Building a Franchise Empire from Your Home

These days, a number of franchisees can actually run their franchises from their homes. For example, Cruise Planner, Vanguard Cleaning Systems, Snap-on Tools, and Matco Tools are all franchises that aspiring franchisees can run from the comfort of their own homes. But working from home is easier said than done. There is no magical secret to successfully working from home. However, these three simple tips and tricks can help you boost productivity and put you on the road toward franchise success.

Set and keep regular office hours. Believe it or not, many people who work from home complain about working too much, not too little. That is because when you work from home, “work” hours and “home” hours tend to merge into one endless day. Your workday can feel never ending. That is why you need to set and keep regular office hours. You don’t have to follow a standard 9 to 5 schedule. Go with what works for you. The key is that during these set office hours, you need to be working — not mindlessly flicking through Facebook, not doing an extra load of laundry so that junior’s soccer uniform is clean for the big game, and not taking personal phone calls. Set a schedule and stick to it. If you waste your working hours, your professional life will inevitably spill over into your home life. Then when your son wants to play a game of catch after dinner or your partner wants to unwind with a glass of wine, you will inevitably be stuck in front of your laptop. Setting and keeping regular office hours requires self-discipline, but it is key to maintaining your sanity.

Dress to impress. Even if you don’t have an office to go to, you should still get up and get ready every morning. “Getting dressed makes the home office more like a real office, and tells and reminds everyone, especially you, that even though you may be sitting on the sofa reading, browsing the Web, or talking on the phone, that you are actually working,” explained Catherine Waldron, an education specialist with a language curriculum company. The bottom line? It might be tempting to manage your franchise in your pajamas, but it isn’t a good idea.

Maintain a designated work area. Last but not least, you need a designated work area. It doesn’t have to be an office, but you do need at least a corner dedicated to your work, somewhere were you can keep your files and paperwork without having to shove it aside when the family comes home. And make sure you have a comfortable office chair in your chosen workspace. “It may sound trivial, but it’s not — also buy yourself a comfortable business chair,” explained Frank Niles, the co-founder and partner of an executive counseling firm. “You’ll be more inclined to stay working. As a result, you’ll be more productive.”

Article by Jason Duncan, CEO/Founder of ManagerComplete is an online software application that helps multi-unit franchises manage operations effectively. Follow him on Twitter for latest updates.