A Look at the Modern Franchise Father

A Look at the Modern Franchise Father

Family franchise ownership is a career path my father and I have been fortunate to walk together for over two decades. This Father’s Day, we take a closer look at one modern father who took on the challenge of owning multiple franchise businesses with children as the core of his mission.

Much like my Dad, Tyson Kahle started climbing the corporate ladder after graduating from business school. He eventually landed in a coveted position with a global beverage brand, honing his operational and managerial skills. As his family grew, Tyson started to consider a different avenue to success, one that would allow him to be involved daily with his kids.

Modern fathers today are often driven to entrepreneurship by a desire to make a difference. Tyson also wanted to see the direct impact his work was having, not only on his family, but on every family in his community. He confessed to feeling completely replaceable in his corporate job. If he left, they would just fill his spot and move on.

“The more time I spent in corporate America, the more I realized I wanted to do my own thing.”

Tyson had never owned his own business before but remembers fondly his own father “being there” for the family due largely to the fact that he ran his own law firm and controlled his own schedule. He freely shares that “from a young age I knew that being the boss meant not having to report to anyone. I always liked that.”

During a career transition several years ago, Tyson’s wife Chamilla reached out to me to explore opportunities for a family franchise. An exit package afforded some extra funding the Kahle family decided would be best invested in themselves.

“Originally it was my wife who took the lead, but we ultimately decided I would baby step away from corporate America once the business became profitable enough,” said Tyson.

While ramping up the business, they both continued their corporate careers. Tyson eventually exited corporate while Chamilla continued her successful career path in Business Strategy. 

Today the family owns multiple territories for two family-focused franchise brands - Tutor Doctor and N Zone Sports. Tyson is over the moon happy about his career in franchising and he’s happy to share advice – especially for those Dads who have the desire and the dreams, but also the fear of letting down their family at home.
How did you make the leap from a seemingly secure career corporate position to the entrepreneurial unknown?
“It was important for us to have a steady income and benefits while ramping up the business, so my wife decided to continue in her line of work. I also didn’t leave my corporate position until I could see a future. Having a spouse earning a steady income made me feel safe and ready when the time came to jump in with both feet. “
As a father of 4, how much did the desire for freedom and flexibility in your schedule play into your decision to become your own boss?
“It was a top priority. With four kids and both parents in high-demand corporate positions, we knew we would eventually be in a situation where our kids couldn’t do their activities because we both were stuck in meetings or traveling. That would have taken a toll on our family and we knew we had to do something to about it.”
You always liked the idea of not having to report to anyone, yet you chose a franchise model, so don’t you have to answer to the franchisor?
“During our research process, one of the main criteria was to partner with a franchisor who would encourage independence and creative business practices of their franchisees. Both brands we own offer that and more. Once you’ve driven profits, a smart franchisor will adopt your best practices and share them with the family. I like that.”

How has being a family man and an active community member influenced your decision on the types of franchise industries you chose?
“Anyone with a business should be involved in the community; that’s how you grow the business. But the thing I love most about my businesses is that when I do my job, I see direct impact. I get calls all the time from parents who say things like, “we could have never done it without you, you helped our kids tremendously. The personal reward that comes from directly impacting someone’s life is invaluable.”

What lessons do you believe your children are learning from watching your success as a business owner?
“There are so many opportunities for teachable moments. It helps that we partner with the schools, but one way our kids are really learning is by helping run our concessions. Our oldest thought he could just sell candy and earn money, but we took it a step further and introduced him to the ordering, inventory and accounting processes as well, so he could see what it takes to run the business full circle.”

For the benefit of the Dads out there who have set the goal to own their own business, what advice would you give them?
“There is a lot of research you have to do, so first seek expert advice. Once you start going through the process, consider whether it’s something you truly enjoy doing first and foremost. Talk with other franchisees and you’ll see pretty quickly what the financials are and if it’s something you want to do. If you find something you really enjoy, you’re much less likely to let it fail.”

Now that you’ve owned several franchise brands in different industries, what have you learned?
“If you have a family and providing for them is at the top of your list, I suggest looking for a bridge opportunity that will allow you to step in slowly; that way the risk isn’t as big. It also helps to have a spouse or partner who is earning and supporting during the ramp-up period. Second, if you want to own multiple brands, it’s a plus when the businesses can complement each other, like in-home tutoring and youth sports. Both are family-centric, and the community partnerships naturally overlap.”

Tyson’s journey reminds us that there is a pathway to a fulfilling career that is not just about the paycheck. For many like Tyson, it starts with getting clear on your priorities and what you want your life’s work to be about. We congratulate Tyson and wish all Dads a very happy and fulfilling Father's Day! 

Franchise ownership is not for everyone, but it’s been a great lifestyle for me and my family. If you’d like to explore if and how it might work for you and yours, I’d love to share what I’ve learned and be your guide.

Leslie Kuban is a nationally recognized franchise industry expert, CFE (Certified Franchise Executive) and owner of FranNet in Atlanta; a locally owned and operated franchise consulting firm. Leslie and her team have helped over 400 individuals and families achieve their dreams of business ownership through a no-cost, extensive educational and coaching process.

Connect with Leslie online or call 770-579.3726 to start the conversation today.

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