Women in Franchising: How the Landscaping is Changing

 

It’s no secret that corporate businesses are dominated by men. A recent CNNMoney analysis indicates that of all S&P 500 CEO jobs, only 5 percent are held by women. A similar study described by Catalyst shows that women made up just 20 percent of board seats of fortune 500 companies. The good news is, this trend is shifting in the world of franchising. Women now either own or co-own 41 percent of all franchises in the United States. The reasons for this are complex, stemming from cultural shifts in traditional gender roles, general consumer experience, and the overall importance of diversity of thought. Women are changing the game.

 

Challenging Traditional Gender Roles

 

Just like other cultural phenomena, gender roles shift naturally over time; they’re affected by politics, environment, and social values. Over the course of the last century, female roles in western society have evolved rapidly. While there have been significant growing pains, women now hold business positions that have historically eluded them. However, work/life balance is still incredibly important to women, as it’s essential for overall well-being. According to Franchise Times, 54 percent of female franchisees say that their overall work-life is balanced or very balanced. When compared with corporate jobs, there is often less mandatory travel time, and hours are more flexible.

 

In fact, franchising is often overall a more dependable career option than, say, starting a business. Franchises have proven track records of success, follow established business models and regulations, and have the general support of the company. This may, at first glance, seem like a relatively risk-averse approach to business; after all, signing on to a stable company model appears to be a safe bet. However, a more appropriate phrasing would be risk mitigation. Compared to men, women are more adept at mitigating risk in favor of larger, potentially more advantageous risks. In a sense, women make inclusive and calculated decisions that support the bigger picture.

 

Women and the Consumer Experience

 

Women make up a significant portion of franchise consumers. Consumer experience gives women intimate knowledge of what products and services they prefer, what marketing strategies are successful, and how business models work for them. Sexism often plays a significant role—business models that are traditionally male dominated, like those in the automotive industry, can deter female consumers and leave them frustrated. If a woman has a poor experience at a franchise that provides a service that is essential to her lifestyle, she has motive to either take her business elsewhere, or become a change agent in the industry.

 

Though more women are getting into franchising than ever before, there are still logistical hurdles. For example, women continue to have difficulty obtaining adequate franchise funding, with female franchisees seeing a loan average of $568,475 compared to $729,093 for men. In terms of research, it’s hard to say whether these numbers reflect sexism in the loan industry, or if they indicate that women have historically pursued business ventures that require less capital than men. Whatever the case may be, this trend is rapidly changing. Loans to female franchisers showed an increase of 22.5 percent between 2013 and 2017, while those for males only increased 5.7 percent

 

One theory is that female franchisees are addressing the lack of family-friendly environments in companies. Brian Scudamore, Founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? reports that, “female-lead franchises are…disproportionately more successful than the men. Part of their strength is that they can relate to our customers—who are primarily women.” When a franchise owner and a customer share a lived experience, the customer is better served. Using their experience as consumers, women are able to accurately provide access to certain services, increasing foot traffic to their business. For example, when consumers who require childcare services have their needs met, they are likely to return. This is not to say that men can’t address the same issues; it’s merely indicative that the traditional female roles of the past can have significant, progressive influence on female roles in the future.

 

What Women Bring to the Table

 

Women bring a diversity of thought to the table. In general, women are more open to sharing ideas and collaboration than their male counterparts, giving way to innovation and new business practices. Women are similarly unafraid to ask questions, an inclusive practice that allows them to bring new voices and expertise to their franchise. According to Courtney Sinelli, Executive Vice President of Which Which Superior Sandwiches, women “look at their business from various angles,” considering “how decisions affect all areas of their business.” Similarly, Shelly Sun from the International Franchising Association believes that women “tend to be better managers, leaders, and inspirers of talent,” making their employees “feel cared for.” This wholistic approach is paving the way for women to change the landscape of franchising, making it more diverse and accessible to consumers.

 

 

Haley is from Gilbert, Arizona. She loves reading and writing just about anything under the sun. In her spare time, you can find her exploring outdoors or sippin’ on a craft brew.  

