Starting a new business is rewarding and hugely satisfying but sometimes it can also put a great strain on relationships within a family. To begin with, the launching of a venture usually involves assuming more active responsibility for family finances, which can be stressful in itself. The possibility of working longer hours can also place an additional strain on family life, as does the pressure to succeed. A very useful method for combatting these difficulties is for the new franchise to become a family enterprise, sometimes with children and extended family involved as well.
It’s an accepted fact and no surprise to us that small and medium-sized enterprises run as family businesses have a higher success rate than those that aren’t. They also generally make for a much happier working environment as well. In our experience, partnerships work very well – including husband-and-wife and father-and-son teams – especially when the people involved have complementary skills. One may be a very practical and hands-on sort of person, while the other has organisational and clerical skills.
Also, younger family members are often more accustomed to using social media than their parents, which enables them to contribute to the new venture. Writing regular Facebook posts and Instagramming great photos are both powerful marketing tools, ones that cost nothing but can have a big impact on raising brand awareness and boosting sales.
At the very least, even if your family isn’t actively supporting your venture, you have to be certain you have their full backing because they will share the ups and downs that come with being self-employed. For example, while you might be willing to make sacrifices in the early stages of establishing your business, your partner and family also have to be on board with the idea. It could be anything and everything from skipping your usual annual holiday to not making it home for dinner with the kids every night because you want to fit in more work.
An experienced franchisor will recognise and understand these interpersonal dynamics and use them to the best advantage for franchisees. We encourage our franchisees to have the active or emotional support of their families, ideally both, and to be confident they are not just going along with it to keep you happy.
This is why a lot of emphasis should be focused not just on making sure you have a strong relationship with your franchisor but that your family are standing alongside you as well as behind you.