George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
You'll find that people's opinions on whether your family should be involved in your Canadian franchise vary widely. Some people plan right from the start to run their new business with one or more family members, or they have this as a long-term goal. Other people are the exact opposite, keeping their family out of their business and keeping their professional and personal lives entirely separate.
Neither of these options is "right." Instead, it all comes down to personal preference. Some franchisees mix the two concepts up; family members may help open the franchise, for example, but once it's operating, only outside employees are involved. In other cases, franchisees only call on family members to help during certain busy seasons, such as holidays, a big sale or tax time.
Although you may not have thought about this yet, whether you'll have family in your new franchise should be decided as soon as you can. This way, you'll know which resources are at your disposal. If you're not going to involve family at all, you can let them know to avoid awkward conversations about work openings once you're operating your new business.
What can family members do for your franchise?
If you decide to have family members only help up until your opening, there are likely plenty of necessary tasks they can do for you. Hooking up electronics, stocking or setting inventory out and cleaning are often things that must be done before you open.
Should you decide to involve family members more and plan to call on relatives who have specific skills such as plumbing or tech knowledge, make sure this is okay with them first and decide how payment will work. While your family members may want to do specialized work free of charge to help you out, that can breed resentment over time. By paying them, you get a professional you can trust in a timely manner for your projects or tasks.
As you plan to open your new Canadian franchise, remember that your family can be a resource when you need some emergency help, even if you're not planning on involving them in the business going forward. Ideally, you won't have to handle too many last-minute tasks, but it is always better to be safe than sorry and have some extra hands on deck in case you need them.