Starting your own business can feel like an insurmountable task. Between business plans and marketing strategies, to procurement, staffing and more, finding success as your own boss can take a lot of time, money and effort to achieve. While some Canadians may be cautious of the uncertainty associated with owning their own business, franchising does offers the best option for securing financial independence. With an estimated 1,300 franchise brands in Canada across almost every industry, everyone can find the right franchise for them.
Prospective franchisees often hesitate because of the notion that they don’t know how to own a franchise. While franchising offers flexibility and independence, it also provides franchisees with the support of a large corporation–you’re in business for yourself, but never by yourself. From franchisee training and support with comprehensive marketing plans, to even assistance securing initial loans, franchisees can benefit from established brand reputations, often offering an already strong customer base to start off on the right foot.
Canadians often dismiss franchising and business ownership due to the misconception that ownership costs are prohibitively high. While some well-known franchises may have higher-than-average initial fees, investments required to open a franchise can start at as little as $10,000, depending on the type of business. Almost all new franchise owners, no matter their situation, have to finance part or all of their franchise purchase. This financing can come from a traditional source, like a commercial bank loan, but some franchisees can also consider loans from friends and family, franchisor lending or alternative lending outlets. With this level of accessibility, more Canadians from all backgrounds, financial situations, and walks of life are taking the steps towards franchising.
One of the best parts about franchising is tapping into a tried-and-true support system, allowing new franchisees to learn from the lessons of those before them. For most new business owners, the insights provided by other franchisees can be an invaluable tool in ensuring their own success.
Paving the way for the future of franchising, here are three individuals who financed their franchise and achieved success in their first year of being their own boss:
Iyad Al Junaidi
When Iyad Al Junaidi decided he wanted to own a business, he had no idea what field or company he’d like to join. In November 2019, he became a franchisee of InXpress, a company providing domestic and international shipping services to small and mid-sized businesses around the world. Al Junaidi knew InXpress had an established brand since being founded 20 years earlier, but he had no idea about the industry.
Despite having no prior knowledge, Al Junaidi took about six months and did his due diligence in research the company and its industry. “I wanted a company with a proven sales record and a scalable, profitable business model, plus one with a growing market and repeat business,” he says. After going through the financing process at the beginning of 2019, Al Junaidi experienced training and guidance from his franchisor. By the end of his first year, he saw his numbers growing exponentially and even won InXpress Canada’s Franchisee of the Year award.
Jen McCain never thought she’d be a franchise owner. Now she can’t see herself doing anything else. McCain joined the Dogtopia team and quickly realised her desire to own one of the stores and put her business management degree to good use. For McCain, it’s all about the training and communication from both her franchisor and her store managers. She says, “I was pulled towards the franchise model, because Dogtopia was—and I believe still is—the best business model in the dog space.” One of her biggest draws when planning to be a franchisee with Dogtopia was the support, tools and resources provided to her by her franchisor. One of the main pillars of support she received from her franchisor was assistance when deciding to finance her first Dogtopia. She adds that one of the best aspects about franchising, especially as a young person, is “knowing there are others in a similar position to you, working towards a similar goal.”
As a young business owner, McCain recognizes that some stakeholders take her age into account, especially when it comes to the initial investment and financing of a franchise. However, by making lasting connections and displaying her integrity to stand up for what she wants, she has managed to become a franchisee of four different Dogtopia locations, with no sign of stopping there.
Not all franchisees are new to franchising. When Daksh Patel opened his first Quesada Burritos & Tacos location in 2019, he already owned two pharmacy locations and was interested in venturing into the food sector. However, his time management skills increased exponentially as he balanced his workload between the pharmacies and Quesada. With a steadily growing customer base and sales not slowing down, it seemed all positive. By June 2021, during the height of the pandemic he was even able to open two more Quesada locations. Despite his initial success, Patel faced some challenges in that his first Quesada location was the first of its kind in the area at that time, meaning consumers were unaware of the restaurant and were hesitant to visit. However, with support from his franchisor and head office offering extra marketing efforts, his location quickly grew in popularity and was voted one of the top 10 stores for sales in Canada.
Like almost all franchisees Patel decided to finance his franchise purchase. In the Spring of 2020 as Patel was forced to shut down his location for about a month due to customer hesitancy and the safety of his staff during the pandemic. He said, “We just didn’t have a clear picture of what was going to happen.” Often, this is the main reason why prospective franchisees decide to finance their purchase. The possibility of circumstances out of your control is something that all business owners contend with, and as a new business owner financing allows you more money left in your pocket to assist in these unpredictable circumstances.