For the past decade, Julie has commuted two hours from her suburban New Jersey home to her corporate job in Manhattan. It’s a trade-off the mother of two has been willing to make for her six-figure job at a Fortune 500 company to support her family. By Rochelle Miller
For the past decade, Julie has commuted two hours from her suburban New Jersey home to her corporate job in Manhattan. It’s a trade-off the mother of two has been willing to make for her six-figure job at a Fortune 500 company to support her family.
But since COVID-19 hit the New York metro area in March, mandating the closure of all non-essential businesses, she’s been able to work from home. “I get to sleep two hours later since I don’t have to be on a 6 a.m. bus. Now, I have a five-minute commute to my couch,” she quipped. Even more important to her than extra rest has been the opportunity to be home with her children for the first time. “Spending that time with my kids has been precious to me,” she said.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want this to go on, but I’m not looking forward to going back to work,” she admitted, a sentiment she feels so guilty about uttering that she asked that her name not be used in this article. “I feel terrible even saying it because I know so many people are suffering.”
Julie now finds herself weighing her options, and if trends in franchising are any indication, she’s not alone. As the curve flattens and small business owners look forward to the reopening of non-essential businesses, many employees who are grateful to still have a job are nonetheless rethinking their career choices for the first time.
“For many, this is a wake-up call. They’re evaluating their lives and future,” explained Alesia Visconti, CEO and president of FranServe, Inc., the world’s largest franchise consulting and expansion organization. “Many are working from home for the first time and tasting the work-life balance we already know.”
Visconti said there has been a recent increase in the number of inquiries FranServe has received from prospective franchise owners. Those calling FranServe are seeking the expertise of a FranServe Franchise Consultant to assist in researching opportunities in their investment range and connecting them with a franchise that is the best fit. Some are considering a career as a FranServe Franchise Consultant themselves.
“It will be difficult for many to return to their old ways of employment, having gotten a glimpse of what it is like to be their own boss,” Visconti said. Although employees working from home were not working for themselves, many for the first time did not have to report when they were taking a coffee break or watch the clock during lunch.
A fitting analogy she makes is when she returned home on break from college after living on her own hundreds of miles away, and she was bound by parental rules again. “I think many people won’t want to go back to the rules of employment after living the life of the entrepreneur,” Visconti said.
What makes franchising such an attractive option for prospective entrepreneurs, she said, is the extensive support offered to new business owners, which is something that one simply does not get when starting a new, independent business. There is also the assurance of building a business from a proven business model.
“I truly believe franchising will emerge with gusto with COVID-19 behind us,” Visconti said. “Attitudes are changing from fear to seeking opportunity.”
Julie mirrored this sentiment. “I fell into a routine for so long. I never thought about it before, but once the dust settles, we’ll see what’s out there for me.”
Visconti put it best: “Better days are coming, and 2020 can still be a strong year for all.”
For more information about FranServe’s consulting services, visit franserve.com or call 800-206-5454.
– Rochelle Miller