Family Business: 10 Tips for Managing a Parent-Adult Child Business
A mother and her daughter, who will graduate in May from college, share ownership of a new Home Instead Senior Care® franchise business, a partnership that seems tailor-made for these economic times. More college graduates are having a difficult time finding jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Teaming with a family member has proven successful. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, family-owned businesses account for 90 percent of all businesses in the U.S. (large and small) and continue to be a powerful force. And senior care franchising is one way to help new graduates get their careers off the ground.
Years ago, Michele Bonneville noticed that her young daughter's favorite toys were a keyboard and phone.
"Lynelle would play office with the toys and told me that she never wanted to work for anyone. She wanted to be her own boss. Now she wants to follow that dream," said Bonneville, a former pharmaceutical company account manager who came out of a one-year retirement last year to buy a Home Instead Senior Care® franchise in Wesley Chapel, Fla. "I was ready to leave retirement and follow my passion to help people."
Michele Bonneville said she had no doubt that her daughter, who will graduate from the University of Florida in May with a major in marketing and a minor in entrepreneurship, would eventually join her full time in running the senior care franchise. After all, Lynelle Bonneville took part in the search for franchising possibilities and used a college internship to help her mother get the franchise off the ground last August before returning to the University of Florida for her senior year.
These days, Michele and Lynelle Bonneville are not an unusual combination. Franchising is one way for parents to create an opportunity for their adult children. There is little solid data on parent-adult child business start-ups, but anecdotal evidence and news reports suggest a growing trend during these economic times.
For sure, more college graduates are encountering a tough time in job searches. In January 2009, there were nearly 1.8 million unemployed college graduates in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By October 2011, that number had risen to more than 2 million. But family businesses could be one answer. According to the Small Business Administration, family-owned businesses account for 90 percent of all businesses in the U.S. (large and small) and continue to be a powerful force.
Lynelle Bonneville probably would not have had a difficult time finding a job on her own.
"There are plenty of signs and indicators that she could have gotten a good job," her mother said. "She is a straight-A student and already works as a student assistant in the school's business department. She's poised, dependable and mature," said Michele Bonneville, who has a master's in nursing and has entered senior care and franchising for the first time.
So just how does this business arrangement work between mother and daughter?
"We have set her up as the half-owner of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise," Michele Bonneville said. "We have a shareholder's agreement and a good division of responsibilities. She will work the operations end of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise. I will be working the clinical and the networking side of it."
"The plan is for her to buy me out when I am ready to go back into retirement for good. So from that standpoint, we have set up a plan of succession. Another thing she desires is to do well for society, do something for a living that helps people. We were just blessed, the two of us. We prayed and prayed a lot, and this dream came true."
Tim Connelly, North America Franchise Development Director for Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, said the Bonneville team follows a long line of successful family-owned franchises in the Home Instead Senior Care network. "The success of other family-owned Home Instead Senior Care franchises is well-documented, and the Bonnevilles' detailed planning, execution and passion show that Michele and Lynelle are on a path toward success. It is evident that a family-owned franchise was perfect for them."