Summer Break - Finding A Work Life Balance

Having children off school for the summer presents both benefits and challenges to every family, but it can be especially difficult for those who run a franchise.

On one hand, running a seasonal franchise or one that is child-friendly is likely to result in greater footfall and therefore higher profits than average for a month or so, but if you have children of your own, you are probably wondering how you will fit it all in. Balancing work and childcare is a demanding task, but with a bit of planning and a lot of flexibility, it can be done.

To start, you need to assess your franchise situation. Is the summer your busy period, or are you likely to be quieter at work anyway? If you run a recreational franchise, especially in a busy tourist area, you will probably experience a lot more visitors than usual. If your children are old enough to be a help rather than a hindrance, you could put them to work, enhancing the customer experience and earning a little bit of pocket money. It will teach them a good work ethic, and there is a good chance that they'll love going to work with you.

If your children are too young to accompany you to work, you will have to make a decision as to whether you'll pull back, take some time off to care for your children and let your staff run the business for you (with you maintaining oversight and dealing with finances and any issues in the evenings) or organize alternative childcare for them over the holidays to allow you to continue to work. In a co-parenting situation, ideally your partner could have the children for at least half the holidays to allow you to run your business; if you are solo parenting, this may be more complicated.

If you have friends with children of a similar age, you may consider offering them some free passes or money-off discounts to spend with your franchise in exchange for a few days of babysitting.

If your franchise is likely to be entering a quiet period (for example, if your franchise is related to the educational industry and linked to school terms), this represents the ideal opportunity for you to throw yourself into parenting for the holidays and make the most of the break.

The key is to plan well in advance, make sure that all childcare arrangements are firm and work arrangements are flexible. Summer break will be over before you know it, so even though you may find it exhausting, always try to enjoy it as one day you will look back on this time with fond memories.