According to a recent article published in Franchising World, a magazine published by the International Franchise Association, burnout by a small business owner or franchisee is more a state of mind problem than any actual identifiable issue with the business itself.
Burnout is not related to the number of years of conducting the business or the revenue generated. It can happen to someone who has been in business for one year as much as it can happen after 10 years.
Plateaus, or burnouts, can be warded off by identifying common contributing factors and working proactively to prevent them.
Franchise owners need to learn to delegate responsibilities.
In the beginning, owners are understandably involved in every aspect of the business. As times go by, more employees are hired, technology is added and more revenue is generated. The owner needs to develop a team feeling with the employees and allow them to take over some of the day-to-day business operations. One expert says that owners need to shift their mindset from “working in their business to working on their business.”
Development of personalized business plans.
Individual franchise owners have different goals for their business. A business plan for the franchise is not a one-size-fits-all plan. It must be put together to meet the demands and dreams of the individual owner. Is the goal to earn enough money to retire early or to pay for college for children? Incorporating the individual franchisee’s goals into the business goals motivates the franchisee to make an emotional investment into the franchise and a commitment to its success.
Add new equipment and technology when warranted.
Adding new equipment and up-to-date technology, coupled with the education in how to use them, can stimulate new energy into the business. Owners need the appropriate equipment and technology in order to expand the business and streamline customer service.
Provide ongoing coaching.
Franchise owners need to become good leaders. The franchisor that provides coaching and training on how to run the business provides an invaluable foundation that will help prevent burnout. The coaching needs to continue throughout the life of the business. No matter how successful the franchise may be on the surface, since burnout is a state of mind, owners need to feel they have the support and encouragement of the franchise.
Coaches assist owners in identifying the tangible results of their effort so they can see how their long hours are really paying off. It helps them see the big picture of where they hope to be and then implementing the steps to get there. It also helps identify activities that can be eliminated since they are not contributing to a good return on their investment.
Take a break.
Sometimes taking a break can help franchise owners recharge and gain perspective. As Honest-1 franchisee Sherry Rector said recently, “Taking a vacation and getting away for a little while, definitely helps you to step back and take a look from a higher level. It is so easy to get bogged done in the day to day activities - working in the business instead of on the business. I am working to maintain the distance and focus on growing the business.”