Owning a franchise with your spouse: A recipe for success or disaster?

Have you been thinking about owning a franchise with your spouse? We all know that running a business of any kind can be stressful, and that stress can permeate into your personal life. Because there’s no separate home to “escape to” when owning a franchise with your spouse, it’s wise to take a good look at your relationship dynamic before you make that big decision. How can you assess whether you’ll work well together as business partners? Here are 3 questions to consider:

1.  How well is your marriage working?

A good marriage is prerequisite if you’re thinking about owning a franchise with your spouse. Like a business, a harmonious marriage requires good communication, skilled problem-solving, and agreement on major financial issues. Mutual trust and respect are key. If you don’t relate well as spouses, you won’t relate well as business partners. Each of you should be able to give and receive constructive criticism and feedback without damaging your relationship.

2.  Do you have complementary skills?

A business relationship is more likely to be productive when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, the skills each of you bring to the table should fit together to generate greater results than you could achieve separately. Successfully owning a franchise with your spouse requires the division of job responsibilities from the very start. Know which of you will take the lead on each aspect of the business. For example, one of you could be in charge of “home office” administration while the other manages employees working in the field.

3.  Can you weather risks and bumps in the road?

Risk is inherent in business ownership. You’ve probably encountered challenges in your marriage, as most of us have. How well you do at addressing them will likely mirror your ability to face adversity in business. Have a plan for what to do when unexpected challenges arise. What if one of you suddenly becomes ill or unable to continue working?


Above all, when owning a franchise with your spouse, remember to support each other in every way you can. The manner in which you weather challenges will determine your success, both at home and in your business.