The minute my son was born, I knew in my heart that I was going to be taking more time away from my career than I’d anticipated. I loved my job but having him in my life fulfilled me in ways that I’d never experienced before. The practical business woman inside me, however, said that a lengthy hiatus would lead to major challenges when I decided to return to the business world. So, I decided to find a way to balance success by being a stay-at-home mom and a career woman. That’s when I started looking for creative ways to be my own boss and I found that owning and operating my own franchise was very appealing.
The Best Franchises That Fit the Stay-at-Home Mom’s Priorities
When I set my mind to something, I tend to dig deep. I can’t tell you how many franchise options I sorted through to put this list together! There were a handful of “must” priorities in my mind as I weighed each of the opportunities. First and foremost, however, I wanted flexibility. With my son as my new top priority, the business had to allow for a scheduling flexibility. My end-goal was to create a solid work-life balance while contributing meaningfully to my family’s financial position. Here are the top franchise opportunities for stay-at-home moms that I considered.
Social 5 Development Group
Social 5 Development Group is a subsidiary of the Social 5 digital marketing company, which provides small and medium-sized businesses with content and graphics for multiple social media platforms. Social 5 Development Group franchisees are effectively the sales arm of the mother company. Once you bring in a new client to the Social 5 franchisor, their internal account managers and content team take care of the rest.This franchise opportunity is for moms who enjoy networking, are sales-oriented, and can talk about the benefits of social media marketing. They say that 90% of prospect outreach can be done virtually, which sounds great for stay-at-home moms. Social 5 provides all new franchisees with initial and ongoing training, mentoring, and a resource portal. There are no royalty fees and, in fact, you get paid monthly for every active account you bring in.
And that’s really the hitch. Marketing their services—and covering the costs involved—appears to be entirely up to you. After that, your business success is dependent upon how well others do their job. High client turnover on their end translates into business instability on yours. You could get into a situation where no matter how many more clients you bring in each month, your bottom-line doesn’t grow. Indeed, you might be tempted to spend more and more on your own marketing without seeing any long-term gain. Would you even be able to earn back the $19,900 franchise fee? That possibility didn’t resonate with my goal of building long-term financial stability for my family, so I decided to pass.
Cruise Planners has been in the travel business for over 20 years. Franchisees come from a range of different career backgrounds, including nursing, hair styling, computer programming and, yes, even stay-at-home moms. You don’t need any experience to begin selling cruises, resort stays, and other travel products from your home-based office. You can work part-time and, theoretically, your income is only limited by how much you sell as you get a percentage of each closed sale.
The main downside is that franchisees are not given “ownership” of any geographic region. You can sell travel products to anyone in North America. But with more than 1,800 other franchisees out there doing the same thing—and more coming onboard every other month—how can you ensure your success?
The answer is that you will spend a lot of time doing your own marketing. Cruise Planners will initially give you a list of 250 names (but who knows whether they are actual quality leads) as well as free social media, direct mail, and email campaign content. The rest is on you.
If you are a sure-fire saleswoman, this franchise opportunity might represent a reasonable risk. While it’s a perfectly safe gamble for the franchisor, that’s not necessarily true for the franchisee.
Just Between Friends
Just Between Friends is the nation’s leading children’s and maternity consignment sales event. In effect, franchisees are event planners. Each franchisee works from home to plan sales events in their community, typically with one event in the fall and another in the spring. Off-season, the workload can be somewhat slow and you might only put in about 10 hours per week. However, things kick into high gear as the event gets closer—especially if you are managing a high-volume sale.
If you like event planning, you’ll have to determine whether the franchise fee and marketing costs are worthwhile. The franchisor provides training on advertising, social media, website design, and event set up/tear down. In addition, each franchisee has access to a coach and a 24/7 call number to get help on the spot. As a professional business woman, planning these events didn’t seem like rocket science. I felt that I had the skills to develop a similar business model on my own, as the national branding didn’t hold much value in my area.
In addition, the numbers didn’t add up for me. On top of the franchise fee, Just Between Friends suggests that you put aside an additional $20,000 for startup costs. How many events would you have to oversee in order to make your money back? Quite a few, by my calculations.
Decorating Den Interiors
Decorating Den Interiors, which has been in business for over 45 years, is one of the more turn-key franchise opportunities available—if you have an eye for design. The franchisor provides franchisees with a wholesale vendor network that outshines what independent designers can typically access. In addition, they oversee broad marketing and advertising campaigns in magazines, on local TV, and via social media using their nationally-known branding. Business management tools, such as a customer management, marketing, and communication software, also come with the franchise. But, as mentioned, what isn’t clearly included is interior design know-how.
This gave me some pause. Decorating Den says that their franchisees have varied career backgrounds and make it seem easy to just open the door for your new business. Clearly, however, not everyone has a knack for design. And there’s no way to cover everything you’d need to know in a relatively short amount of time during the initial training. That’s why this business franchise is only good for moms who are confident in their design skills, whether you went to college for it or you have decorated the homes of everyone in your extended family—including finicky Aunt Bessie.
I decided that while I appreciated the turnkey business model, I needed more support and training to develop a valuable skill set.
HomeVestors is the nation’s leading home buyer, with real estate investing franchisees in 45 states. Each independently owned and operated franchisee receives comprehensive real estate investing training on how to confidently buy, rehab, and sell houses at a price that represents an optimal return on investment. Then, you are paired with an experienced and dedicated Development Agent who serves as a mentor for keeping your investment business on track.
HomeVestors’ widely-known national brand makes lead generation easy. In fact, franchisees report that leads come to them. Homeowners know who to turn to when they want to sell their property because of the “We Buy Ugly Houses”® marketing campaign on radio, television, and billboards across the country. In addition, you are given access to the best industry-specific investing tools to help you evaluate whether or not a deal makes business sense so you don’t have to waste time or money.
What I like best about the HomeVestors® franchise opportunity is that your success is based on your own effort, not someone else’s. You don’t have to cross your fingers and hope that the franchisor can retain a client you dragged in or that the product you are pitching loses quality over time. You are not holding onto a wing and a prayer hoping that the brand alone will help you earn back that franchise fee. With HomeVestors, your marketing dollars are proven to translate into leads. And that means you can start your business on the right foot.
A Work-from-home Franchise that Fits Your Life
If you can’t tell by now, after doing all the research on potential franchise options, I chose to become a HomeVestors ® franchisee. It was honestly one of the best career decisions I’ve ever made. Now, I have the flexibility to take the time I need to be an involved mom while simultaneously running a successful business and contributing to my family’s financial future. If you would like to have the best of both worlds, I recommend HomeVestors as the number one franchise opportunity. Get in touch with them today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.