Couples Say I Do To Owning A Franchise

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Companies are capitalizing on the success and flexibility of having a husband-and-wife team at the helm of local shops.

When Marty Yanda and his wife, Kery, decided to go into business together by opening a Once Upon a Child franchise, it was out of necessity.

He had been laid off from a corporate job and they needed the income.

"In the beginning, we were here, side by side, for 2½ years," Yanda said. "We did butt heads a lot." Now, they"�ve figured out what each other's skills are and they can focus on managerial duties.

Husband-and-wife teams are very common as franchise owners, says Matt Haller of the International Franchise Association. The arrangement relieves some of the stress of a single ownership and allows the couple flexibility to juggle the business with family obligations.

It makes sense, he said, "if you have a successful marriage to apply it to the business world." Parent-child partnerships also work well, particularly in situations where the parent has the financial investment and the child is available to log the hours.

Two-person model Potbelly Sandwich Shop seeks out couples to run its franchises, whether they are husband and wife or business partners. The Chicago-based restaurant chain doesn"�t yet have any Oklahoma locations but it is looking to expand here.

"It's a two-person model," Franchise Zone Manager Mike Walters said of Potbelly franchises. "Our shops have 100 hours of management labor per week, and we want to make sure there are two people that own it." Potbelly stores cater to the lunch crowd, so for a husband-and-wife team, often the wife will come in early to open, they both work lunch, she leaves to pick up the children in the afternoon and he works until closing.

Walters said it's important to have franchisees on-site, accessible and part of the community.

Main operator Franchisees for The Goddard School also tend to be married couples, although it's not something the company specifically targets. Often one spouse will serve as the main operator and the other will take care of bookkeeping and other responsibilities, said Tony Padulo, vice president of franchise development for Goddard Systems, parent company for the Goddard School, which has two Edmond locations.

The concept's focus on early childhood education tends to attract families, and so does the weekday only schedule.

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Once Upon A Child
c/o Winmark Corporation
605 Highway 169 N, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN

Phone: (800)592-8049

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