Going back to work after any length of maternity leave is hard; the guilt that we all feel about leaving our babies, even if we are going back 2 or 3 days a week, is overwhelming. It’s hard not to let it cast a shadow over your final weeks of maternity. For some mothers the drive to not go back to a lengthy commute and long hours wins out and they decide to make a change.
‘Women in franchising’ is fast becoming a buzzword. Why? Well, some franchising opportunities and the subsequent roles that are created by a franchise owners are highly compatible with the desires of women who crave a better work-life balance. In fact, there are franchises that have been built up around this ethos.
The obvious sub-set of franchises that fall within this category are the children’s activities-based businesses; swim schools, baby yoga, soccer schools, baby music classes, baby sensory, dance schools, the list goes on.
The women that enter these types of businesses have often done so because they allow them to control their own work-life balance e.g. working school hours, working locally, working from home. Broadly speaking there are then two motives for buying one of these franchises, one taking the long view and the other living for the moment.
Taking the long view
At the end of the day, buying a franchise is the same as starting your own business but with the support and training you have paid for in your franchise fee (product/service development, business management systems, established brand, website, business support etc.).
Starting any business requires dedication and is usually at odds with a work-life balance, however, by taking the long view and ploughing in the hours for 3-5 years, your life could look like you’ve always dreamed it would i.e. earning good/great money, being around for school pick up and drop off every day and on top of that, you are probably providing jobs in your local community and in the case of something like a Puddle Ducks franchise, providing an essential life-skill to the children in your area (what’s not to love?!).
So, if you are patient enough, able to work towards the bigger picture and prepared for a few years of very hard work then this really could be the perfect solution for you. This scenario applies to a management franchise i.e. one where you begin on the ground but the aim is to get you working on the business not in the business as soon as possible.
Working within a franchise
It’s not just owning a franchise business that provides opportunity to working mums, you could work in one too. Read these fabulous stories of the career opportunities that opened up for two such women;
Rebecca started out as a Baby & Pre-school Teacher and is now part of the Puddle Ducks HQ Technical Team as a Programme Assessor. Read more…
Read Charlie’s inspirational account of making the move from Puddle Ducks Teacher to owning her own franchise.
Most children’s activity franchises operate around school holidays giving staff the opportunity to be off with their own children during those difficult-to-manage weeks. Going to work for a franchise such as Puddle Ducks not only provides mums with the day to day balance they need but also provides career progression to satisfy the ambition that still motivates so many working mums.
BFA Female Franchisee of the Year 2015 was Puddle Ducks North East Owner, Carolyn Sharpe. You can read her story here – an inspiring tale of how putting in the graft has delivered her to a place where she is always there for her two young boys whilst having the satisfaction of running a profitable, worthwhile business.Read Carolyn's story
A bespoke training package is built into our franchise offer which means even those with no experience can have a flexible job, that they love doing, while still making real returns on their investment. That’s the Puddle Ducks difference.Find out more about our award winning offering