We find out about the special dynamic between siblings in business, the legacy they’re creating for their loved ones and their advice to other siblings considering going into business together
Going into any business, whether in franchising or not, with someone else always brings with it a certain amount of risk. How will you decide which sector or service to go into together? How will you manage the daily operations of the business without stepping on each other’s toes? And, perhaps most importantly, will their goals and efforts align with yours? Going into business with a sibling is a great way to alleviate these concerns… after all, who else can you be more honest and upfront with?
But going into franchising with a sibling doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be equal partners in the same business - there are multiple options available to you. For instance, you could both choose to invest in the same franchise brand but run separate territories or, if one of you is more sales orientated and the other is all about getting the job done, you can divide the roles within one franchise territory.
Here, we talk with five franchisees from across three different franchise sectors – all of whom have explored franchising with a sibling. We find out about the special dynamic between siblings in business, the legacy they’re creating for their loved ones and their advice to other siblings considering going into business together.
Setting boundaries leads to success
Jason Stevens invested in his Snap-on franchise 18 years ago, in 2003. Just over a decade later, he brought younger brother Jody into the fold, employing him as an assistant to run his second territory. Together, Jason and Jody – and the rest of Jason’s team - served auto-technicians across Wiltshire for over five years, until Jody took over the north Swindon franchise in his own right in 2020. Their advice to other siblings considering going into franchising together aligns just as much as their shared passion for Snap-on.
“When Jody first joined me in 2015, he was struggling to find a career that really fulfilled him,” explained Jason. “My franchise was getting busier and I was desperate for help I could rely on, so it made perfect financial sense for him to join me. Before long, he’d built his own loyal base of customers and was doing really well. In 2019, it was time for him to spread his wings and go out on his own, investing in the territory he had been successfully running for me. I think it was a testament to my management style that he was able to go out on his own relatively soon after joining the network. I’m proud to see him doing so well and feel as though I’ve played a part in his success.”
“A reason we were both so successful when we were working together was that we set boundaries – we’re colleagues on the vans and brothers after-hours,” added Jody. “To this day, even though we both run our own franchises now, we leave Snap-on at the door when we meet up with our families. We both agree that this is the best way to manage a sibling relationship in franchising, whether one is working for the other or you’re operating neighbouring territories. At the end of the day, we share a passion for what we do and want to do well, for Snap-on and for our own families, so we’re more than happy to support each other if it contributes to our shared success.”
Shared values, shared goals
As we entered a new decade last year, two brothers were starting their journey with logistics franchise PACK & SEND. Launching a service centre in Hall Green in Birmingham in January 2020, Aneel and Shahzad Memon came over from Dubai to provide security and opportunities for their families. With the support of their wives, their business has flourished, allowing them to branch out further afield and take over the existing service centre in Lincoln this February. Aneel reflects on his time in business with his brother, explaining how their partnership has created even more opportunities.
“With our young families, it was crucial to find something that would provide for us all,” Aneel stated. “We had never been in business before, so we knew it was crucial to get that extra support when setting up. PACK & SEND was the perfect solution, as we could also see that the demand for its services was there. Our decision was a fairly easy one as our values and experience align nicely for this type of business – working directly with customers and supporting a team to do the job at hand.
“Of course, COVID-19 influenced the timing of takeover of the Lincoln service centre - PACK & SEND stayed open delivering an essential service throughout the lockdowns but it took a little longer to get things finalised for our second location. I’ll be relocating to the area with my family to manage the team, whilst remaining in close partnership with Shahzad as he takes ownership of the Birmingham service centre. We built a great business during a year that shook the entire logistics industry - it’s clear that our personalised service saved the day for many, no matter where they were in the world.”
Shahzad added: “The Hall Green service centre thrived right from the very beginning. Today, we have a 4.9 rating on Google and 4.8 on Trustpilot. This success is partly due to PACK & SEND’s lead guarantee, which promised us a certain number of sales leads within our first 12 months. This promise was met by month six and gave us a great boost. The Lincoln service centre has been successful up to now, and we’re determined to help take things to the next level.”
Chris and Ray Dibble decided to become equal partners with lawncare franchise Greensleeves in 2014. Since leaving their previous careers to start up their business together, it’s safe to say the brothers have never looked back.
“There’s always a risk when you decide to share an investment with anybody, which is why it’s important to have a great relationship with your partner. So, who better to go into business with than your older brother?” said Chris.
The duo currently run Greensleeves Tunbridge Wells and Chris attributes their successful transition into the world of lawncare to the ongoing support they receive from one another.
“Neither Ray nor I had worked in lawncare before,” explained Chris. “I sold office supplies and he worked in a warehouse, but our combined skillsets and strong relationship have really benefitted how we run our business. We both have different strengths, which means we complement each other and can deliver a great all-round, and most importantly, streamlined service. We understand each other’s role and want the same things, which is a luxury I don’t think most business partners have.
“Of course, there are always challenges within any business relationship. Luckily, we find resolutions quickly because we agree that there’s no option for any negativity to transfer into our personal lives. If we’re particularly busy and one or both of us need to work on a weekend, we’ll step up because we’re both focused on the success of our business.
“If anyone is looking to become an equal partner in a business with their sibling, I recommend they establish expectations beforehand. Agree on goals and make sure you’re both equally committed to the business. When you set out these honest parameters and follow the franchise system, it’s hard to fail.”
Whether you’ve considered going into business with a sibling or have simply enjoyed working together in a professional capacity in the past and would like to explore lucrative investment opportunities, 2021 could be the year to make that dream a reality. These stories have proven that, by ensuring your goals and motivation are aligned, franchising with a sibling is the perfect solution.