Will Your Franchise be a Family Business? Pros and Cons
The idea of working with family generally comes with mixed reviews. Whether you've done it or not, you've heard the stories about how "it's hard to work with family" and that "lines will be crossed," and so on. Then again, you might hear some positives, such as how workers get to spend more time with loved ones, and how it's difficult to work with anyone, so why not be around your next of kin?
Bottom line – the review you'll get on working with family members all depends on who you ask.
When determining if it's for you, look at some previous outcomes before making a commitment for or against family professionalism. That way you're well informed on what could go wrong (and everything that can go right!) before opening up shop.
Financial situations can be sticky in the best of times, let alone when family members are involved. Be well aware of this from day one, even before you get into talking stages with your franchise. If you plan to work with other members, be sure everyone is on the same page with funding, profits, and especially debts. This is true when co-owning with blood, if you're looking to family to help finance, and more.
Whatever takes place, get it in writing. You might think this isn't necessary with relation, but that's exactly why it is necessary. Hopefully nothing goes wrong. But just in case it does – or to keep things from going awry in the first place – having a signed contract will help remind everyone of their individual responsibilities.
Another way to look at it is that paperwork can never hurt – after all, it's holding all sides accountable, not just a single member. However, it could greatly hurt, should proper documents not be in place.
The Pecking Order
Who's the boss? When co-owning, it's best to set aside specific duties. Then again, you might be franchising with a brother or cousin with whom you readily compliment one another. (Oftentimes this is why family chooses to own businesses together in the first place.) Or you might be waiting to find your groove – that's ok too. But when two parties are of equal stature, be prepared to compromise. This might not always be the case, but until you learn who's best at what, try to refrain from knock-down drag-outs.
Then again, if you're hiring family to help round out your workforce, consider how it will feel to "boss" around your aunt, or daughter, or nephew. Then consider how they might react. There is no need for a power struggle or to "prove" you're in charge. Instead, remain professional and a respectable leader and they will naturally fall into a work groove. This is true of any boss, but it's even more important when working with family members.
Other aspects to consider are payment terms (who's eligible for a raise or promotion, and when), how will days off be handled – especially when you're all trying to go on the same family vacation – and so on.
"Getting to Know You"
There are also plenty of positives to working with family. So long as you learn to not hurt one another's feelings (or to get over it when you do), you can turn your franchise into a well-oiled machine, and quickly! Because you're already comfortable with those you work with, you don't have to worry about developing trust. You already know them, and vice versa, meaning you can get a jump on into normal business settling … this is a move that provides you with more success, earlier on.
Besides, working as a family allots you more time together, it provides a united hobby and skillset, and you can work on marketing the business together. As a group effort, you can see better success while working as a team to grow the entire operation.
Of course, working with family members isn't for everyone. If you're considering franchising with those you love (or even hiring them on as employees once you're up and running), consider the above for a better outlook on what to expect.
For more franchising tips and trips, check out our previous blogs or get in touch today.