Cherry Newnham and family

Spending quality time with your significant other is something we all cherish. While there is not necessarily a stigma attached to couples in business, there can be challenges and perceptions which stop some partners taking the leap and starting their own businesses together. However, a recent survey reveals that since the pandemic, 24% of people are more likely to consider starting a business with their other half1.

Franchising offers the perfect solution to the doubts couples may have when going into business together. Franchising offers a tried and tested business model, access to a comprehensive support network and a structured framework for managing business operations, allowing them to leverage their shared skills and experiences within a stable and established business environment.

The advantages of going into business with your partner

With people more open to starting businesses with their partners – what are the advantages for doing so? Here are five top benefits:


Unified vision and goals – couples often have similar values, goals and aspirations, which can create a strong foundation for going into business together. When you’re both invested in the same vision, decision-making becomes easier and you’re more likely to work towards common objectives.

Enhanced communication – effective communication is crucial in any business partnership, and couples will be used to communicating regularly due to their relationship. This typically leads to open dialogues, constructive feedback and problem-solving, resulting in smoother operations and stronger teamwork.

Trust and understanding – trust is essential in business, and couples have a high level of trust and understanding built up from their personal relationship. This trust can translate into the business world too, fostering transparency, reliability and mutual support in challenging times.

Complementary skills and strengths – each partner in a relationship brings unique skills, strengths and experiences to the table. By combining abilities, couples can create a well-rounded duo at the head of the business, successfully overseeing operations, finances and customer relations.

Work-life balance – running a business with your other half allows for greater flexibility in managing work and personal lives. You can coordinate schedules and share responsibilities at home, working to create a more balanced lifestyle that accommodates both career and family commitments.

These advantages can contribute to a successful partnership in business, enabling you and your other half to navigate challenges, capitalise on new opportunities and achieve your business goals, together.

Why is there a negative perception surrounding running a business with a spouse?

While there are several advantages, going into business with your significant other comes with its fair share of scepticism as boundaries begin to blur between the personal and the professional – so, why is this?

That conflict of interest is often where the pessimism stems from – a conflict of interest between personal and professional life, with the risk of emotional entanglement impacting decision-making.

Sceptics may worry that disagreements or tensions within the relationship may spill over into the workplace, leading to disfunction and instability. Additionally, there’s a fear that couples may struggle to maintain objectivity, hold each other accountable and avoid favouritism, compromising the success of the organisation. These perceptions, while not universal, underscore the importance of having a solid business model – one potentially provided by franchising.

Falling for franchising

Franchising can help mitigate the negatives of couples working together in business. Effectively addressing common concerns associated with partners in business, traditional worries like blurred boundaries, relationship strain and favouritism are minimised within the franchising model – thanks to the established systems and ongoing support from the franchisor.

Franchising also offers couples clear roles and responsibilities, reducing ambiguity and potential conflicts. With built-in support networks and access to resources, couples can navigate challenges with confidence – leveraging the brand recognition and reputations associated with franchising to enhance credibility too.

Why the early years sector stands out

Early years is a great example of a sector where working together as a couple works perfectly, especially those with children of their own.

“A key factor to help us work together successfully is communication,” says Natasha Muniz, owner and franchisee at Monkey Puzzle Astwick. “We worked out each other’s strengths and are utilising them for the good of the business. My husband is very business and financially minded, and my background is in early years and mental health.

“It works really well – I can concentrate on the children, staff and parents and then his help is invaluable for the running of the business. We both have experience working with large teams, so we can bounce ideas off of each other. Monkey Puzzle are super helpful too. We’re constantly in communication and I know I can reach out to them if I need to.”

For Cherry Newnham, franchisee for Monkey Puzzle Hartley Wintney, bringing her fiancé into the business shifted their work-life balance for the better. “Andy is a graphic designer by trade, but we wanted to be closer together as a family and be more flexible with our time to manage looking after our children, one of whom is autistic and requires additional support. He came on board as our Marketing & Facilities Manager to utilise his experience in marketing to help promote the nursery, and carry out maintenance around our site, and we haven’t looked back since.

“I wanted to run a business with a family feel, and franchising with Monkey Puzzle has enabled me to spend more time with my family with extra financial benefits.”

“We are a team!” adds Natasha. “We have three children that keep us busy, so we have to build a solid routine. We both have a passion for the nursery to succeed and with the knowledge that Monkey Puzzle is there to support us, we’ve got a great balance.”

A shared passion for children’s development, coupled with complementary skillsets and the feel of a family-run business, creates a welcome and warm atmosphere. For franchisees like Cherry and Natasha, having a shared purpose along with a harmonised work-life balance is a recipe for success and validates their decision to go into business alongside their partners.