Balance is Key for Husband-and-Wife Franchise Owners
There is a famous saying: “the couple that plays together, stays together.” But what about the couple that works together? While it can be difficult, married couples have found success together as franchise business owners. But should spouses go into business together? What are the advantages and disadvantages for married business owners?
If couples who have succeeded together in the past are any indication, then the answer is yes. The evidence is seen in many industries from window cleaning franchises to vending businesses. Before going into business with your spouse, it is important to have a balance between your marriage and your professional life. For married couples, business ownership can be a dream come true or a nightmare depending on how they handle it.
Franchising offers couples many benefits, including a proven system with support and training. This is what makes owning a franchise attractive for husband-and-wife teams. It is also beneficial for a couple to own and operate a franchise because they can divide and conquer. For example, one person can run the administrative aspects of the business, including ordering inventory and dealing with sales, while the other spouse focuses on customers and marketing.
There are downsides for franchisee couples, as well. Having a work-life balance can be difficult since you are both running the same business and household. But here are ways that couples can effectively run a franchise business together.
Agree on the Business Goals
Couples should agree on the direction of the business. Do they want to expand the business with multiple locations or are they satisfied with one? Couples should examine every aspect of the business before diving in.
Define Responsibilities and Roles
Each spouse should clearly identify their responsibilities for the business in order to run it efficiently. These responsibilities and roles can be determined by personality type and skillset. For example, the more extroverted spouse could deal with vendors and customers. The more introverted spouse could do more behind-the-scenes administrative tasks such as dealing with finances and inventory count.
Ask for Help
Asking for help can be difficult. This is especially true for couples who may be too prideful to admit when they need assistance. But this is a mistake! Your spouse wants the best for you, so ask for help when you need it.
It’s hard to build a strong relationship without respect. For a couple to succeed in business together, they have to respect each other as spouses and business partners. Couples should be aware if they have trust or boundary issues as well as how they take criticism. It is also important to balance that criticism with praise. While it may be hard to find fault when your spouse does something wrong, it will benefit you as business partners to be honest and respectful with praise and criticism.
Have Different Interests
There may be virtually no time you will be away from your spouse while running a business and household together. Thus, it is essential that you find different interests and hobbies outside of the business. This will help you have something that is your own and separate from your business and marriage.
Working with a Franchise Consultant
Couples are motivated to see each other succeed and already know each other very well, which can help them balance out each other’s weaknesses. One of the best ways to see if franchising is right for you and your spouse is to work with a franchise consultant. Husband-and-wife teams can come up with an excellent list of questions to ask the franchise consultant. As they say, two heads are better than one. In this case, one partner may think of questions the other might not even consider.
For example, if the wife is interested in marketing and building relationships, she may want to know more about franchisors with advertising campaigns. On the other hand, if the husband is more financially focused, he may inquire about brands with financing options and great earning potential.
Should Spouses Own and Operate a Franchise Together?
Married couples have found success with franchise ownership, but there are considerations for them to discuss. Before buying a franchise, spouses should agree on their business goals, define their roles and responsibilities, ask each other for help, and have interests outside of work. While there are benefits of couples having shared interests, having separate hobbies can reduce the stresses of franchise ownership.