Originally published in the September 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - "Franchise Opportunities" special advertising feature
There’s a wealth of franchises operating in Canada and you can be part of it. A look at the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) online member directory at www.cfa.ca shows hundreds of franchise brands in a wide variety of categories. According to the CFA, there are an estimated 1,200 franchise systems and around 78,000 franchised locations across Canada.
One of the reasons that franchising appeals to so many Canadians is the franchise business model’s “tried and true” formula for success.
“When you invest in a franchise, you’re investing in concept that has been developed and tested,” says Lorraine McLachlan, president and chief executive officer of CFA, Canada’s national trade association for franchising.
Many Canadians explore entrepreneurship but, according to Statistics Canada, almost half of new Canadian businesses fail within the first five years. Compared to starting your own business, franchising can often be a safer venture.
Franchisees invest in the franchise concept and operate their locations under the business’ brand. This arrangement allows franchisees the opportunity to be their own boss while having the support of the franchisor. They also often enjoy instant brand recognition, which brings many advantages, including an established consumer-base and a stronger position when applying for a business loan. Franchisees will typically receive training on how to run the business before opening and have access to ongoing training and support after they’re up and running.
This support can include information on business and consumer trends, new product development, and new ways of marketing. As a franchisee, this information can be invaluable; tracking these trends and staying ahead of the market can require a major time investment for independent business owners. Knowing that the franchisor is there to provide support and assistance allows the franchisee to focus on the day-to-day operation of their business.
Most importantly, franchisees are part of a network of businesses and can rely and draw upon the strengths, successes and ideas of their peers in the system.
“Once you decide franchising is for you and start researching your options, the more you can investigate and evaluate a franchise opportunity, the better,” says McLachlan. “When you invest in a franchise, yes, you’re investing in a concept that has been developed and tested, but making an informed decision is a vital first step in realizing your franchise goals.”
For more information and to start your search, visit www.cfa.ca.