Women in franchising: two female franchisees share their stories

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Inside Franchise Business: Back in Motion celebrates International Women's DayWomen in franchising tell their stories: Inside Franchise Business hears from two female franchisees.

Female physios leading the way

There’s a strong representation of women in physiotherapy with 66 per cent of physiotherapists in Australia female[1] but according to Back In Motion (BIM) Bayswater director Emma Hindhaugh, we need to have more women stepping into management and director roles.

“Although more women are graduating as physios in Australia the majority of directors of private practices are men. A great way to move into these roles is through franchising,” says Emma.

Emma and her husband Tom bought their practice in 2001 and haven’t looked back since joining the BIM  franchise in 2007.

 “When you graduate as a physio you usually don’t have business management or marketing experience. Being part of a franchise network means you get to enjoy the flexibility and lifestyle of owning your own business with the many advantages and support of a much larger business and brand,” says Emma. 

How support can help women in franchising

“The business management and marketing support have been integral to the success of our business. The BIM network has excellent IT technology which makes front desk management, financial reporting and general business admin, simple,” says Emma.

“Balancing a business and family can be stressful, however when you have the support of a franchise network, it’s a lot easier.

"My husband and I are both practising physios and we have been able to successfully grow and run our business and practice each day without having to spend too much time on admin.

"This allows us to have the work/life flexibility that enables us to have the time outside of work to spend time doing family activities,” says Emma.

 “The support of a network is incredibly useful in the health sector. Within our practice we have weekly internal presentations where staff share their insights, recaps of courses and we brainstorm any difficult cases.

“We also regularly catch up with other BIM clinics in the region. This is useful for knowledge sharing and to also build relationships with different teams and benefit from referrals.

"Many of us have special interests in different areas, for example I work with clients with Continence and Pelvic Floor issues. I especially love working with women pre and post-pregnancy. "

Emma says other local BIM physios refer specialist work to her. 

“Today there are so many treatments specialising in women’s health and it’s critical to have both men and women physios in the industry and in leadership roles.

"At BIM we benefit from a strong cohort of female directors and physios and one of my biggest secrets to success would have to be hiring the right staff and having a strong network,” says Emma. 

Hire the right staff

“At BIM Bayswater we have a great team including three female physios and four amazing women in support roles, who are all part time. When hiring attitude is key for me. One of our receptionists was a client who wasn’t looking for work, but I managed to convince her to join us part time. She has been with us two years and loves her role.

"We give our staff a lot of responsibility as well as flexibility with swapping shifts. We are like a big family at BIM  Bayswater. Our staff love what they do and if we go away for a family holiday, we know with our staff and the support of the BIM  network, our business is in excellent hands,” says Emma.

Fastway delivering for women

In Australia’s transport sector over the past decade only 20 per cent of employees are women.[2] Yet the industry has grown 28 per cent.

In recent years leading delivery network Fastway Couriers has been focused on delivering more flexible solutions for franchisees. Advances in technology and automation have been particularly beneficial for women.

Fastway’s crowd sourced delivery model Blu Couriers taps into the sharing economy to scale up to manage surges in delivery volumes. The technology is not only delivering for franchisees and couriers but also for women in the workforce looking for a flexible way of earning some extra cash. 

Fastway Couriers Orange regional franchisee Karen Andrew wore two hats over Christmas, also delivering parcels through Blu.

She is encouraging more women to consider a role in the transport sector, particularly in franchising.

Encouraging more women in franchising

“What was once a very male dominated industry now features many wonderful opportunities for women,” says Karen.  

“I jumped on to Blu and delivered some parcels for a few weeks over Christmas and it was great! It’s a flexible role where you can choose how many parcels and where you deliver and it’s also a great way to get out and meet people in your local community.

"It also reinforced that anyone can deliver parcels and it’s a great role for women as well as men” says Karen.

“At Fastway Orange we are encouraging more women to consider becoming courier franchisees. With all packages under 25 kgs, women can definitely deliver parcels as well.

"As a courier franchisee and regional franchisee you can enjoy the freedom of having your own business and enjoy the technology and support of a much larger company and network,” says Karen.

“When I moved from my corporate career into a regional franchisee role in transport, I wasn’t sure what to expect but one of the first things I noticed was how many strong, efficient women were excelling at all levels in the network,” says Karen.

“Much like trades such as bricklaying or building, many women traditionally may not have considered working in the transport industry but it’s a wonderful industry and there are some great opportunities.

"I love being part of the Fastway Couriers network and definitely encourage more women to consider taking the step into franchising particularly in the transport sector,” adds Karen.

[1]https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/c4d58e5e-c721-4dbe-8ed8-969afbcfdd3e/aihw-aus-221-chapter-2-3.pdf.aspx

[2] http://www.australianindustrystandards.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/TLI-Key-Findings-Paper2018V5Web.pdf

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