The International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG) is a membership-based franchise consulting network with more than 1,300 franchisors, franchise consultants and vendor members. IFPG members work together to support the needs of aspiring business owners looking to invest in a franchise.
If you’re an entrepreneur—whether a husband and wife team or otherwise—you’ve probably considered franchising as a business option at one time or another. With the right education and guidance from certified professionals, franchising can offer the independence and flexibility of entrepreneurship while also providing the backing of an established brand.
Before you jump into a franchise, it’s important to understand the business model and associated costs. Here, we’ll provide some answers to frequently asked questions about franchises, with a particular focus on the opportunities and considerations specifically for husband and wife business teams.
What Is a Franchise?
Simply put, a franchise is a business model in which an established business—known as the franchisor—grants an individual (or group) the right to open a location and offer goods or services under the franchisor’s name and brand.
The franchisor sets up the framework and rules for the business, while the franchisee—the individual owning the franchise—has to abide by the guidelines and pay a franchise fee. In most cases, the franchisor will provide training and support for the franchisee.
What Are Common Forms of Franchise Financing?
For a franchisee, the first step is to finance the initial franchise fee and any associated costs with launching a business.
The most common form of financing is a startup loan. These loans are offered by lenders through franchises, and typically offer competitive terms and additional perks such as discounted royalty fees or free advertising.
For husband and wife teams, a joint loan application can help make the most of their collective borrowing power and combine their credit histories. And, married couples may also be eligible for alternate programs such as the Small Business Administration’s VetFran program, which provides reduced financial requirements for military veterans and their spouses.
What Are the Benefits of a Franchise for Husband and Wife Teams?
Husband and wife business teams bring unique advantages to their franchises, from shared business skills to a personal understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. With the right franchisor support, couples can enjoy more flexibility in their working lives, allowing them to pursue their individual goals while still making a contribution to their business.
Franchisees can also enjoy access to the franchisor’s established reputation, marketing and advertising programs, and source for customers. An additional benefit is the ability to pass the business down to their children and future generations, as well as the continued income for current business owners.
What Common Roles Do Husband and Wife Teams Often Take?
Typically, husband and wife teams tend to find a balance in which each partner takes on different roles and responsibilities. The wife might focus on the operations of the business—such as customer service, product knowledge and team building—while the husband tends to take a more analytical approach and focus on marketing and financial planning.
Whether you choose to share individual roles or divide and conquer, the division of labor is a key factor in franchising success. It’s important to establish individual roles early and create clear expectations for each partner, with the goal of having all individuals within the team feel valued and appreciated.
What Are Some Recommendations for Husband and Wife Franchise Teams?
When you’re splitting franchise ownership responsibilities between two people, it’s crucial to maintain a respectful and healthy dynamics. Here are some tips to consider when you’re running a franchise business as a husband and wife team:
1. Set clear expectations. Before launching your franchise, create a list of individual roles and responsibilities, and make sure to clearly communicate these to all team members.
2. Establish ground rules. Come to an agreement about how decisions are made, and make sure everyone on the team follows them.
3. Respect each other’s ideas and opinions. When one partner presents a business idea, the other should take the time to really listen and process it.
4. Take regular breaks. Schedule regular breaks so that each partner can spend some time away from the business to relax and rejuvenate.
5. Believe in each other’s abilities. The success of any business starts with belief in oneself and one’s business partner. Encourage each other and remind yourselves of the progress already made, and the possibilities for success that lie ahead.
Whether you’re a husband and wife team or a single individual, careful planning and preparation is a key factor for a successfully operated franchise. Knowing what to expect and taking the right steps to create a well-organised, healthy franchise team can help you achieve your business goals and dreams.