Is a franchise the new family business?

Seeing a family go into business together is not anything new. Though at one of Australia’s best known franchises, it is a popular and growing trend.

Whether it’s a first venture or, indeed, a franchise family extending their footprint by taking on multiple Snooze sites, going into business with nearest and dearest at Snooze is an attractive opportunity, with a large proportion of its 77 sites now obtained by a family or near family.

Simon Beaty, Snooze managing director, credits its attraction to family franchise partners to its phenomenal business, finance and marketing support systems which provide partners with a simple, streamlined and sound business model, helping them to grow their business at the rate they desire.

“As a retailer that specialises in helping families to shape their own homes, it is fitting that families are also attracted to our business,” says Simon.

“The success we have seen in growing our stable of family franchise partners is a credit to the support systems in place, equipping franchise partners with the confidence and tools they need to achieve, but with the freedom they desire.

“I’m thrilled with the culture we have created and look forward to seeing many more families join our team.”

Running a franchise as husband and wife - Elkin and Debbie, Snooze Castle Hill

A snooze storeWorking in an environment with a great culture, and in particular a good work life balance, is one of the reasons that inspired Elkin Alvarado, Snooze regional manager, to invest in his first Snooze franchise in Castle Hill.

After a successful 30-year career in retail, of which seven years were spent as business development manager for Snooze across Western Australia and New South Wales, Elkin knew that investing in the Snooze business was his next step.

“I always knew that retail was what I wanted to do,” he says.

“It was my first job out of high school and I never looked back.

“I enjoyed managing a variety of stores and looking after teams across the Snooze network but, after I had children, there came a time when I wanted to be able to look after us as well.”

Elkin took on the Snooze Castle Hill store in June this year, and says the difference it’s made to his family life has been fantastic.

“My wife and I run the business together, which gives us the freedom to make our own choices about its direction and to create a culture of passionate people who experience flexibility in their work lives, he says.

“Then you have the flexibility - living just five minutes from the store is ideal.

“With my wife managing all of the store’s administration, she is able to leave early to pick up the kids.

“Meanwhile, I’m home shortly after closing to spend quality time with the family in the evenings – it’s a perfect work/life balance for us.”

Running a franchise as father and son – Russell and Kyle Cooper, Snooze Capalaba

Simon Beaty, Kyle Cooper, Russell Cooper, Garry Webb, SnoozeRussell Cooper (pictured third from left) of Snooze Capalaba has been able to pass on his career advice and experience quite literally to his son, Kyle (pictured second from left), through employing him as part of his Snooze business.

Kyle works alongside Russell as part of the store team during the week, learning the ropes as a sales assistant, like his dad did many years ago, yet with the comfort and support of his family around him.

“It’s great to see Kyle following in my footsteps,” says Russell.

“This was his first role in retail, when he joined the team four years ago, but he found his feet very quickly and, in his first 12 months, was named Rookie of the Year for the Queensland region at the Snooze annual conference.

“Given Snooze had 72 stores nationally at that time that was an incredible feat, which he’s very proud – as am I – and it has paid dividends with building his retail career.”

Providing an extra pair of hands to the business and Russell is his wife Belinda.

“I have the full support of Belinda in this endeavour and she regularly comes into the store to help out in any way that she can,” says Russell.

Running franchises with dad and brothers – Ben Heller, multi-site franchise owner

Ben Heller of Perth has worked closely with his father and brothers to adopt his suite of four Snooze franchises over the years; Snooze O’Connor, Osborne Park, Claremont and Cannington.

He was first introduced to Snooze in Western Australia through his media agency, Heller Advertising and Marketing Media.

After deciding to extend his entrepreneurship in retail, Ben opened Snooze O’Connor in 2010 with the help of his father, Stevie, and Snooze Osborne Park followed soon after.

Ben’s brother, Jarrad, later joined the business as a director and helped Ben to grow his business to four Snooze sites in Western Australia in just four years.

While looking after four stores is quite a challenge for anyone, Ben and his family have built a strong reputation for leading the way within the business.

“There’s no doubt about it, it’s a big job keeping on top of four businesses and trying to make them successful, but having the support of my family makes it that much more enjoyable,” Ben says.

“I wouldn’t change our team.”

Entering the retail sector for the first time

Russell and Ben both admit that there are challenges to taking on a retail business for the first time.

“It can be tough adapting to the more formal structure,” says Ben.

Simon Beaty, Snooze“I came from an industry where flexible working was a reality – I could work whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted. When you’re leading a team and work 9am to 5pm, you need to be present and involved every day and set an example for your staff.”

Russell also acknowledges that the constantly competitive and changing nature of retail can be a challenge.

“You have to be on your game daily in every facet of the organisation,” Russell says.

“You can’t let yourself become complacent at any point, and must be prepared to make changes and accept that you will make some mistakes along the way.”

Talking about the success of family franchises at Snooze, Simon Beaty (pictured right) adds, “Some say that you shouldn’t ever go into business with a close friend or family member as it could ruin a relationship, but proof is in the pudding with a number of our franchise partners.

Indeed, it’s not for everyone, but as a business we strive to provide the best support that we can to assist our franchise partners to be successful.”

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