Should You Start a Franchise With Your Family Members?
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Did your family ever spent the holidays discussing possibly opening a franchise together in the New Year?
These kinds of conversations about the future are plentiful during a season infused with joy, laughter, and togetherness. That togetherness can feel so exciting and inviting that extending it into the New Year by opening a new business together as siblings, cousins, or parents and children makes sense. Likewise, starting a franchise is a wise decision if the family is ready to bring in more financial stability.
While the conversations and future financial plans, in theory, seem exciting, there are a few ground rules you’ll want to keep in mind as you embark on this journey together as a family unit.
Start by Solidifying the Purpose of Starting the Franchise
The cornerstone of starting a franchise is to share the same purpose and desired outcome for your family. Without solidifying the purpose of your new franchise endeavors, you risk creating a rift of misalignment from the outset.
Start your conversations by solidifying and committing to a shared purpose for the new franchise. What do you hope to accomplish? What do you hope to get out of starting this together as a family team? What are your clear, measurable goals for the franchise?
Clarifying these before any dollar, sweat, or tear is invested will help you stay grounded in your family’s mission and working in harmony.
Acknowledge Individual Strengths
Each family member has their own unique strengths. Some family members might be better at accounting than others. Some might prefer networking and getting out in the community while others prefer to stay behind the scenes.
Acknowledge what each family member brings to the table. Then, commit to allowing each family member to lean into their strengths as you start and grow your franchise.
Plan for Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution
Without clear and effective communication strategies, a franchise will fall apart quickly. Your family must know how to work together in good times and in bad. As strong as you might be in your family communications, it’s still a wise idea to establish clear communication processes for your business too. It’s these communication strategies that’ll keep you together during new opportunities or unexpected challenges.
There are a few key concepts to think through when starting a franchise as a family unit:
- How will you actively listen to each other to make sure everyone feels heard and understood throughout the decision-making process?
- How will you communicate, and how often will you meet to sync up on the business?
- How will you resolve conflicts as they arise?
End Toxic Family Patterns
Family members who want to start a business together tend to be closer. Oftentimes, that closeness means that they speak to each other differently than strangers or colleagues would. Sometimes, those communication styles can instill toxic communication patterns. For example, it’s common for children to tell their parents or siblings, “you always…” or “you never…”
Commit to abandoning those absolute phrases and opening yourself up to a new communication pattern when working together. In doing so, you’ll keep an open mind to each other’s ideas and expertise. In doing so, you’ll be able to work better together and create a stronger foundation for success as a family team.
Working together as a family comes with unique hurdles but those hurdles are not insurmountable. In solidifying your vision, purpose, and communication strategies up front, families can be very successful at starting a franchise without eroding family bonds.
Kimberly Crossland is the founder of Roadpreneur and Cruisin' + Campfires, two companies designed to keep families together and living in freedom through travel and entrepreneurship. The goal of both businesses is to inspire meaningful change through the power of a strategic, thoughtful approach to life and business. In her free time, you can find her looking for a new adventure together with her two boys.