Franchises and Families

Family owned businesses are an American tradition.  Long before the term came into existence in 1951, ‘mom and pop’ businesses could be found in every corner of the country.  But in a fragile economy, starting a family business from scratch is a risky move, and so increasingly over the last few years, Mom and Pop have been exploring the option of owning a franchise business instead.

In times when a college degree doesn’t guarantee a job, creating economic security for oneself and one’s family seems to be a better option than ever. Franchisors often look favorably on franchise candidates who are entering the business with a spouse, partner, sibling or child.  At Kiddie Academy, some of our most successful franchisees work with family members.

But running a franchise business with family members doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, you may have to work even harder at balancing your personal and work life, as the lines can be easily blurred.

Thinking about franchise business ownership with a family member?  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you create and stick to boundaries? Family businesses are more successful when pet names stay at home and workplace issues stay at work. Setting and enforcing boundaries is key to a professional workplace.
  • Can you agree to set up structures for formal communication? Job descriptions must be clearly defined, expectations should be written out, and family members must be prepared to discuss their professional weaknesses openly and objectively. 
  • Are you comfortable creating a business partnership agreement? No one wants to plan for family members needing to part ways professionally, but families equipped with a legal partnership agreement are often the least likely to need them. 

If you answered yes to the above questions, you’re a great candidate to open a franchise business with a family member. Franchisors want to see that families are ready, willing and able to do the work that it takes to build professional relationships.  If all members are fiercely committed to making the business succeed, franchising with the family can be a rewarding experience.  

Have you experienced working with family in a business setting?   Share your stories, questions and comments below.

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