Peter Hands and his wife Deborah Mackin have been working together for 12 years. Although it has its ups and downs, they wouldn’t swap it for the world. According to them, there are a few key rules to abide by to keep the peace at home!

Find or create a business that you both love
Based in Yorkshire, the couple own four high street boutiques called The Wharf which reflect Deborah’s 20 years of experience in the industry. Coconut Creatives has been working with  The Wharf for  about 3 months now on the launch of their franchise package.

The stores themselves display contemporary silver jewellery with home and fashion accessories that Deborah chooses from world-wide suppliers.

Take ownership of your business role
With Deborah being an expert buyer and maximising shop floor performance, Peter is just as adept in his field where he has developed a computer software package to manage stock and product ranges so that they suit the demographic of customers in the different boutiques.  

Look for new challenges that you both can get enthusiastic about
It was partly this software that led them into franchising their business in September 2007 because they had something really unique to offer new franchisees.  “We decided to look into franchising because we knew we could utilise our skills, software and our brand for the benefit of all involved,” says Peter.  

How Franchising has brought them closer together
Franchising was new to Peter and Deborah so they employed professionals to assist them to prepare their business package. “The main benefit to people coming into our business is that the package is water tight. We invested carefully to ensure that the offer was correct. We ensured that the key information that makes it successful was packaged up appropriately through our operations manual and training programme and then offered to the franchisee,” explains Peter. 

The benefits of investing in a franchised business 
The best bit about choosing a franchised business is that you don’t have to come up with a new business idea yourself. Through the 12 years that Peter and Deborah have established The Wharf they have tested and trialled different products and service elements to form a profitable business model. This gives individuals buying into the business the benefits of belonging to a larger company with established suppliers, trends and a national advertising and marketing campaign.

With a backing like this, it would seem ludicrous to set up a business alone at a similar expense but with none of the training, established suppliers and years of experience close to hand. 

Work with other people too
“I’m especially looking forward to working with like-minded people and hopefully we might even get to work with another couple too. We have all the systems and capabilities in place to welcome new people into this business so that they can grow and share in its success,” adds Deborah.

The Wharf also has an online shop at www.thewharfdirect.com which gives the viewer a good indication of the unusual silver jewellery and delights that can be found in-store.  

Overall, working with your partner can bring about many benefits. Not only will you have endless topics to chat about over an evening meal, you’ll both be focused on the same goals which help keep you on the same wavelength and enjoying life together.