Is it necessary to form a partnership to open a franchise?

Is het nodig om een partnerschap aan te gaan om een franchise te openen

As the adage goes, “Alone we go faster, together we go further”: partnering can be a worthwhile venture in the world of entrepreneurship, including franchising. But you need to have good reasons for doing so, and know your potential partner well enough not to turn what should be an advantage into open warfare.

Many franchise networks offer the opportunity to start up with a partner, especially those requiring a high level of personal investment. But to avoid making a mistake, it’s essential to think carefully about the pros and cons of this system.

The advantages of franchising

There are several excellent reasons for joining forces in franchising, as with any business start-up or takeover: firstly, of course, it enables you to have a higher initial investment for a large-scale project, and secondly, it means you take fewer financial risks than if you went it alone.

But that’s not all: the right choice of partner can extend the scope of your skills. Associations are often made up of complementary partners, with one person more versed in the administrative side of things, for example, and the other more at ease in customer contact.

Being two or more also means we’re stronger in the face of obstacles, we can multiply our ideas and creativity, we can motivate each other, and we can take turns on a daily basis. The partners share successes as well as setbacks.

Disadvantages and risks of association

Of course, joining forces is not always risk-free, and requires a great deal of thought beforehand. In particular, we need to look at the reasons for joining forces: are we doing so out of spite, or because we lack the means? Afraid of going it alone? Because you’ve always said you’d start a business with your childhood best friend or your sister, no matter what your skills? These are not good reasons to join forces, and they can lead to disappointment, such as a premature end to the entrepreneurial adventure, or even a trip to court in the worst case scenario.

On the other hand, the entrepreneur must ask himself whether his project really needs a partner, and whether everyone will benefit from this association. For example, do sales forecasts meet the expectations of each partner? If the answer is no, you should consider going it alone, or with another partner.

Finally, in terms of risk, it’s important to be aware that it’s not uncommon for a partnership to put an end to an excellent relationship: associates will be in constant contact, sometimes seeing each other more than 10 hours a day. It’s a real marriage, so it’s essential to choose the right person for the commitment.

Choosing the right partner and defining roles

It doesn’t matter who the entrepreneur starts out with: it could be a friend, a family member, a spouse, a former colleague, or a complete stranger. However, there are certain conditions sine qua none for a partnership:

  • associates must have complementary skills but a common vision and values
  • everyone needs to know how the other works, what their strengths and weaknesses are
  • they must be able to trust each other blindly

Then it’s all a matter of communication and clearly defining everyone’s roles. Who does what, how much is invested by each partner, who has the final say in the event of disagreement, and even what the conditions are for withdrawal, because while we must hope for the best, it’s important to be prepared for the worst. To anticipate this situation and avoid blockages, few brands will let you become a 50/50 partner: there is almost always a majority partner.

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