The One Simple Secret to Helping Life Partners Become Successful Business Partners

The One Simple Secret to Helping Life Partners Become Successful Business Partners

As a Franchise Consultant, I help people take the leap into successful business decisions. We all have principles that guide our work, and my First Principle is that I need to have the partner/spouse involved in the research process from the very beginning. While I can only guess about how financially impactful decisions are made at your house, I very rarely hear a spouse say they do not want to be included in the decision about business ownership. And you can’t be part of a decision if you are not part of the discussion.

I am reminded of the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”

So much truth to those seven words.

Everything’s better when you do it together
From the time I began my business consulting gig, I have maintained a daily commitment to keep three things at the forefront of your business decision:

  1. your wife
  2. your life
  3. and your money.

(Pardon the rhyme, as women are increasingly driving the ownership decision)

I take it as a personal challenge to make certain you and your partner both thoroughly research each brand to understand what your roles and responsibilities are, and then make appropriate decisions relative to protecting your family relationships and the time you value spending together.

I learned the hard way…
When I was much younger, I was married to a man who had a dream to quit his job and own a business. He went to a Franchise Expo in Chicago, met with a number of companies there, and came to a conclusion: we would invest in a haircare concept because everyone needs a haircut. Cha-ching!

The problem was that our money was held in a joint account. It was not WE, but HE, who was making a decision that created a disconnect for ME. While I was definitely interested in making more money, I was not keen about a business that operated seven days a week and required constant staffing efforts.

Although we got started together, he wanted to throw in the towel about six months after our Grand Opening. Why? We were financially bleeding to death while being held hostage by a manager unable to retain stylists. I was angry about the time, the money, and the disruption to our lifestyle.

…how to do it the right way
Turning around that first Great Clips location required a few things:

  1. Stop thinking that we “knew better” and start following the franchise’s existing, proven system, including marketing and staffing
  2. Honestly assess employee behavior and weed out those who were not customer
  3. Create a culture that nourished and encouraged better attendance and productivity
  4. Listen to customer feedback about both negative and positive experiences

Once those four things were addressed, I was astonished at how rapidly revenue grew. When the employee culture pivoted into one where the stylists trusted each other, their “deliverable” to the customer improved, and that changed our client and employee retention numbers. That is a recipe for success!

Confidence to turn around a poorly performing business became confidence to open and more locations. The fact that I had found the world’s best manager (and future business partner) meant that I could focus on Big Picture Growth and Expansion while she focused on employee-specific results.

As your business consultant, I first get to know you through conversations about your work history and skill-set preferences, as well as your household dynamics. We collectively discuss your short and long-term goals to understand how this business will add to your happiness and financial well-being. In preserving your primary relationship, we address division of labor as well as covering household expenses.

The Moral of the Story? Joint decisions are important
The current hiring economy is robust, but if you consider owning a business instead, your role must be mutually defined for household continuity. You may want (need) to keep an income generating job while getting the business launched. Perhaps you are out of work and looking for a business to fill the voids in your professional life while living off savings until the business generates real income. In either scenario, you can see how important it is to be aligned with your spouse in the decision, because this is first an investment in the future, with financial rewards increasing with each passing year.

If you and your partner are interested in exploring owning a business together, let’s chat!

Read My Debut Column for Forbes

Read My Debut Column for Forbes

My first column for Forbes Coaches Council has been published on!

Over the course of my life, writing has been a passion. I think it is also part of my DNA, so I come by it naturally. As a franchise consultant who advises investor groups and individuals on making carefully researched business decisions, and being “a student of humanity” with a counseling background, I have spent my career understanding the psychology of business investing. No one escapes the fear of making a bad decision, and every person has a point of view that enlightens my navigational skills with others.

Writing about that helps me to sharpen my focus on what makes people happy and motivated to move forward with a decision, or what creates fear and uncertainty that holds them back. 

Forbes Coaches Council is a collection of business professionals with valuable insights and excellent writing talent (and editing!). I am thrilled to be associated with this esteemed publication and its readership.

Check out my debut column, then send me an email and let me know what you think!

Absentee and Semi-Absentee Franchise Ownership Options

Absentee and Semi-Absentee Franchise Ownership Options

What is Absentee Franchise Ownership?

