By What Franchise
Over the years I’ve noticed a rise in families investing in franchises, which adds to the diverse background of franchising, as evident in the 2018 British Franchise Association NatWest franchise survey.
I believe this is because families have distinctive traits that are essential to building a business and are hard to replicate. Some of these assets can be trust, loyalty and commitment. These values have long embodied family led businesses and are the reason why 88 per cent of businesses are family owned, according to the Institute for Family Business UK.
The franchise industry is known for creating a community of help and support. So going on the journey with someone you trust will only add to the appeal.
Starting a business from scratch, even with family, is no easy feat. With franchising, however, you will have a tried and tested system, along with an established name, behind you. Not only this, but a good franchisor will want the people it recruits to own and operate the franchise to succeed. This creates a culture of support and ensures a franchisee receives as much training and guidance as they need.
Steve and Stan Barlow, a father and son franchisee team for Mr. Electric Cornwall and Plymouth, agrees. Steve says: “My father came from a sales and marketing background and liked the idea of owning a local electrical company. He always felt local marketing was not enough and unfortunately we had also lost a lot of contracts to larger companies. “My dad felt that by joining Mr. Electric, a national network, we would be able to compete in these markets again.”
Steve decided to join the business with his dad after finishing his law and business degree and found it was just the challenge he was looking for. He adds: “I liked the proven systems a franchise offers, coupled with the training and ongoing professional support to help you run the business.”
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea spending working days with family and it certainly has some drawbacks.
“It can be tough at times and although we don’t live together, it can still be stressful and emotional,” Steve says.
“On the other hand, it’s great to spend time working with your family, as you share a common interest and want the business to succeed.”
Steve and Stan have been running their business for 30 years, building a family enterprise they can potentially pass on to the next generation.
“I never imagined I would ever go into business with my father, but we are still working in harmony together,” Steve says.
Family enterprises are built with a sense of purpose and members take pride in their business like many others would not.
If you believe you could work with a brother, mother or best friend, do it. You never know what you could build if you combine your skills, knowledge and, most importantly, values.