How many hours does a franchisee work?

Sarah Stowe

How many hours does a franchisee work? The easy response to that question is ‘how long is a piece of string?’ but while there is no definite answer, there are some clues to the amount of time a franchisee will be dedicating to their business.

Any new business operator needs to understand how their operation functions and to be the face of the business for the local community, building up customer awareness. Working long hours when you’re a newbie franchisee is far from unusual. Rather, it’s expected that hard work and dedication is going to set up the business from the start.

Of course there are franchise investments, such as Anytime Fitness, which allow for franchisees to choose whether or not to work in the business full-time or maintain full-time jobs and watch over the operation of their club with occasional check-ups.

However for most franchisees in a full time operation, particularly in retail, looking to establish themselves in the market, a working week is likely to be 60 hours. Working seven day a week and late nights, the initial period as a franchisee is going to be very demanding.

Down the track there may be the opportunity to ease the hours in the business once systems are well established and the franchisee is confident in the team of managers or staff running the operation.

But it does depend on the individual. Some franchisees like to maintain a strong grip on the business and, while they are working on the business, manage to keep a presence at the front-line.

A couple going into business together may be able to share the load so although the hours are long there is room for one of them to fit in time with children, alternate the school run, work on marketing or bookwork after hours.

Because, even if you’re looking to take on a part time business with limited hours, perhaps working just school hours or trading early morning till mid afternoon, there will probably be after-hours work required to maintain or build the business.

As Andrew Wilcox, a franchisee with Finn Franchise Brokers, says, “Even if you are working in a part time business, you are spending the other hours and days thinking about your business. It’s full time.”

Does the reality match your expectations?

Many franchisees turn to a business model that allows them to operate more flexible hours and the lifestyle element is crucial to their purchasing process. It’s worth checking with existing franchisees to find out if the reality matches what the franchisor is promoting.

It’s worth considering the following:

  1. How many hours are you prepared to put into your business?
  2. Does the reality of the franchise model you’re interested in match these expectations?
  3. Can you share the load with a business partner?
  4. Building the franchise is up to you: while not the only influencer, most often business success is directly related to the amount of effort and time invested in the business
  • What’s the best way to buy a franchise? Check out this article.