Keep it in the family: Top 5 tips for running a franchise with family

17/05/2018 18:00 | Start a business

Tips for running a franchise with your family


The thought of working with your family, let alone starting a franchise with them, maybe enough to fill you with dread. But for many, the comfort of working alongside a family member who they can trust completely is the recipe for success.

If youre considering franchises to buy with your partner, parent or sibling, then rest assured that there are plenty of advantages to keeping it in the family. However, there can be disadvantages too. The key to most successful franchises that are run by family members is flexibility. Although it's essential that everyone in the business has their own roles, when you're working with your family there's also a sense of just rolling your sleeves up and getting the job done'.

Families seem to have the ability to pull together and put the needs of the business before their own. In turn, this instils a strong teamwork ethic throughout the business and encourages employees to become part of the family.

But it takes more than just a sense of teamwork to make a family run franchise a success. Here are five tips to help you operate a lucrative, fun and rewarding franchise with your loved ones.

Communication openly and honestly

Sometimes it can be a case of family members being too honest with each other which can cause issues when starting a franchise. Its important to clearly communicate yet remain positive when giving feedback to a family member. Constructive criticism may come easily when dealing with non-family members, but familiarity can often lead to issues being addressed unprofessionally.

Before any decisions or comments are made in haste, remember that your actions may not only affect your business but your family dynamic too. Right at the beginning of your franchising journey establish a rational decision-making process which will be followed when vital issues need to be addressed.

And its no good giving your family member the silent treatment if a decision doesnt go your way. Open communication is key to any successful business, but it's even more imperative when you're working with close family members. Ensure that you set aside time to make critical decisions together and work through the options professionally.

Work to your strengths and weakness

As a family, you probably know each other inside out. This gives you a head start in recognising each others strengths and weaknesses. Use this to your advantage to reflect on which roles you should play in working towards making your business one of the most successful franchises.

Its also important that roles are allocated so that the franchisor and employees understand who is responsible for which element of the business. Working with family members can feel more laidback, and there may be no need to establish a clear line of authority. However, without structure, confusion and conflict can arise.

To avoid this, take time to honestly review each of your skills, experiences and strengths and then apply these to the right positions within the business. Once a decision on roles and responsibilities has been made, make sure that theyre communicated to everyone within the franchise to stop doubt and uncertainty occurring.

Develop a culture of trust

A huge benefit of running a family franchise is that trust and loyalty are an integral part of the business. Being able to trust your business partner ultimately enables you to delegate without having any concerns. It can also allow one partner always to be working on developing and growing the business while the other runs the day to day operation of the franchise, giving you a competitive advantage.

When you and your partner have total faith in each other, this culture of respect and trust will emanate throughout the business. Employees will feel part of the family and want to do their best for the franchise. Such a positive culture will also help you to recruit quality employees - and keep them too.

Find the right work/life balance

When youre working and living with your family the lines between professional and personal life can become blurred. The most successful franchises are run by passionate and committed franchisees who can maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Make a rule not to discuss work issues at home or family gatherings. It can be easy to fall into the trap of talking shop all the time. Not only does this mean that you're not giving yourself quality downtime, but discussions are rarely productive during social occasions. It's best to leave the work-related conversations away from home and enjoy your precious time together as a family, rather than as work colleagues.

Celebrate successes

Starting a franchise can be tough. Very often focus is placed on fixing things that are going wrong, rather than rejoicing in whats going well. Working so closely with a family member is bound to cause friction and tension at times. Its almost inevitable as youre both so passionate and dedicated to your business.

Take time out regularly to stop and consider how much youve achieved. Set realistic goals and then celebrate when you reach them. The best thing about running a franchise with a loved one is that you get to experience the good times with someone you really care about. This is a huge benefit of working with family and one that shouldnt be overlooked.

There are many franchises to buy that are ideal for families wishing to go into business together. Just be prepared to experience the challenges that come with working alongside your loved ones, as well as remembering to enjoy the benefits that it can bring.

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