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Nov, 03 2012

DO’S AND DON’TS FOR A REWARDING BUSINESS

Being a homemaker and managing a business is not a cake walk, as women are often required to strike a balance between professional aspirations and family obligations. With franchising offering them a plethora of flexible business opportunities, they can

ARE you bored with sitting at home and looking to rake in the moolah? There is no point in waiting. Dive into the franchise business and stake out your territory in any sector of your choice as many brands/franchisors have started incorporating the business models for mompreneurs so that they can make good returns from the comfort of their homes or by managing the brand's stores independently. Nowadays, the hottest sectors for mompreneurs to invest in are education, food and beverages, health and beauty, direct selling and fashion retailing.

A recently launched campaign, “She Can, You Can”, by Tupperware, one of the world's leading direct selling companies, gels perfectly with women in terms of their empowerment, cutting across different strata of society.  It offers them not only freedom from the shackles of past legacy but also enthuses them to surpass men in conquering ever new territories in all walks of life, including the world of business. Today's women are not only quitting jobs to raise their children but are also ready to tread on the business path by partnering with franchisors, thus making profits aplenty in return.

 

Essentials
Working mothers or mompreneurs have proved their mettle in every sector and have left no stone unturned in realising their dreams.  The ingress of more and more women into the world of business has undoubtedly become the talk of the town. To add wings to their dreams, the business model of franchising is offering a bucketful of opportunities to moms to be, housewives and working mothers.  Also, one has to have the drive, passion and family's support to be a mompreneur. This sentiment is echoed by Prajodh Rajan, Director - Education Services, EuroKids International. He says: “For a mompreneur the most important 'must have' is the ability to balance the role of a mother and that of an entrepreneur; there is a need for a robust support system to aid the mother to strike a balance between work life and domestic responsibilities.”

The big question that arises relates to identifying and choosing a successful sector for mompreneurs to invest in. The sectors which generally provide an opportunity to balance both work life and family responsibilities are considered to be the best sectors for mompreneurs. “Preschool/childcare, fashion/apparel based sector and online businesses are easy to manage from the point of view of time duration. However, if given proper support and with the requisite skills, a mompreneur can succeed in business in any sector,” says Rajan. While Pritam Agrawal, Director at Hello Kids feels education, beauty, food and beverages could be the sectors in which mompreneurs can invest. But he agrees: “Preschool education would be the best suited sector for women. This is what a lot of women have stated. While searching for good schools, they finally went ahead to launch a new preschool business.”

About the opportunity they offer to the franchisees, Neeta Verma, Founder of Rentoys.in, says: “We offer two types of models for mompreneurs i.e. Internet (online) based Toy Rental and Store (Offline) based Toy Rental powered with online services. Depending upon their time commitment and personal priorities, mompreneurs can choose any of these models. The Internet based model doesn't need them to be in the field all the time as compared with the Store based model. It enables them to switch between their personal and business priorities more efficiently and effectively.” Rentoys also offers its mompreneurs the opportunity to run the business from home, distribution centre or store. For the same, Rentoys has a defined franchisee recruitment process that mompreneurs have to go through.

The Four Fountains Spa franchisees, run by mompreneurs, have been extremely successful. In fact, most of its mompreneurs have gone ahead to sign for a second outlet, given the success they have seen in the first outlet. Talking about the selection criteria, Anurag Kedia, Director of The Four Fountains Spa, says: “Our franchisees are typically in their 20s or 30s and have had experience of working in a corporate for a few years. We have a clear preference for mompreneurs who we think do an excellent job of running a spa. The spa offers them financial independence without binding them with the corporate work culture and timings.” Currently, 70% franchisees of The Four Fountains Spa are mompreneurs. The franchisee programme at The Four Fountains Spa is unique in many ways, as they do not charge any franchise fee and their royalty fee is one of the lowest in the industry. The time commitment required for operating the brand's franchise ranges from 4 to 6 hours in a day which allows the flexibility to a mompreneur for having not only a rewarding career but also manage family commitments effectively.

 

Do’s & don’ts for mompreneurs
For aspiring mompreneurs, who are passionate about starting their business through a franchise model, it's important to do some groundwork for a better understanding of running a business. It's mandatory to survey the market, the sector they are venturing into and also do some research on the franchisor/brand's reputation in the market. They should know about the terms and conditions outlined by the franchisor. They should conduct the requisite research pertaining to the franchisor's reputation in the market and can also talk to the existing franchisees of the company. They can also talk to the franchisor regarding the right to exclusivity, whether it will be offered for the given area/territory.  Besides, they should do some research on the ROI they would be getting and also the kind of training and business support related to marketing initiatives the franchisor would offer them.  

 

Beating it right!
It's not easy to be a super mom and at the same time be a super business woman. It requires a special skill-set to maintain a balance between family and business commitments. Talking about the major challenges that might hamper the growth in this highly competitive market, Pritam Agrawal says: “To be a new business owner and new mother are some of the greatest challenges any woman can face. Doing both at the same time requires a certain set of skills and characteristics, including lots of determination, patience and multi-tasking ability. Therefore, it is pertinent for mothers to be masters at time management and possess extraordinary organisational skills to meet the never-ending demands.” As for selecting mompreneurs, Prajodh Rajan says: “We are looking for committed mompreneurs who will help us carry forward our ambition of making learning a fun-filled experience for kids.  They must have a college degree, keen interest in education services, love for working with young kids, reasonable financial resources, required skill-set to drive the enterprise, a right attitude and a support system to run the business efficiently.”

 

Advice
For mompreneurs, planning an entrepreneurial journey is just like planning a family. They have a dual responsibility, both in the family as well as professionally. However, there are a few guidelines every mompreneur should follow that include entering into a business that assures proven success. But entering a business is one thing; making it a huge success requires a lot of time-devotion. Therefore, before you proceed, make sure you're getting into the business at the right time depending on the age of your child. Pick the right business that has limited working hours but also allows you to grow without making a compromise between family's needs and business aspirations.

BOX
It's not easy to be a super mom and at the same time be a super business woman. It requires a special kill-set to maintain a balance between family & business commitments.

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