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To Partner or Not to Partner?

By: Bill Bradley


To Partner or Not to Partner

There’s safety in numbers. Right? Choosing to franchise with a business partner can seem like a safe choice. There’s someone to contribute to the franchise investment, someone to share operational responsibilities with plus an extra perspective and skillset. Business partners can make franchising less risky but they can also add a layer of interpersonal drama.

Sticky Situations

Starting a franchise, just like starting any other business, can be stressful. There are permits to file, suppliers to hire and employees to interview, in addition to the responsibilities of daily life. Having a business partner can help take some of the tasks off of your plate. But, if there are any hiccups along the way, a business partner can add to your stress.

Being in a partnership means you can’t call all of the shots. Sometimes your partner will be the decision-maker. And you might not agree with every choice. Should you tell your partner you disagree? Do you try to undo the decision? Can you undo the decision? These are questions that you’ll have to answer. Hopefully you can minimize conflict, but unless you have a completely silent financial partner, conflict is likely to happen. And that’s okay! Littles quarrels are sure to pop up, but as long as both partners handle them maturely, your business should be fine.

If the little quarrels can’t be handled maturely, it could affect the business. Your staff will surely notice any rifts and, depending on the issue, it can divide them as well. A divided team just doesn’t function as well.

New Views

Ideally, business partners resolve all issues quickly, quietly and privately. Disagreement is a byproduct of differing perspectives, which can be a good thing. Having multiple points of view will allow you to understand more of your employees and customers, making it easier to connect.

A good business partner is someone with some knowledge or skill that you don’t already possess. Are you great with dogs, but inexperienced with accounting? Then it might be handy to have a partner with a background in finance before opening your pet franchise. Franchisees are business owners and business owners do it all. A breadth of experience is helpful.

Investment Protection

Franchising as a partnership also has financial benefits. Opening a franchise location is obviously a big investment. It can be a little less daunting when someone else is helping you cover franchise fees, construction costs and payroll.

You can’t be too careful when it comes to choosing a franchising business partner. How long have you known the person? Do you consider him or her to be successful? What is his or her professional background? Also think about the skills and talents you bring to the table. Why should they want to partner with you? Thinking about yourself from this perspective will also prepare you to pitch yourself to a potential franchisor. 

To Partner or Not to Partner

Franchising with a business partner can make starting a business easier, but there are pros and cons to partnership. If you are prepared to handle quarrels maturely and share responsibilities, business partnership could be right for you.

Published: October 24, 2019

Source: America's Best Franchises

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Bill Bradley

Bill Bradley

Bill Bradley is founding member and CEO of America’s Best Franchises, LLC.  Bill founded three financial services firms, Ocean Shores Ventures, Denali International and William Bradley Enterprises. In addition, to launching America’s Best Franchises in 2005, Bill orchestrated approximately 20 private equity transactions in excess of $31 million, and launched five specific purpose private equity partnerships.

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