What would inspire you to start a business?
Passion? Profit? Purpose? Posterity?
For many Signal 88 Security franchisees, the drive to build something for the next generation has proven a powerful motivator.
Challenge comes with the territory in business ownership — especially at first — but working with and for family can provide the extra push needed to get through the hard times.
Here are two stories of rewarding and fulfilling family franchises.
The Signal 88 Security franchise network is full of owners who have set out to build a legacy business for their family. Two examples are Marsha Morrell and Jeff Gilhooly, a mother/son duo and owners of Signal 88 Security of Fort Myers and Naples, Florida.
“I wanted to leave something behind for my children, but not just money,” explained Marsha.
“I wanted it to be something they could build and grow. My younger son, Brian, had sent me a bunch of franchising concepts, and when I saw a security franchise I knew it fit with Jeff’s security experience.”
Jeff, Marsha’s oldest son, had worked in the security industry for ten years and earned his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Florida Gulf Coast University.
For her part, Marsha has impressive business experience from 36 years at IBM where she worked in software development, electrical engineering, and leadership training for the tech titan.
In the franchise’s early days, Jeff naturally began to handle the security operations, patrols, and sales. Marsha took on administrative functions like invoicing and payroll.
She was also working another job in hopes that Jeff would take over the business. Yet as the business began to grow, so too did their commitment.
“There were unique challenges that we faced almost hourly and we both had different opinions on how to solve them,” recalled Marsha.
“I also think the mother/son dynamic is harder than working with a brother or sister, but our commitment to each other and inherent trust has gotten us through those hard times.”
Jeff is confident that their business plan is on track.
“I’m optimistic that in the next year or two, I’ll be able to have a team in place that will allow my mom to step back, be more of a consultant, and help Brian start his own business.”
Even if the kids aren’t thinking ahead to inheriting the business, family ties are a vital part of the choice to become an entrepreneur.
Many times, business owners seek the freedom to set their own schedule and be present for their families. This flexibility was a core reason why Chris and Casey Turrey started Signal 88 Security of Portland and Salem, Oregon.
“Starting a franchise was all about family,” said Casey.
“When Chris talked about starting our own business, it was so that we’d have more flexibility to spend time together and do things together, as well as leaving a legacy for our kids.”
The Turreys opened their franchise in 2013, planning for Chris to handle it alone.
They quickly learned that it definitely was not a one-man job. In the moment, family stepped up.
Their son, Mitch, was hired to help with patrols early on and recently became the Director of Operations for both franchises. Their daughter, Khyra, also helps part-time in the office.
The Turreys’ Portland franchise the 6th fastest-growing branch in the organization. 50 miles south on I-5, their Salem franchise boasts one of the highest customer satisfaction scores across the global network. Yet that success is because of family — not at its expense.
“One thing we’ve tried to do is create a space at our office to make it feel like a second home,” Casey explained.
“This allows the kids to hang out with us and do homework or relax while we’re working late. There have been times in the first couple of years where we’ve had to work long shifts, but more recently we have had the ability to spend more time with our kids.
“I myself was able to quit my full-time job 3 years ago to work with our business. This flexibility is something I never would have had working for someone else.”
If you’ve hosted Thanksgiving dinner, you know the stress family can cause.
Combine it with the grind of owning a new business, and you might expect it to be a recipe for disaster.
The research shows otherwise.
According to PwC, 43% of small business owners report they’re happy at work, while only 27% of employees at large companies can say the same. Studies also show that 47% of children’s happiness is directly related to their parents’.
To be sure, entrepreneurship is no cure-all for family woes. But if you crave the freedom to be here for your family and the opportunity to provide for them, it’s easy to see how the entrepreneurial lifestyle can improve your home life.
Marsha Morrell has some parting advice for prospective business owners:
“My advice for families thinking of opening a business is to remember that times will be tough and you’ll need love and support to get through it.
“Remember, use each other’s strengths and things will get better.”
To start your own legacy, visit signal88franchise.com.