Ever felt hemmed in by your job? Hours dictated by someone else? Stressed and overrun by work?

This is how Stuart Sutherland felt for years, before signing up with Smartline.

Stuart had been under pressure for some time at the bank, so seeing the change in him when he’d had the conversation about changing the paths of our future was really exciting for both of us,” says Stuart’s partner, Louise Sutherland.

Stuart likes working hard. But he also values his freedom, and time with his family. So when the opportunity to sign up as a Smartline franchisee came about, the decision was easy. 

“It became very clear to me that joining Smartline was exactly what I wanted to do,” says Stuart.

The word ‘work’ implies you are doing something you need to do, rather than something you choose to do. And this can be true for people who spend their lives answering to others. But franchising gives you flexibility to work your own hours. This freedom and flexibility works really well for people looking for work life balance.

Before Lana Roos had kids, she worked long hours. When she started a family, though, she knew she needed to find something which could give her an income, and challenge her, but also allow her to spend time with her family.

When her friend suggested a Smartline franchise could meet Lana’s needs, Lana took the plunge.

“I was welcomed with open arms,” said Lana.

Becoming a franchisee might seem daunting. But unlike most small businesses, you aren’t on your own. Lana found that people who’d worked really hard to gain knowledge about the mortgage industry were more than happy to share their knowledge with Lana.

Stuart and Louise Sutherland were also reassured by Smartline’s support.

“We could see Smartline’s philosophy was all about service, and team work, and collaboration. So we literally walked out of the bank, signed up with Smartline and were part of the team,” says Louise.

Smartline franchisees find work and life come hand in hand. They are no longer separate entities, which conflict with each other. Becoming a franchisee means working in harmony with your life.  

Many franchisees run their franchise as a family business. Stuart and Louise Sutherland work as a team, as do Lana and Stephan Roos.

When Stephan Roos saw Lana’s business picking up, he recognised her need for support. “I was also missing out on experiences with the kids,” says Stephan. So he stepped in, to help Lana with the business.

“He’s much more relaxed,” says Lana. “A better father. He’s got more time, more patience with the kids, which is great. At the end of a long corporate day, there’s not much patience left. Even the kids have said Daddy’s a much more fun daddy.”

Franchising offers a more relaxed balanced lifestyle. Benefits extend beyond that, though. Lana, for one, recognises her work can actually inspire her kids.

“I want to show my kids you can be successful. You can create your own journey, and your own life, if you think outside the box. You don’t have to do the 9 to 5. We’re trying to show them how to create their own life.”