's certainly not out of your reach. And don't think the ol' cliché, "You can have it all," is out of reach, either.
If you make the decision today to make your work/life balance a priority, then you're going to sail right into the sunset. There will be difficult days, no doubt. But, you won't feel like you're on board a runaway train.
We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a BooXkeeping franchise is a great solution for your work life balance goals. This is a home-based business model that allows you to deliver high-quality bookkeeping services from the comfort of your own home.
With us, you can invest in a franchise to grow your assets, continue learning, and curate a personal legacy to pass down to your children.
Let's talk. Feel free to reach out to us today and start developing a blueprint for your new life. Let it be one of success, a healthy balance, and long-term satisfaction. As your own boss, productivity and flexibility can flourish as one entity, and we're here to help you get there.