Posted on Jun 19th 2018
Successful Romp n’ Roll franchise owners come from all walks of life—with different strengths, backgrounds and skill sets.
Yet, they all share certain characteristics: passion, people skills, entrepreneurial spirit, networking, and multitasking.
The best candidates are those with both a “head and heart.” This means the ideal franchisee has a passion for early childhood development and business or entrepreneurial experience.
It’s great if one individual possesses this perfect mixture of head and heart. This isn’t always the case, however.
In some cases, it makes sense for a Romp n’ Roll franchise to be co-owned by couples, partners, or friends with different, but complementary skills and backgrounds.
As with any business partnership, there are upsides and downsides.
If you are considering buying a Romp n’ Roll franchise with a partner, read on.
The Upsides of Having a Franchise Partner
Sometimes, “two heads are better than one.”
Perhaps there is a potential franchisee who has early education experience. However, he or she may need the business acumen of a trusted partner. Or vice versa.
By joining forces, the two can sometimes create a perfect “marriage” of skills and background necessary to make their Romp n’ Roll business a success.
This is exactly the case for Romp n’ Roll franchisees Stacey Centurelli and Meredith Myers.
Meredith (a K-to-5 educator) noticed a gap in motor, social, and language skills in some of her students. After researching play-based education businesses, she had the idea to open one to help kids in her area.
She wanted to augment her own area of expertise with someone who had a mind for business. So, she reached out to her friend to complete the perfect recipe for success. As she explains, “We are co-owners; she is the business side and I’m the education side.”
This is exactly what our Franchise Development Director, Rachel Stender, loves to hear. She uses the analogy of filling up both your education and business “buckets” to succeed. If someone can only fill one of those buckets, they need a partner with the ability to fill the other.
A Marriage Made in Romp n’ Roll Heaven (Sometimes)
The perfect ying to your yang is often your better half. I should know!
Romp n’ Roll is a family business. Babz and I created it out of love for our own kids, and a desire to positively impact other families. We are proud to welcome each franchisee into our family of businesses.
Our unique structure, and the nurturing/social nature of our business can lend itself to being a great venture for certain married couples.
One spouse often fills more of the “education” bucket, while the other fills the “business” bucket. Also, the inherent loyalty within a marriage can make a solid foundation.
The Downsides of Having a Franchise Partner
While in some cases taking on a partner might help make a franchise successful, there is a real potential for complications:
Differences of Opinion
Owning a business together is akin to being married in many respects. Sole ownership allows the franchisee to handle things their own way. A partner can (and most likely will at some point) have a different opinion. This can add friction, and—in severe cases—splinter the working relationship unless a compromise can be met.
Added Pressure on Personal Relationships
Even the best friendships and marriages will be tested at times in a business relationship.
We’d like to think businesses can be run in a democracy and all responsibilities are divided evenly. In the day-to-day realities and pressures of business, however, this isn’t always the case.
Navigating from personal relationships to professional ones can be tricky at times. A perceived (or real) shift of power can throw the balance of personal relationships out of whack. Oftentimes, pressures and professional dynamics can spill over and damage a personal relationship.
Changes of Heart
For one reason or another, one partner will dissolve the relationship—leaving the other in a dire position. Choosing a partner who reneges on an agreement, or is unwilling to weather storms, can be devastating.
This is true for the relationship, the business, and your personal/financial welfare.
Lack of Transparency
Financial partnerships require 100% transparency.
Partners can sometimes be uncomfortable sharing their financial information with their partner. Even worse, they may fail to disclose (or even lie about) credit issues, tax returns, etc.
This will negatively impact your ability to finance and/or operate your business long term.
It’s An Individual Decision
Choosing to bring in a partner sometimes pulls all the pieces of the puzzle together for certain franchisees.
However, each franchisee must be realistic and examine the potential relationship thoroughly.
Considering all possibilities, doing due diligence, and having hard conversations upfront helps avoid bad decisions.
Meet Romp’ n Roll franchisees Stacey Centurelli and Meredith Myers in this short video.
Michael Barnett is the Co-Founder and CEO of Romp n' Roll. In addition to leading the Romp n' Roll management team, Michael is an active member of the International Franchise Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and serves on the Board of Directors for Connor's Heroes and Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He and his wife, Babz, were featured on the first season of ABC-TV's Shark Tank.