 

 

How to Tell if Your Side Hustle is Killing Your Career

How to Tell If Your Side Hustle is Killing your Career

 

We all remember those times when we daydreamed about the bright future ahead of us and the glamorous career paths we might take. Sooner or later however, reality manages to “hit” us all. Stability often takes the place of ambition and our dreams are put on hold to make way for the sustainable and comfortable.

 

For some of us, letting go of our dreams is simply out of the question. Personally, all my childhood I dreamed of being a famous pop star like Rihanna or Jessie J. Still, I can’t let go of my dream to sing my songs in front of a big crowd, though my musical orientations have changed over the years. For some of us, the ideas are persistent.

 

The mind of an entrepreneur never stops to think of how something can be improved upon. There are so many problems to solve and exciting ways to solve them. These ideas kick around in our heads until they become to hard to ignore.

 

Now, full-time jobs are somewhat of a time commitment. Add kids, outside interests, relationships, the work…and you may find yourself second-guessing the whole side hustle thing.

 

But hey, you’re not the first one to go through this struggle. There are several ways to handle this situation. One in three people has two or more means of income these days. So, what’s the magic formula for a successful side hustle? It really comes down to discipline, impeccable time management, and perseverance.

 

However, if you’re spending more time figuring out how to juggle than actually juggling, it may be time to step back and make some adjustments.

 

Does being a self-starter involve throwing everything away to dive head first into the risky journey of entrepreneurship? Maybe not.

 

Author of Originals Adam Grant puts it this way. “In every domain, from business and politics to science and art, the people who move the world forward with original ideas are rarely paragons of conviction and commitment. As they question traditions and challenge the status quo, they may appear bold and self-assured on the surface. But peel back the layers, the truth is that they, too, grapple with fear, ambivalence, and self-doubt. And as much as they seem to crave risk, really prefer to avoid it.”  

 

5 Tips to Blend Your Job and Passion

 

If you’re having trouble managing your work and side hustle, these tips might help you overcome the challenges and setbacks that are blocking your way to success.

 

Develop clear objectives

 

For your side hustle to be successful and your lifestyle to stay intact, you need to establish clear objectives and expectations.

 

First, decide exactly what you want to achieve with your side hustle. Do you want to create a multinational brand and make millions? Or, are you happy just keeping it small for now…an creative outlet or an exploration into a new interest? How many customers/clients do you expect to have monthly or yearly? When will you finish the startup?

 

Then, once you have a clear picture of your objectives, think about your present lifestyle. What do you need to improve to reach your goals? What challenges stand in your way?

 

Great projects are always planned out. Don’t skip the process, otherwise, you might get lost on the path.

 

Acknowledge and leverage the common skills

 

When starting a side hustle, it’s tempting to to do something completely different than what you’re doing with your current job, but often times the skills we pick up doing what we love can actually propel us forward in the career we already have.

 

Finding out your inner strengths is the first step, leveraging them is the second. You should introspect and meditate upon this. Seek to find common ground and leverage it consistently until you reach your goals.

 

Share your passion with your coworkers

 

Coworkers can help you refine your vision, verbalize your ideas and allow for valuable feedback.

 

Another option might be to seek out a coach who can take it one step further and offer solutions to balance your two jobs more harmoniously.

 

Back up your side hustle with a flawless personal brand

 

Make sure to represent your passion with a personal brand that reflects your side job in the best possible light. This may call for a social media makeover across all platforms or an online audit to see where and how you’re showing up in the digital world.

 

Adding credibility is crucial. Reach out for testimonials to add to your website and create consistent and engaging content with your audience.

 

Challenges and warning signs

 

Now, let’s take a look at five warning signs that indicate a conflict with your side hustle and career path.

 

 

You’re becoming overwhelmed and confused

 

Becoming overwhelmed and confused because of too many responsibilities and expectations will turn you into an unproductive zombie. I get it. Your side hustle is exciting, and the rewards are even better. You want to work, work, and work until you succeed.

 

Unfortunately, putting too much pressure and overcrowding your schedule will lead you in the opposite direction, which is failure.

 

Give yourself some time to figure out how you can achieve optimal efficiency and harmony in your life. Calm your mind and make an informed assessment. Prioritize your current work, but don’t neglect the side hustle. Get back on your feet and keep yourself strong!

