Why Franchising is a Great Next Step for Stay-At-Home Moms
What is it like to re-enter the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), and are there other options? The job hunt is a daunting task no matter what. It’s a part-time gig in itself. The searching, the scheduling, the preparing, the interviewing and then the waiting in the abyss of the unknown of where you stand, wondering if you’re on the list of callbacks. This will leave even the best go-getters feeling drained, minimized and frankly tired. Now layer into the mix, dare I say, the stay-at-home mom.
Over the years, we have become much more aware, accepting, and supportive of the work it takes to raise little humans. Let’s face it — they are the most challenging clients any of us could have. But what does a potential real-world employer really think of what a SAHM could bring to the table as an employee? Unless you’re applying for a position at a daycare or preschool, you have a much greater chance of being met with a scrutinizing eye of doubt. The truth is that SAHMs have incredible soft skills that translate well into most managerial positions. But unfortunately, many employers just can’t see past the mom gap on the resume.
Returning to Work for SAHMs
After staying home to raise children, many women feel like they have fallen behind and have to oversell themselves to a potential employer. But the skills used as a stay-at-home mom are incredibly valuable in the workforce. SAHMs are excellent communicators, leaders and multi-taskers.
Is returning to work after being a stay-at-home mom worth the paycheck? There is a large group of women out there who are or will be in the position of job hunting. According to MSNBC, 43 percent of women quit their jobs after having children. Of those women, 70 percent eventually return to work — but only 40 percent come back full time. But what’s the alternative?
Opting for something within the business ownership space is very appealing. Many SAHMs try their hand at multi-level marketing. The lower investment is appealing, but is the rest of it? Very few make money needed to make it worth their while. Starting your own business from the ground up is an option too. This can be exciting as you can begin a journey into entrepreneurship, feeling empowered and set off to make your mark. A sobering statistic to consider is that 90% of businesses fail, including 10% in the first year, according to investopedia.com. Business ownership is a huge undertaking, funding can be difficult, and it can take years to get to profitability because so much time is spent building processes or figuring out marketing.
The Mom Gap and Franchising
There is another type of business ownership to consider: franchising. Franchising allows you to be in business for yourself but not by yourself. Brands are SBA approved, systems, processes and procedures are in place, and there is full support from the franchisor and neighboring franchisees. Sounds fabulous, but really, what can it offer a stay-at-home mom who is trying to find her place back in the world of working adults?
Before we dive into reasons why the mom gap is not a concern in franchising, let’s outline some of the many business ownership skill sets acquired or sharpened while being a SAHM.
- Time management
- Crisis management
- Team management
- Organization and planning
- Event planning and management
- Financial management
- Creative thinking
- Negotiation (with big egos and pouty clients!)
- Persuasive influencer
- Project management
These are excellent skills! They should be taken seriously when perceiving your value. So instead of focusing on a job, why not shift gears and your perspective and focus on building something for yourself?
Why the Mom Gap is Not an Issue in Franchising
Working ON the Business, Not IN it
If anyone knows how to delegate and make sense out of a lot of moving parts, it’s a stay-at-home mom. If no one is steering the ship and overseeing the big picture, then so much gets off course. SAHMs know this and so do franchise business owners.
Many franchises let you work in a semi-absentee function where you can hire workers and managers to run the day-to-day, and you can focus on growing your business. The beautiful part is that the franchisor will share a proven system, so you know how many employees you will need right off the bat.
Skills are Translatable
Managing a household and children is just like managing a business. Knowing how to operate the business, manage employees and hire the right people are the upper management skills franchisees focus on. When starting a business from the ground up and attempting to secure a loan to do so, specific industry experience would be more at play. However, a franchisor has the systems and mechanics established. As a franchisee, you’ll have a head start, and the mom gap on your resume won’t be an issue.
Investing in Yourself
When you work for someone else, your efforts benefit the company. Employers want to make sure you’re good for the job to support the revenue they need so the business operates. The people interviewing you are most likely on the line to secure employees who will complete the tasks to make them look good. A potential employer will have a critical eye on the minutiae of your skill set and will closely scrutinize the mom gap on your resume.
But here’s some good news: Stay-at-home moms already have skills needed for franchise ownership, such as the ability to lead teams and communicate. Why not invest in yourself by running your own franchise business?
Stay-at-home moms who return to work continue to have the stress and demands of family. You will inevitably need to leave work early and take time off to care for a sick child.
As a franchise business owner, you won’t have to worry about an angry boss or the risk of getting fired. Sure, you will still have to manage children while managing your franchise business, but you will have more flexibility. With many franchises, you can set up your business to run smoothly even when you are not there.
This topic can go in a few directions, and you may have a conflicting opinion, but here is mine based on owning two franchises and seeing many others run their businesses. Yes, a job comes with the perceived initial security of the paycheck and benefits (maybe), depending on the job or who needs to carry the benefits within your household. But what happens when the job is cut? Or the hours described are not the actual hours? If you break out your actual salary / hourly wage, you’re not making as much as you thought. Then there’s the possible cost of after-school care and everything else that comes along with being at an office all day. With owning a business, you can write off many expenses. A $50K salary is not the equivalent of $50K net as a business owner.
From SAHM to Franchise Owner
Shifting our paradigm in thinking is not easy. Franchise business ownership could mean the difference between bringing in more and having more time instead of being stuck in a pressure-packed job. Maybe not in the beginning: Launching a business is similar to having a newborn! You may feel out of your comfort zone and have moments thinking, “what did I do?”
Owning a business can be much more rewarding and flexible than returning to work after being a stay-at-home mom. But the mom gap on your resume won’t matter with a franchise business. You already have the skills you need to be successful! You can focus on investing in yourself. You could start with a lower-investment franchise and then build as you feel more comfortable. Growth happens when we challenge ourselves.
I challenge you to think differently about your goals and consider where you see yourself in five years and what you want from a position or a business. As Steven Covey wrote in the 7 Habits of Successful People, “Begin with the end in mind.”
Uncover what you really want, but make sure to give yourself credit for the skills you gained as a stay-at-home mom and what you have to offer!