How wonderful for our brand to be chosen to be the main franchisor interviewed for the British Franchise Associations’ Franchise Business Insights magazine & in the Prosperity edition no less! Michelle shares her top tips for beating stress & how she keeps franchisees happy & motivated to continue the growth of their businesses. As ever when we talk about our studios & our franchise opportunity it is a mix of business & yoga but we honestly feel having a yoga practice makes us perform better in business.
With talk of mental health being something that is no longer taboo, we speak to Michelle Nicklin, founder of Sandstone Yoga & Pilates on how she retains her and her networks health and wellbeing. Michelle has been practicing yoga for over 30 years, so she knows a thing or two about inner peace!
In what ways does Sandstone Yoga & Pilates foster positive mental health for its franchisees?
First and foremost Sandstone is a business. But we are underpinned by very strong values, culture and ethics, partly because of the business we are in. We base our culture around an ethos of ‘support & challenge’ because together we are stronger if we are honest, open and supportive about what’s working and what we can all do better. Especially with the franchise model, this requires clear communication, honesty and respect. So that is why we have developed an organisational ethos based around our three core values:
Good communication – Setting clear guidelines and expectations is vital, as well as talking about issues when they arise. We need to listen to each other too.
Honesty – It’s easy to get along when it’s all going well. But sometimes people need help, or things need to change. We have to be honest at all times. Owning your own business as part of a franchise network is different from having a job with a line manager. I think our network is more open to honesty as your next promotion is not dependent on forging relationships with colleagues; it is built on building your business within the parameters of the brand.
Mutual Respect – franchises are a partnership where different people have different roles and indeed different styles. We need to respect that both ways because together we will achieve far more.
I know the above 3 points are maintaining our franchisees mental health. It is my job to set the culture within the organisation. I don’t want overload. I don’t want burn out. I want them to be able to detect how they are feeling so we can to address it. Sandstone will always be a business that supports franchisees to positive mental well-being in the same way our brand delivers that for clients through the studios, training & retreats.
How do you keep franchisees engaged and motivated?
It can be hard to keep up energy in the longest and darkest month of the year, so here is what I do to keep my franchisees enthusiastic and motivated! · Having a family feel. Sandstone started in my attic and as we grow, we want to keep this feeling · Giving them space to be creative within the parameters of our brand · Daily contact – with encouraging messages & lots of praise · Monthly franchisee meetings where good practice is shared · Planning well ahead around joint campaigns, eg Valentine’s Day so there is always another way to engage clients. · Plan & research retreats both in the UK & overseas – who wouldn’t love that? What are you 5 top tips on keeping the stress away? · Take a break from the stressor · Practice yoga & meditation · Eat well & regularly · Get outdoors regularly · Practice Yoga Nidra (deep yogic sleep but MUST be led by a trained expert) How do you beat the ‘January Blues’ to stay driven? Here are my top tips to keep myself driven well into the long January: · Clear out clutter (emotionally & physically). It is good to start a new year lighter in many ways, get rid of the baggage all round. Don’t take on too many resolutions. Change one thing at a time & make sure you maintain that for 30 days to ensure the habit stands. Try one day a week as a vegetarian & without caffeine. Get creative with your recipes, there is so much variety out there now.