 

Your body can’t cope with the stress

 

When your mind is crowded, and your schedule is full, your body’s needs might be neglected. Of course, your mind and body are interconnected, so neglecting one of them will negatively affect the other.

 

Stress is a huge factor. Doing two things at once will bring more stress than you might have expected. In these situations, you need to keep a close eye on your energy, motivation, and physical strength.

 

If you didn’t know, high levels of stress block the immune system, making you vulnerable to every possible disease. Knowing that, you should treat both your mind and body carefully, giving them everything they need in order to thrive. That is good food, plenty of exercise, introspection, meditation, positive thoughts, and gratefulness.

 

You are side hustlin’ on the day job

 

It might sound obvious, but when you’re no longer fully present at work, this can be very damaging to your career success. You keep thinking about how you can make improvements to aspects of your side hustle.

 

This is the very first sign that problems are about to arise. You’ll no longer be able to do your job as you used to because you’ll be keeping your mind busy with all the things you’re going to do when you get home. This can heavily affect productivity, workflow, and motivation at work.

 

Your personal life is suffering

 

There’s a difference between busy and unhealthy workaholism. Balancing your 9-5 job and private life is hard enough. If you’re ducking out of afternoon meetings early to meet an important investor for your biz, that’s one thing. Blowing off a networking opportunity for the 10th time in a row to update some code on your website is another!

 

It’s also important to remember that a part of our social lives usually involves coworkers and these relationships are important if not as important as our friends outside of work. We spend a huge amount of time with these people and positive relationships with colleagues translate to a positive work experience overall. We need human connection and support to succeed. People are power.

 

Your work colleagues and managers become suspicious

 

Sometimes, our greatest passions are not something we feel comfortable sharing with coworkers. When we hide something, but we don’t do it well, negative consequences might arise.  

 

As Peter Berne, the HR manager at A-writer, advises, “If you put a lot of work on your side hustle, sooner or later, people will start figuring it out. They’ll do so because your performance will drop, your interest will be lower, and your involvement in the company will drop. As you can figure, your boss and several important clients might not be so happy about it.”

 

Focus on your work and don’t allow your side hustle to intervene. Keep your productivity high and focus on your job like you used to. You are strong enough to be great at your job even if your other “passion” calls for you.

 

Conclusion

 

If balancing your side hustle and career becomes a full-time job within itself, it might be time to consider pursuing your passion more seriously, but think carefully before dropping your full-time gig altogether. Perhaps, you’re at a point in your career that could prove crucial to stay committed. Talking to a career coach or someone who’s been through this journey already may be able to help you prioritize and set realistic goals for yourself.

 

 

Audrey is a passionate blogger and marketer at  college-paper.org. Her areas of interests are very wide, but mostly she writes about content marketing and innovative business technologies.  Her aim is to engage people to self-growth and staying motivated.

 

 

Do Your Goals Align With What You Want Out of Life?

Do Your Goals Align With What You Want Out of Life?

 

We all have goals, both personal and professional. Many of us even have similar goals such as finding a partner, starting a family,  purchasing a house or making a shift in our careers. But it’s all too easy to find yourself working towards goals that don’t align with what you really want out of life. Often, it’s because you’re thinking not about what you want but about what your partners, parents or peers expect or what you think they would approve of. Other times, you end up working towards a goal that isn’t right for you, such as a career path that doesn’t suit you, and you may not even realize it until you find yourself in an untenable situation.

 

So, how can you make sure that your goals actually line up with what you want out of life? You’ll need to spend some time getting to know yourself, if you haven’t already, and employ some careful thinking about what excites and challenges you and where you want to be in one, three, five or 10 years. Each goal you set should move you toward that place, whether it be personally or professionally.

 

Know Yourself

 

One reason many people find it difficult to set goals that align with what they want out of life is that they don’t know themselves as well as they think they do. Put some thought into who you are – crystallize your values, beliefs, temperament, interests, strengths and weaknesses and even your daily biorhythms. The better you know yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to set goals that can bring you more of the happiness and fulfillment you crave.

 

A big part of this is thinking about what excites and challenges you. For example, let’s say you’re interested in revamping your career and want to set some professional goals for yourself. You need to know what kind of work really interests you because that’s the work you’re going to be motivated to pursue and able to enjoy over the long term. If you enjoy traveling to exotic locales, spending time outdoors, and digging deep into history, perhaps you’d be happy as an archeologist – but probably not so happy as an accountant.

