Always dreamed of running a franchise with your family? Here are five reasons why it might be the best decision you’ll ever make, whether you’re a parent planning to pass your business on or a child about to have mum or dad as your co-owner.
Wondering about the advantages of working with your family? Running a franchise with the people closest to you can be a fantastic experience, and you’re not likely to find a more tight-knit team than those that share genes. Whether you’re ready to take the plunge or need a bit of convincing, here are five of the biggest plus points about running a family business.
1. You know each other’s strengths and weaknesses
As we’ve mentioned in this series’ other articles, you know your family better than anyone else. And while this can lead to frustration, it’s also a massive benefit. When working for someone else, it’s tempting to sugar-coat your worst habits to make yourself a more appealing business partner or employee. Your family have seen you at your very worst, so they’ll know exactly which situations you don’t thrive in. This means you can all handle a part of the franchise that plays to your strengths, without the embarrassment of disclosing your weaknesses to someone you don’t know.
Let’s say a family member is shy but is excellent at coming up with marketing materials and writing press releases. In a traditional marketing role, they’d have to deal with clients or the public to put their talents to good use, which may put them off the role altogether. When you’re running a family business, you can share responsibilities and define everyone’s role based on what they’re good at, rather than assigning one specialism (like marketing, accounting, new business) all to one person.
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2. You can pass your business down
Having a successful family business that you can pass on to your kids and grandkids sounds like a dream, but it can be hard to achieve in reality. The statistics say that a large portion of business owners – some 85 percent – would prefer their business to continue under the leadership of their children, but a much smaller number – around 30 percent – see this transition occur. And among those that do, less than a third will still be in business three years later.
Starting a franchise will give your business a better chance when it comes to longevity, as you’ll be buying into a business model that’s tried and tested. Some of the world’s biggest franchises, including Kumon and Dunkin’, have been around for more than half a century, so it’s highly likely your location will still be around for the next generation to take over. Even if your kids change their minds about taking your operations over, you will have built a successful business under a respected brand name, which will be a highly attractive prospect to buyers.
3. You’ve got a ready-made workforce
If your children are young – of high school age or below – this might be the time to gauge their interest in your franchise and introduce them to the responsibility and rewards of running a business. Once they’re old enough, you could offer them a part-time job. It will allow them to earn money and develop confidence while getting a glimpse into what your business is all about. Make sure they’re treated in the same way as any other employee to avoid creating a sense of entitlement – or worse, playing favourites above the hard-working staff you already employ.
It's not just kids that can join your business. If you’ve got a family member that’s thinking about retiring, but doesn’t want to slow down completely, you can offer them a flexible role within your franchise. Your mum or dad can take on the admin or give you a helping hand with clients one or two days a week. It’s the perfect solution if your business hasn’t yet expanded enough to warrant a full-time employee, but there’s a bit too much on your plate.
4. You’ll see each other in a better light
Families always get on each other’s nerves, but you might see a different side to your relatives once you start working together. The stubborn streak that’s always annoyed you about your brother could become your business’ best weapon. It could push him to pursue new leads or devote hours to tedious tasks because of his determination, which will help your franchise grow. Similarly, your family member’s tendency to fuss over little details could be your saving grace, as they’ll be the go-to for any tasks that need an extra-careful pair of eyes on them.
Once your business flourishes into a profitable entity, you’ll be grateful for your relatives’ little quirks. Make sure you address any habits or traits that aren’t doing your business any good, though. If determination turns to unproductive stubbornness, it could leave you pursuing pointless leads and harm your business’ reputation. Just because your colleagues or business partners are family doesn’t mean you can’t call them out (in a professional, constructive way) on their behaviour.
>> Read more:
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 1)
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 2)
- New Year, New Career: No Better Time Than Now to Start a Franchise Today
- Franchising 101: 8 Signs You're Ready to Start a Franchise
- Starting a New Business Doesn't Always Lead to Immediate Success: Here Are 5 Ways to Change That
- It's Never Too Late to Start a New Business
5. You’ll always have support
Starting a franchise can be tough, even if you’ve got a supportive franchisor, so it’s vital you’ve got other people to rely on during tricky times. If you’re in business with your family, they’ll understand what you’re going through. You can prop each other up during the difficult first few months and you’ll have better empathy for each other than a business partner or colleague might. When you’ve got your parent, sibling or other family members by your side, you won’t need to worry about things alone.
Make sure you keep work and family time separate, though. It can be easy to find yourself always talking about work if you’re in business with a family member, so set boundaries and find time to enjoy each other’s company away from your business. Fail to do so and you risk burnout or arguments as you never have time to relax.
Building your enterprise
Running a business with family can be hugely rewarding, and there are lots of plus points to teaming up with your closest relatives. As long as you avoid sibling-squabbles and treat each other with the same respect as a colleague or business partners, you could be on the road to profit.
Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©