Franchising with a sibling does not just mean you are equal partners in the same business – there are multiple and wide-ranging options available as you start your journey together
A business partnership, whether in franchising or not, brings certain challenges. Going into business with a sibling is a great way to ease any concerns. After all, who else can you rely on more than your own family? However, franchising with a sibling does not just mean you are equal partners in the same business – there are multiple and wide-ranging options available as you start your journey together.
Here, franchisees and franchisors from four different sectors – all of whom have experience franchising with a sibling – share their experiences and valuable insight. We find out about the unique relationship between siblings in business, their journey so far, and their guidance for other siblings deliberating going into business together.
Döner Shack siblings keep it professional
Sanjeev Sanghera, co-founder and MD, and Kiren Benning, marketing coordinator, are a great example of how siblings can work successfully together to achieve the best results for their thriving franchise network. The duo has worked together periodically for 22 years, having grown up with a family business, family values and a strong work ethic that was instilled in them from childhood. When Sanjeev embarked on his next venture to develop a new fast-casual franchise restaurant, Döner Shack, Kiren knew she wanted to join her brother and help him grow the business.
“With my background in restaurants and marketing, as well as wholeheartedly believing in my brother’s ambition and goals, it made total sense for me to work with my brother again,” said Kiren. “Our skillsets complement each other – he is very ambitious, assiduous and business-minded, whilst I’m very perceptive, logical and thorough. I also have to respect that Sanjeev is my boss at work and what his expectations are of my role. There is a hierarchy and this has to be accepted. Being told what to do is something that most siblings can struggle with. Fortunately, this works well for us.”
“We trust each other implicitly and, with our understanding and shared history, this inevitably makes us work harder, strive for better and be as successful as possible,” added Sanjeev. “We’ve always made sure that our lives at work remain professional – we don’t ever cross these lines. When we’re in the boardroom, we’re very serious and focused… in this environment, you would never know we were related! It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to work with a sibling, and there has to be mutual respect for each other’s positions. Setting expectations and putting rules in place is a must to avoid any potential disagreements happening. My sister and I make a great team and the business is all the better for it.”
No business buddy like a brother
Chris and Matt Wells are brothers who co-own EweMove Milton Keynes. Although they have an eight-year age gap, they are always there for each other in business and for their family. Although initially, they seemed to be on very different career paths, one brother in a more physically-demanding role and the other office-based, they now share their vast knowledge and experience in running several successful EweMove franchises together.
Chris has over a decade’s experience in estate agency. Being the more office-based of the two, his operational insight and experience in international property markets gives the sibling partnership a keen edge in running estate agency franchises in multiple locations in today’s domestic market.
“I began my estate agency career in Malta, where the system differs greatly – this experience alone adds a dynamic and unique knowledge of the international market which has enabled our partnership and our individual attributes to flourish. Aside from my knowledge and experience, I have an intense passion for work and developing and nurturing my business,” said Chris.
Matt, meanwhile, has two decades of experience working in construction and has brought an understanding of exceptional quality control to the sibling partnership. This has enabled him to use his pragmatism and experience to deliver a respectful service – a key ethos that was instilled into the brothers from a young age.
Matt explained: “Growing up, we were taught by our mum to respect people and be honest in what we do. We ensure this is reflected in the way we conduct our business with colleagues, sub-contractors, clients and of course how we work together. From an early age, we’ve lived by a quote we came across together, which is one we both equally admire: ‘you can get everything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want’.”
Stagecoach sisters help each other every step of the way
Kate Diaz and Lucy Packard are sisters and franchisees, each with their own Stagecoach Performing Arts franchise locations. Despite both hailing from Scotland, the pair now run their performing arts franchises north of London – Kate in Southgate and Lucy in Chelmsford. The two have always been close, but now the proximity of their businesses is paying dividends for them both, financially and emotionally.
“We’re only ever just a phone call away, so we can help each other out so easily. The best thing is that we’re able to share everything, from costumes to performance plans and anything in between. It goes far beyond physical benefits, though, as we have a shared experience. We know better than anyone what the other is going through and what the best way to help one another is,” explained Kate.
“We have multiple phone calls a day, and we text and send voice notes constantly too. We know that if either of us is having a problem, then the other person will be there to discuss it and help find a solution. Our territories neighbour each other so we talk about what parents are looking for and what’s well-received, so we can maximise the efficiency and productivity of our franchises. It’s like a simulation of your business running parallel to your own, but you’re both constantly learning from and helping each other’s business be the best.
“Emotionally supporting each other whilst physically supporting your sibling’s business is something I’m very proud of. I know Lucy would say the same. She’s been a part of Stagecoach since she was at school – Stagecoach is a huge part of our lives. I love that we can share in that experience together.”
Greensleeves brothers play to their strengths
Chris and Ray Dibble currently run Greensleeves Tunbridge Wells. 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.
“Neither of us had worked in lawncare before. 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 roles and want the same things, which is a luxury I don’t think most business partners have.
“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.”
Whether you have considered going into business with a sibling or you would like to explore profitable investment opportunities together, franchising could be for you. These siblings have certainly proven that starting this exciting journey together can be the beginning of something very special.