 

Once you know what kind of work makes you excited to wake up and get started in the morning, you’ll be able to take steps toward making that career happen. Perhaps you’ve had some experience in the business world and feel inspired to become a better leader, so you decide to enroll in an online MBA program. This goal aligns well with what you want out of life: to grow as a leader.

 

Envision the Future

 

When you think about who and where you want to be in few years, what comes to mind? If you don’t know where you’re going, you could end up anywhere, so sitting down and visualizing the future you want for yourself is crucial to setting goals that will contribute to your happiness.

 

Think about what you want to achieve over the next decade of your life. Who do you want to be in 10 years’ time? Where do you want to be professionally in a decade? Once you’re able to visualize that, write down 50 goals that you have for yourself for that period of time. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to try to accomplish all of them; you’re a human being, not a goal-achieving machine. What you should instead do is split that list up into four types of goals: those to achieve within the next year, those to achieve within the next three years, those to achieve within the next five years and those to achieve within the next 10 years.

 

Now that you have divided the list, prioritize the goals in each category. Think about the four most important goals for the next year, the next three years and so on. At the end of this process, you should have 16 important goals for the next 10 years, and you will be able to start thinking about how you’ll approach each goal. Break each goal into shorter tasks and give yourself deadlines for accomplishing them. Hold yourself accountable to your goals to find success.

 

Setting goals that align with what you want out of life is one of the best ways to find real, lasting happiness. Know who you are, what excites you and where you want to go in your personal and professional life, and figuring out how to get there will be the easy part.

 

Tiffany is a leader in content, she prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.

 

 

How to Stand Out in a New Position

How to Stand Out in a New Position

 

So, you’ve landed a new job – congratulations!  However, your hard work securing the interviews and contract is just the beginning. Your next challenge will be to work on making a stellar impression on your colleagues, clients, and boss.

 

But since judging the line between overconfidence and timidity can be tricky, we’ve put together a handy guide to standing out in your position. You’ll be gunning for that promotion in no time!

 

 

Master the art of “friendly professionalism”

 

Sure, it’s the quality of your work which will prove your value more generally, but leaving a positive impression in the workplace also depends on how well you relate to your co-workers and boss on an interpersonal level.

 

Leverage your newness to reach out and make connections. Ask questions; show yourself as enthusiastic and curious, but not overbearing. Prove to your colleagues and superiors that you can be both friendly and professional.

 

When you’re judging how much is too much, remember that every workplace is different. You might have landed your dream job in a new country and are ‘starting’ over culturally.  Especially if you’re starting a new position overseas, you should watch for a different office culture than what you’re used to. You might want to sit back and quietly assess for a couple of days before climbing your way up the ladder.

 

Demonstrate your openness to feedback

 

The ability to take on and apply constructive feedback is the leading sign of a self-starter. Not only will you impress your boss with your readiness to better your working skills, but you’ll also learn how to build up the layers of resilience and perseverance which you’ll need to sustain you through rougher weeks.

 

It’s easier said than done, but try not to take feedback personally.  Separate your personal character from your work achievements, create a bullet-point document of the advice and criticism you’ve been given, and endeavor to work on those weaknesses in the future.

 

Show your versatility

 

No CEO has ever gotten to where they are by adhering strictly to their job description. To prove to your employers that you’re capable of much more, let them know that you’re ready to take on fresh challenges.

 

Whether it’s a new client, a new training program, or even the chance to take up a role as the office social organizer, saying a tactful “yes” to new work-related opportunities will get you pushing the limits of your job description (and so pushing onto your boss’ radar).

 

Work on your leadership skills

 

One of the first things people look for in new employees is their leadership potential.

 

Leadership doesn’t necessarily mean bossing others around, either (which you might not have space to do in your current position, anyway). You can exhibit your ability to lead by bringing your working group together in cooperation, and by proving your keenness to help others out when they need it.

