By David Banfield, President, The Interface Financial Group
They say, ‘Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you fit and one to be creative.’ But, is this always the best mantra?
I ardently believe everyone should have the opportunity to love what they do, but choosing a franchise that’s also your hobby can spell disaster.
Here are five reasons why and how to approach each dilemma:
Hobbies begin at home, in garages, sheds and spare bedrooms. But when you’re part of a franchise, you may have to relocate and move to an office.
Commutes, dress codes, the responsibility of managing a team and maintaining physical premises can quickly turn a hobby into a chore.
If you like the work-from-home lifestyle, seek out franchises where this is a genuine possibility.
Now that your hobby is a business, there are additional costs. What was once a lucrative side business may soon become a drain on your income. Insurance, tax and increased overheads can take the joy out of a hobby and seriously stunt income.
Think carefully before you commit to a franchise in your favourite area of fun. Run the figures. How much will it cost to run your hobby as a franchise business?
Franchises are often referred to as a ‘business in a box’. Inside that box, you’ll find a detailed list of instructions. Suddenly, your creative, easy-going pastime must follow strict rules and regulations.
The organic, enjoyable problem-solving nature of a creative hobby may be regimented beyond recognition.
If you’re used to finding answers as you go rather than being fed solutions, this might be one change too far. Some people are too entrepreneurial to become franchisees. Could this be you?
Approach any franchise opportunity with an open mind and be honest about your talents, skills and working preferences. Only commit when you have all the information.
That ‘business in a box’ also comes with a series of systems. It’s well known that a business will boom with great systems driving it, but only if the business owner and their staff adhere to them.
Are you ready and willing to follow a system, or do you already know too much? Again, honesty is the best policy.
Previous managers and co-workers can be a good source of truth. Reflect on your patterns of behaviour to choose the right way forward.
5. Customer service
This is a concern if you haven’t previously monetised your hobby. Offering services or products free of charge carries with it little or no expectation regarding customer service.
Now you’re exchanging goods or services for cash, what does customer service look like? Will you be offering extended, and perhaps unsocial office hours to help those in need? When will you be available? How much support does each customer get?
If you’re used to finding answers as you go rather than being fed solutions, this might be one change too far. Some people are too entrepreneurial to become franchisees
These are serious considerations as they directly impact your quality of life.
Get clear about what you want your work-life balance to look like before selecting a franchise that’s also your hobby.
Often, the freedom of a hobby is half the appeal. No one is making demands on your time or abilities.
It’s pure escapism. But turning that hobby into a job can quickly transform it into a dreaded obligation.
Think carefully before choosing a franchise that’s also a hobby. For more advice read my article, Five Things to Consider When Buying a Franchise.
About the blogger
David Banfield is President of The Interface Financial Group (IFG) and author of The Franchisee’s Essential Guide to Business, a free ebook with lots of useful tips and advice to help franchisees make a success of their business.