Entrepreneurship and the Role of the Franchise System

Entrepreneurship and the Role of the Franchise System

Cure the Monday to Friday work blues.  Work for yourself.

Being an independent business operator is not for everyone.

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But it certainly is for a lot of people in Canada, as an estimated 2.6 million people are self employed.  That is 7.5% of the total population!  Suffice it to say that this number is drastically underinflated, given the scale of the underground economy in Canada, estimated to be worth nearly $40 billion.  That, no doubt, comprises a number of ill advised entrepreneurs earning their living “under the table”.  That said, even if we only consider the legitimate market being driven by courageous leaders, it is an enormous part of the Canadian economy.

So, we’ve established that there are independent operators, a lot of them!  What would have stimulated them to leave the cushioned arm chair of working for someone else, or something else, to live on the edge and put their future in the hands of their entrepreneurially minded self?  Well, there are myriad reasons, and for each person, the reasons are likely different, or the combination of reasons, at least, are different.  According to Molly Cain who contributed an article to Forbes.com, the top two reasons for people to venture out on the tight rope of self employment are:

  1. They want flexibility in their schedule
  2. They want more control over their ideas, projects, and the work that they do

You can read more about Molly’s top 13 reasons here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/glassheel/2012/04/12/13-signs-you-are-meant-to-be-self-employed/2/

Of course, conversely, these typically become the top reasons that entrepreneurs love working for themselves after the fact.  Have you ever really wanted to be at your child’s track and field meet, parent teacher interviews, or perhaps you wanted to put work on hold one beautiful Friday to go golfing, but you couldn’t because of that tight deadline that the boss was pushing across your desk?  Most entrepreneurs have a veritable treasure chest of these experiences that they have, for the

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most part, been able to overcome and prevent because they are now the boss.  Combine that with having greater control
over your income, and this “working for yourself thing” really starts to look good.  Of course, with every great story comes stories of challenge, stress, anxiety, and failures, but if these words give you vertigo, being an entrepreneur may not be the best fork to take in the road.  Many of the self employed Canadians would say that when they worked for someone else, they loathed the red tape, politics and how long it took to get things done.  Others would say that being on a fixed schedule or working odd shifts were the catalysts for change, but almost every one of them would say that they were resentful towards how much work they put in to build someone else’s wealth.  As an entrepreneur, your hard work develops great results for you, job satisfaction is manifested through you, things get done, or don’t get done, because of you.

Your grit, determination and gumption become 100% invested in your vision, and therefore, success or failure is determined by your actions, and yours alone.  This is a huge responsibility, but then again, isn’t that why you want to be in business in the first place?

Segue into the role of the franchise system.  Obviously, there are no ways to completely eliminate risk, stress and anxiety in starting your own business, but perhaps one of the most impactful strategies to reduce them is to engage in a franchise based business.  Be assured that you are not the only one who would consider doing such a thing.  In fact, in Canada, there are some staggering statistics around this form of enterprise:

  • Canada has the 2nd largest franchise industry in the world, led only by the U.S.A.
  • One franchise operation exists for every 450 Canadians
  • Franchises represent over $100 billion in annual sales
  • Approximately $1 of every $5 are spent on goods and services at a franchise
  • A Canadian franchise opens every 2 hours
  • There are a total of 76,000 franchises operating under more than 900 different brand names
  • Of all franchises opened in Canada over the last 5 years, 86% are under the same ownership and 97% are still in business
  • Franchising is the preferred Canadian small business expansion model
  • Franchises are active in over 30 business, retail and service sectors

Why?  Because a franchise system reduces so many of the not so fun elements of starting a business.  Risk is reduced, because you are investing in a proven model where someone else has spent countless hours researching and developing it.  The cash investment is reduced because aside from franchise based fees and startup expenses, the cost of developing a brand from scratch has already been incurred.  Brand awareness is typically already present, so marketing costs can be lower than if you were starting something from scratch.  But over and above all of that, engaging in a franchise system makes you a part of an elaborate network of knowledge, experience, and crowd sharing.  Instead of learning from your mistakes and improving processes based on them, you learn from the mistakes and successes of many other like-minded entrepreneurs, who all happen to function under one brand.  This, perhaps, is the golden nugget of the entire theory.  In a franchise system, you are never alone to manage challenges, and you have an invaluable resource upon which to draw ideas and inspiration.

OK, right, so is this trend of growth in franchising going to continue?  You bet it is.  It is estimated that over the next several years, franchise based businesses will make up more than 50% of the total retail economy in Canada.  If there was any forecast that would encourage you to take the leap and jump on the franchise train, this is it.  Or perhaps you will be in a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 slump, still working for someone else, and wondering why you didn’t do something sooner…

Driverseat is a vehicle transportation company specializing in Designated Driving, Airport Drop-off, Elderly Accompaniment and Special Event Transportation.  www.driverseatcanada.com

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