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help - desperate work situation

(4 Posts)
changedmyname12345 Sun 05-Jul-15 23:02:33

I have posted this in chat too -

Hello,
Sorry if this is long but I am desperate for a solution. I have got myself into a terrible problem workwise and would be grateful for any advice.

I had been doing my previous job for 15 years, it was a job that I had mainly enjoyed and was good at but the last year became intolerable, there was a major restructure at work and the work I had always done was taken away, my post deleted and I was ring-fenced for a job I didn’t want - being managed by someone who I didn’t like. I got the job but really didn’t want it and left. Not before I had sorted something else out though. A year or so earlier my Dad had died and had left me with a significant amount of money, enough that I could have left my job without anything to go to and taken my time finding something else. Instead I listened to a lot of other people including my boyfriend (none of whom knew the full story such as how much my Dad had left me) who advised me to have something to fall back on. So I did what they advised me to do and got something else.
What I did was buy into a franchise, it only used a small part of my Dad’s money and was related to my previous field so I thought it would be good. I now realise that I have made a terrible mistake. I don’t like doing it, there are parts of it I hate, I miss working with other people and I am not making any money yet. I know that businesses take a while to grow and I think this one would/will eventually become profitable but I just don’t like it.
The problem is I can’t get out of it easily. I have signed a five year contract and if I want to get out of it the only options are: to sell it – but it hasn’t been going long enough to make this likely, to pay the franchisors £20,000 to get out and lose my initial investment, to employ someone to manage it (retaining enough from the profit to pay my franchise fees of £10,000 per year) or to employ someone to do the bits I hate. My boyfriend (who now knows my full financial situation) thinks I should either employ a manager or someone to do the bits I don’t like – if I do even some parts of the business though it would be difficult for me to find another job as the business is very time-consuming.

I just don’t know what to do, I want out – but I will have wasted a lot of my Dad’s money if I throw the towel in. I also feel that my boyfriend, much as I love him is skewing my judgement. We are meant to be buying a house together and are due to put our houses on the market in a month or so. The initial idea was that I put in more than him (as I could afford it due to my Dad’s inheritance), I don’t feel comfortable with this as I want the money to potentially cushion me from this situation. He is ok with that but encouraging me to keep at the business for at least another year.

I am tempted to just pay my way out – I wondered what people think – I know it is a crazy situation but how can I get back to a similar job to one I was doing else? And in what order can I do it? If I pay my way out of the franchise I won’t have a job to go to but if I get a job first, it could take ages to sort out the franchise which would be difficult to manage with a new job and how can I deal with potentially moving house with all this on my plate? I just want to bury my head in the sand and make it all go away…

happyh0tel Mon 06-Jul-15 08:08:58

Fact you signed a 5 year contract
I would look into employing someone to help you (not your partner)
Can the franchise offer you any help or advice ?

I would stay in your own houses

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 06-Jul-15 09:03:59

Hi OP

It sounds like last time you needed to make a decision (finding something after your last employed job) you listened to everyone else but yourself...instinct is very important.

If you want to get out, then I'd focus on that. It sounds like you'll have some money left. And 4 years is a long time to spend on something you don't like/hate.

Can you sell the franchise at such a low price that it will be cheaper to a new investor than buying it directly from the franchise company which could offset the lack of sales/history? So if you sell if for £5k (as an eg) then you are £15k better off than if you had to pay the company back...

I appreciate you are not asking for relationship advice....but your comments about your BF don't sound great...He should be most concerned about your well being & not money/your money.

I would focus on getting rid of the franchise first, then get another job (assume you'll need a mortgage and therefore earnings) and then sort out moving. 3 at once sounds like too much.

Good luck.

flowery Mon 06-Jul-15 09:06:04

Just for context, I am a franchisor myself. I would be extremely concerned if one of my franchisees felt the way you do, and would be worried if they weren't clear on what they would need to do before signing up.

On the other hand, as with starting any business, the first few months is always going to be hard -you don't have regular income coming in, and you are simultaneously doing lots of things that are out of your comfort zone to do with running a business rather than whatever your actual thing is. There will have been reasons you wanted to run your own business to start with, and those reasons still apply, presumably, you're just not seeing enough of them at the moment.

If you miss working with other people, there are things you can do about that. Presumably there are other franchisees? Can you spend time with them, networking and providing each other with support? It's not the same as having colleagues in an office every day but it can help with the isolation.

I don't know what the business is obviously, but are you out networking as part of it? There are also various co-working options in lots of places for start-ups/entrepreneurs, can you explore those?

Perhaps the bits you hate are the business running stuff rather than whatever the main thing is? It should therefore be possible to get someone to do that stuff for you. I have a business manager who does that stuff for me. I don't have the time to do it myself.

I'm always a fan of taking control. If there is a situation you are not happy about, work out what is not right, then work out what actions you can take to improve those things. I think doing that is better than giving up if possible.

I agree you should speak to your franchisor. Again, I would like to know in this situation, and would be keen to support my franchisee in improving things, finding the right solution.

I would also agree that you should put the brakes on moving house. That's an additional (and big) stress that you just don't need. Sort the work situation out first.

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