Franchisees can operate their businesses as they see fit, work from anywhere in the world (as long as there’s an internet connection) and balance their working hours around their personal lives.
We caught up with just one Travel Counsellor, Tim Fitzgerald, to find out the benefits and challenges he faces in running a £3m TMC alongside being a father to his two young children.
Hear from Tim:
“I live down in Brighton with my partner and two children Alex, who is nearly 7, and Jess who is 4.”
How do you balance responsibilities for work and your family?
“It’s all about communication with clients and giving them realistic expectations: I’ve always tried to highlight the importance of my family to my clients and for the most part they respect that.”
“In times of crisis for clients I’m there for them, and then when something comes up that means I need to prioritise my family, my clients are understanding and happy for me to speak to them later or the next day.”
“It can be difficult to balance the two; you always want to be available for your clients but you have to meet the demands and needs of your family too.”
Tell us how you’ve grown your business over the past few years
“A few years ago, I decided to expand my team and employ some staff; firstly to grow my business but also to build a support structure for myself and clients so that when I am off or away, those in my team can pick up seamlessly.”
“My clients know that whoever in my team picks up an enquiry, ultimately I am behind them to provide support if need be.”
“No small business owner can ever switch off from work entirely, but it allows me to relax that bit more and have more quality time with friends and family and doing other activities that I enjoy.”
How has your lifestyle changed now you are self-employed?
“Now I’ve built my business to the level I want it to be, I can do pretty much what I want when it comes to work-life balance.”
“For example, I’m writing this on a Thursday afternoon on a train taking Alex up to Sheffield to see his first Sheffield United game tomorrow. This would be so much harder if I was employed!”
“I chose my office because it is right by Alex’s school which means I can drop him every morning and do school pick-ups if needed.”
“I don’t really know what I’m unable to do, as it has never been an issue. I had my family as a TC and it’s true that kids really do change everything, so it’s more the limitations of school holidays and young children that dictate what I do, rather than my job.”