While doing business with a family member may seem like an obvious choice, it can be risky. Most individuals find it impossible to fire a family member, and as a result, ongoing business disagreements can erode relationships and potentially involve an entire extended family, AllBusiness.com reports. But with careful planning and good communication, a family owned franchise can avoid a disagreeable business and family arrangement.
As with any business partner, familial franchisees should make sure that business vision and expectations align prior to signing any contracts, the Web site writes. Although family members have known each other for all their lives, it is important to not allow things to go unsaid. Making assumptions is a surefire way to broker trouble.
Family members can avoid stepping on each other’s toes by also carefully defining roles and delegating tasks. Tim Jones, co-franchisee of 1-800-GOT-JUNK with sister Deb Jones, told All Business, “We don’t micromanage each other. We may disagree on some issues, but we have been able to come to a decision after talking about the issue.”
Additionally, family franchisees should not be afraid of hiring low-level employees to handle tasks that would be a waste of time for them. However, this does not mean they should continue to hire within the family. Only if family members are the most qualified candidates and are passionate about the work should franchisees “keep it in the family,” the Web site reports.
Lastly, just because family members do business together does not mean that business should be brought home. Arguing over a family dinner with a franchise partner is not only bad for the family, but bad for business.
Yet when family members carefully plan and communicate, the benefits can be great. “When family operators can divide up roles and responsibilities correctly, it works like no other management team could,” James Sinclair, owner of OnSite Consulting, told All Business.
When choosing which sibling to work with, potential franchisees might want to take a good look at their younger siblings. According to Ben Dattner, a business consultant and professor at New York University, younger siblings have diplomatic, creative and flexible qualities that make them good entrepreneurs, BusinessWeek writes.
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