THE BALANCING ACT: RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY FRANCHISE: Why open, honest and constructive communication is necessary in a family business.

Author:Sutton, Larry

When it comes to operating a business, sometimes the best business partner can be found under your own roof. The franchise industry is full of partners who are also family members or investors who buy in to a franchise with the expectation of building a legacy brand. Throughout the United States, family run businesses have been the backbone driving local and national economies. As of 2019, family businesses account for more than half of the country's gross domestic product.

RNR Tire Express launched its franchise opportunity in the early 2000s, with the first four franchisees having been father-son teams. Since then, more than 50 percent of the brand's franchisees are familial partnerships. Today, the brand is led by a father-son team, Larry and Adam Sutton. The fusion of impressive skillsets and unique personalities throughout the system is ultimately responsible for driving the success of the brand.

So, what has RNR learned about being in business with family?

* Build a Team You Can Trust

* Foster Your Relationship

* Embrace Differences

By using the criteria above, RNR's leaders, Larry and Adam, have successfully developed the formula for success. While the two certainly don't agree on everything, a common entrepreneurial spirit allows them to succeed together.

Build a Team You Can Trust

Working with family in a franchise operation comes with its own challenges. The key to a successful business is having a partner that you can place 100 percent of your confidence and trust in. Since most are willing to go above and beyond to support their family members, this is a quality and bond that is unique to familial business partnerships.

With the unique support of a family member comes the ability to communicate openly, honestly, and constructively--more so than one might with a stranger. Objective evaluation of each other's performance and goal achievement fosters a smoother partnership and operation. Successful partnerships are not only built on blood lines but on mutual support and recognition of talents, personalities and business experiences.

Foster Your Relationship

With years of familiarity, it's easy to work alongside a family member. You've already built a trusting relationship with this person and understand their idiosyncrasies, strengths, limitations --which makes it easier to align yourself on a vision and goal.

When working with a family member, you also have the opportunity to see that person in a different light and to add...

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