After 27 years of marriage and five years as Franchise Owners of Primrose School of Lake Mary Heathrow, my husband Christopher and I have discovered just how rewarding it can be to run a business with your spouse. With the support of the Primrose Franchise Team, we made the decision to start and grow our business together as a couple. It’s been an exciting journey full of challenges and opportunities, and when we look back on our decision to start our business together, we both confidently agree that we achieve so much more by working together.
I moved from Italy to the United States when I was just 16 years old. I’d always loved children and was actively looking to pursue a career in early childhood education and care. As a young woman trying to make it on my own in an unfamiliar country, discovering Primrose was truly a blessing. I began working for a Primrose school in Orlando, where the Franchise Owners and staff treated me like family. At that point, I knew Primrose was the place where I wanted to grow my career.
As time went by, I met and fell in love with Christopher, and we eventually decided to get married. At this point, I was working as a School Director, and after a while, the Franchise Owners encouraged us to open a school of our own. When we began the opening process, we realized that success was going to take time and dedication – not only to get the school up and running, but also to ensure that we were continuing to devote time to our marriage, our family and our community.
Running a Business and a Family
We consider our relationship as partners in life and in business advantageous, but these roles also come with certain challenges. After going through this process, we’ve learned to work together as a team, overcoming these trials so that our business, and family life, can flourish. Here are a few of our key learnings:
Delineate the responsibilities. In marriage, you quickly find out one another’s strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing you can do as a Franchise Owner pair is to divide the work load and delegate. I’m not saying work separately, but tend to the details and routine tasks on your own, and always make the big decisions together.
Trust each other. While it may seem like a given, a trusting relationship becomes imperative once you and your spouse are in business together. Appreciate what the other person brings to the franchise, and trust that they are going to do their job well.
Make time for family. At the end of the day, you’ve built this business to support your family and provide for the families in your community. While it can be easy to get wrapped up in the work, make sure to regularly spend time together and with your children. Scheduling date nights and vacations helps us keep it fun!
We are immensely grateful for all of the support we’ve received from the Primrose Development Team and other experienced Franchise Owner couples who have helped guide our path. Two years ago, we were honored when Primrose selected us to serve as a Training School. In this role, we have the opportunity to give back to the Primrose system by teaching and developing new Franchise Owners and School Directors as they prepare to open their own schools.
When we look back, opening Primrose School of Lake Mary Heathrow has been a dream come true. Looking forward, we see a bright future and in fact, we just signed to open our second school in the Orlando area!