Can Dec Make It Without Ant? The Truth About Franchise Partnerships

12/04/2018 17:30 | Start a business

Franchise partnerships - the truth

Ant and Dec – they’re a national treasure. Ever since they hit our TV screens as PJ and Duncan back in 1989, the duo has been inseparable, both professionally and personally. This is why you can’t imagine one without the other, but Dec presenting alone may become a much more regular occurrence.

Following Ant's recent arrest on suspicion of drunk-driving, after he was involved in a collision in south-west London, he has re-entered rehab leaving many to wonder what the future holds for the much-loved pair.

If you’re considering buying a franchise business with a partner, here are some truths about how to make it work so that you’re not left like Dec to go solo.

How to make a franchise partnership work?

Making a franchise investment with a business partner isn’t for everyone. But for those who choose this route, they have the benefit of someone to share the stresses and pressures with as well as someone to celebrate the successes with.

Here are three ways to make buying a franchise business with your partner work:

1. Choose a partner with different skills to your own

Choosing the right person to make a franchise investment with is key to whether you’ll successfully own and operate a business together. It may seem logical to pick a close friend or family member to go into business with, but this isn't always the best place to look. Although many successful spouses, family and friends run franchises in partnership, it can also put unnecessary pressure on your relationship. You may be better off looking for a trustworthy partner who has skills and experience that complement your own.

You need to wear many different hats as a franchisee. Partnering with someone who can take on roles and responsibilities that don't come naturally to you can result in a very successful relationship. When these roles have been agreed upon you should ensure that the franchise contract reflects what parts of the business each partner will be responsible for. In the case of any disputes or disagreements, it is useful to have clearly defined partner roles in place.

2. Make sure that you share the same core values and goals with your partner.

When you’re buying a franchise business, you'll have an idea of what your long-term plans are. For your franchise partnership to be a success, it's essential that these plans are aligned with the goals that your partner has. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you want something entirely different from the franchise than your business partner.

Equally important is that you and your partner share the same core values. Running a franchise can be tough at times which will only be made more difficult if you hold completely different values. Agree on a clear mission and stick to it. Respect that you will often have differing opinions but have faith that at your core you’re working towards the same goal. Keep the lines of communication open and always be honest with each other.

3. Enter into the partnership with no egos

It often takes an entrepreneurial spirit to be brave enough to enter into a franchise investment. For this reason, you and your partner may have the same strong and determined personality. Although these are traits that can make a successful franchisee, it can also result in a strained franchise partnership.

The only way for the partnership to work is for both parties to enter the franchise contract with no ego. Rather than focus on your own agenda, you and your partner must always do whatever it takes to help your business develop and grow. Always keep the collective, and not the individual, in mind.

But, what if it does all go wrong?

If things don’t go to plan and you and your partner fall out, you could consider one of three options:

1. Continuing the business

If your franchise is performing well and you feel you’re able to continue a professional relationship you may consider continuing to run your business together. This is obviously the most straightforward solution if a personal relationship breaks down, but should be well thought through before this option is decided upon. Continuing to work in a partnership when tensions and emotions are high can more often than not end in disaster.

2. Transferring the business

In the event of either of you or your partner deciding to leave the franchise, you’ll need to officially transfer the franchise from you to your partner, or vice versa. The franchise contract usually states that the owner of the franchise cannot be transferred without the consent of the franchisor and so they should be informed as soon as a decision has been made.

3. Selling the business

If you both decide that you don’t wish to become a solo franchisee, you may agree to sell your business altogether. For this to happen, you must obtain consent from the franchisor which cannot be unreasonably withheld. The franchisor usually has the first right of refusal to purchase your franchise business if you decide to sell.

If the franchisor waives their right to buy the franchise, then it’s your responsibility to find a suitable buyer. The franchisor may have an interested party who wants to purchase your business, but it’s likely that they will charge a fee for finding your replacement. Either way, the prospective franchisee will have to go through the same recruitment process as you and your partner did to ensure they’re a suitable candidate.

Like any relationship, the connection you have with your franchise business partner will evolve. For this reason, it’s crucial to your success that you clarify details such as financial contributions, roles, responsibilities and partner exits right from the beginning. If these issues aren't agreed and documented before you go into business together, they can jeopardise the success of your franchise in the long run.

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