 

Focus on making an impact in person – not online

 

Contribute meaningfully on the office floor and through action, not just by participating in email threads or spending all your time promoting your LinkedIn. Personal branding goes further than digital profiles: prove to your officemates that you’re an invaluable face-to-face contact by opting for an in-person chat over an internet message, and show them how intelligent, engaged, and motivated you really are.

 

Just work hard

 

You can try all the tricks and shortcuts in the book, but if you’re going to follow one overarching principle, let it be the tried-and-true precept that hard work pays off (if not immediately, eventually). Avoid petty coworker competition, make the most of the hours you’re on shift, aspire to improve every day, and you’ll probably start to stand out without realizing it.

 

 

Allison’s work on a diverse range of topics including career, travel and lifestyle can be found on various sites, and she has previously collaborated with business sites such as Omega. To see more of her published work, visit her Tumblr profile.

 

 

 

 

The Changing Landscape of Female Entrepreneurs

The Changing Landscape of Female Entrepreneurs

 

The gender gap in many a life sphere is a tale as old as time, and one that is finally being challenged more than ever – one dedicated, professional woman at a time. Since 2014, as many as 163 million women have started their own business, which is certainly a step in the right direction, even though the world has yet to enable the same opportunities for both genders. This slow, but significant upward trend, which shows more women in the business ranks, has also changed the overall entrepreneurial landscape.

 

Bringing about social changes

 

In many developing countries, women’s primary concerns do not include business funding as much as they include feeding their children and providing them a chance to be educated. However, organizations such as “Women United for Change” exemplify how a little can go a long way in helping women in impoverished environments build their own financial independence. As little as $50, in fact.

 

Specifically, this money goes to educate women who cannot afford schooling for themselves, and these 18 months of training are not only designed to better their lives, but to help them make a difference in their communities. Research of these programs shows that their impact spans all the way to reducing domestic violence, and women earning more relevant roles in their societies.

 

Increasing funding opportunities

 

Initially, statistics were staggeringly negative when it came to the amount of money which went into women-driven initiatives to start a business, as the majority of investments would go to all-male entrepreneurial efforts. Now, however, with more and more women calling the shots and turning a profit, there has been a slight shift in priorities – hopefully, we’ll see a much greater one in near future.

 

Women who understand the entrepreneurial struggles of their fellow business owners have started numerous funding opportunities to diminish this gap. For example, Vicki Saunders and her SheEO’s Radical Generosity aim to bring interest-free loans to women to start their own business ventures.

 

 

Allowing innovation to thrive

 

It’s a fierce world out there for women entrepreneurs, but an even fiercer one for ladies with the ambition to dive into the world of creative businesses. The competition is without a doubt one of the greatest hurdles, but up until recently, women also struggled to find the right tech support for their creative endeavors. Where there’s a need, there’s also an opportunity to enable change.

 

As the modern business tides are changing, it has become possible for women to implement, for example, fashion ERP software solutions that aim to simplify the numerous intricate processes of running your own label. With more technology on their side, women can automate a great deal of their daily tasks in order to focus on creative accomplishments and grow their brands.

 

Empowering female leadership

 

The existing climate of male-dominated leadership serves both as a suppressing force for women and as a driving force that has actually enabled women to show their true abilities in the leadership roles. A study conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman delivered impressive data showing that women are, in fact, more efficient than their male counterparts in the roles of power.

 

It seems that this negative climate has inspired women to push against suppression to earn the same level of respect and authority that is a given for men across various industries. Currently, there is still a significant discrepancy in the number of women and men leaders, as only 24% of senior positions are actually filled by women. However, with such studies and more initiative being taken by women, this is bound to change, as it is already changing the perception of women in leadership roles.

 

 

Changing the essence of business

 

As more ladies join the business ranks, the entire business sphere is changing from its very core. Women in power are able to hire other women, thus providing more jobs to competent females all over the world. The cycle of positive empowerment continues, as women also introduce more innovative solutions, and then use their profit to bring about more meaningful changes through charity work and other forms of social activism.

 

With more women stepping up to the mark with brilliant ideas and bold initiatives, the world has yet to see more female entrepreneurs not only making it big and turning a profit, but making a proud statement for all ambitious women out there – it’s time for change.

 

 

 

Claire Hastings is a wanderer and a writer. She has written for as long as she can remember.  She is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.