The family owned franchise – making it work

For business owners, working with family can be a highly rewarding venture.  Not only do you already know these people well and understand their strengths and weaknesses, you also get to share in your successes with loved ones. 

However, as many will know (and perhaps have experienced), there is the potential for issues to arise when running a company with family members, particularly as it becomes harder to keep your family and professional lives separate.  Circumstances such as poor market conditions or stressful financial situations can see emotions run high and relationships damaged (sometimes irreparably) as well as awkward circumstances come about with non-family members of staff.

It is therefore important for business owners, including those of real estate franchises, to remain aware of the potential risks that can arise when working with family members as well as the ways that these can be managed – in order to ensure the success of their franchise operations. 

Acknowledge the situation from the outset
Before purchasing a franchise with the intention of working with family members, real estate principals should talk through the situation with the relations who are to be involved.  This discussion should see responsibilities clearly delegated with salaries and remuneration specified – reducing the probability of confusion and upset down the track.
 
Don’t take work home
When working with family members there is certainly the temptation to simply carry on work-related conversations and debates after you leave the office.  Try to avoid this where possible – not only does it limit the interests you are able to enjoy outside of work, it also has the potential to alienate family members who are not involved in your business. 

Avoid bringing family issues to work
While working with loved ones might be highly enjoyable for you as the owner of a franchise, you also need to consider the working environment that you are creating for unrelated members of staff.  Being caught up in family squabbles or non-work related issues will not be enjoyable for your other members of staff, and you risk losing good quality agents if you bring such family issues to work.  In addition, too many public displays of affection can serve to make your staff uncomfortable and should be avoided. 

Despite the potential for issues to arise when working with family, there is no doubt that family owned and run organisations can be highly successful and rewarding ventures.  By acknowledging and taking steps to avoid the problems that have the potential to occur, franchise owners will better position themselves to achieve success while working prosperously with loved ones. 

Posted by George Tarbey on 27/04/2012 at 4:01 PM | Categories:

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