Family franchising: what its means to be in business with family members


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Family in business together - Franchising

When it comes to franchising you’ll find that blood is indeed thicker than water. The franchising world is full of husband and wife teams, with the children often getting involved in the business themselves. You’ll also see that many established franchisors built their success with significant family involvement.

Why are family-owned franchises so successful? The family support (during and after work) together with the franchisor’s proven methods are a winning combination. It’s for this reason that many franchisors have a preference for selecting family teams.

But like any family-owned business, working with family in a franchise operation is not without its perils! In this edition of the newsletter we navigate the pros and cons of family franchising.

When business is personal

No family is the same and these pros and cons will apply differently according to the unique set of family dynamics. While you may love your partner, you may not want to spend all your daylight hours with the same person. Likewise, make sure that you’ve resolved any longstanding issues if you want to go into business with your parents, children or other family members. Success or failure changes family – make sure that you’re equipped to handle both.

Pros and Cons of franchising with family thumbs up and downPros and cons

There are many pros to having a family-owned business:

  • Removes much of the loneliness of being an entrepreneur.
  • Real support and understanding from family members involved.
  • A deeper awareness of colleagues’ weaknesses and strengths.
  • The chance to build a family asset that can be inherited.
  • Secure employment opportunities for family members.
  • A high level of trust.
  • Great real-life business lessons for children.
  • May be easier to expand to a second operation.
  • A united force in the face of adversity.
  • A warm family culture may spill over to other employees.
  • Having a built-in holiday staff relieves pressure and helps to handle extra holiday volume.

Then there are the cons:

  • Financial risk is not diversified and business failure will affect the whole family.
  • Tensions in the business can bring up longstanding family issues.
  • Talented non-family members may be side-lined.
  • May create a ‘them’ and ‘us’ scenarios with employees.
  • Problems in the business may hurt important relationships.
  • May be claustrophobic for some family members.
  • Performance-management of family members may be difficult.
  • You may not want to see obvious weaknesses in a spouse, parent or child.
  • Not having the time to ‘shutdown’ and stop thinking about the business.

CautionProceed with optimistic caution

There are many family franchising success stories and some unfortunate failures.

Here are some of the things to consider before jumping into business together:

  1. Can you spend long periods of time with each other without getting irritated?
  2. Do you trust your family member completely?
  3. Do you have similar viewpoints regarding money?
  4. Do you share the same level of enthusiasm for the business?
  5. Are you able to talk about issues without using hurtful comments?
  6. Do you have a similar work ethic?
  7. How do you all react to hard times?
  8. Are there are unresolved issues in the relationship?

Franchising lends itself well to families who want to build a business together. However, all family members must be willing to pull together and each be competent enough for the franchise to be a success.

Start your family business dream today

Many types of franchises are well-suited to family businesses. From food franchises where the long hours can be shared or a retail operation where family members can fill in during the holiday season. Whatever your shared preference, there are countless, great family choices on www.whichfranchise.co.za

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