Absentee Franchise Ownership is the act of owning a franchise business without working there. Instead, you hire a team of experts to handle the day-to-day operations. Semi-Absentee Franchise Ownership is owning your own franchise business, and contributing minimally to the day-to-day operations. (Think: a few hours each week.)

On a routine basis, I am asked if it’s possible to successfully own a franchise business while keeping a job.

The perception is that you can only do one thing or the other, and that Job and Business are somehow mutually exclusive. The truth is, you can own a franchise while working a job, and there are two different ways of doing it.

As women, we multi-task every day without exclusion of income generating opportunities. When it comes to keeping your job and owning a franchise, it’s not a matter of IF it’s possible, but rather HOW to do it.

Major Change That Doesn’t Mean Changing The Things You Love Most

Think about it this way: if you have a spouse, kids, job, and hobbies, you should be a business owner.  Why? Because you are already juggling and delegating.

Remember when your first child arrived, and you gave it all of your time and energy? Your world revolved around the little bundle of joy. But you didn’t just become a parent and give up everything else. Like me, you were dividing your efforts while keeping your house in order. Somehow everyone got love and attention, and you figured out how to make sure everyone survived, thrived, and got to do fun stuff along the way.

I bought my first business when I was in my early 30s. I already had a full-time job, was married, started a family, and had a lot of fun hobbies. My most valued hobbies were pilates, high-speed driving events, and long weekends on the prairie with chainsaws and tractors. And when I became a business owner, I didn’t quit doing a single thing.

Yes, I needed to adjust a few things to make sure that what brought me joy continued to be an active part of my life, but I wanted to make the most of what business ownership had to offer. Flexibility and freedom were at the top of my list to achieve work/life balance.

Being In Business For Yourself Doesn’t Mean Being In Business By Yourself

Every stage of life brings new distractions. (When are we NOT busy?)  Timing is everything, and there are some events that make even a passive investment unwise. But even in those most challenging moments, you surround yourself with helpers, and that’s what owning a franchise is like: Being in business for yourself, but not by yourself. A rule of thumb it is that you must be completely honest with yourself about your enthusiasm and energy to stay the course, even when there are distractions.

Let Your Passions Be Your Prosperity

People talk about owning something you’re passionate about.  I find great joy in making more money, employing people with great jobs. It is not about the widget, it is about helping people find a great job or career and building it alongside them. For me, building this wealth means diversification with strategies that match my own personal and financial bandwidth. Being financially secure gives me options and expanding my net worth has always brought a great deal of personal satisfaction. The key to making sure you experience this same self-satisfaction is finding the right option(s) to diversify, so that you can continue to do more and earn more.

Three Things To Consider When Entering Franchise Ownership

The first thing you need to consider is WHY you want to invest in a business. What key benefits are you expecting to gain and when? Knowing why you want to invest will help you focus your daily activities on what will be most effective in achieving your desired outcome. Determine your short and long-term goals so that your vision is clear as to how this diversification will strengthen your portfolio.

The second thing you need to consider is the strength of the franchise system and its technology backbone. Many franchise brands are created by serial entrepreneurs who already operate multiple businesses, so from the top down, or from the ground up, these founders require immediate gratification of knowing how the business is operating every minute of the day. If you are going to diversify, that same information technology will allow you to monitor, in real time, all aspects of the day-to-day operations, productivity, marketing, inventory, etc.

Another consideration for a passive investment is whether the franchisor has other owners who are diversified or passive. You have a much higher probability for success if the system itself is designed for you to be an interloper, hire “industry experts,” and not be present on a regular basis. For example, any system that encourages a multiple-unit investment is telling you that their infrastructure is in place to allow you to manage remotely. I represent dozens of brands that actively seek busy people for ownership because the franchisor knows that busy people are decisive and delegate responsibility. Busy people are likely to be organized and efficient, and thus prove more successful at hiring and training better employees to shoulder the day-to-day responsibility for operations.

The Next Step: Have A Conversation

As you consider whether or not business ownership is in your future, I hope you will “lean in” and have a conversation with me. I’ve worked with hundreds of people who have successfully taken the leap, by finding exactly the right investment to achieve their goals. Your point of view is unique, and I want to hear what YOU want to protect (your money, life balance, etc.) so that together we can navigate through a research project to land on exactly the right concept.

Find out how you can keep your job and own a franchise business. Contact me so we can start our conversation today