George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
It is true that the Canadian franchises that tend to succeed over the long term come from the tried-and-true sectors such as home services, food, hotels and restaurants. At the same time, the idea that just about any concept can be franchised is also true. Naturally, some of these ideas catch on at first before fading out over time while others plod along, never getting the traction needed to flourish. However, there are some that have true staying power.
You will be able to find examples of sustained success all the way across the spectrum. Whether it's a concept from one of the traditional sectors or more off the beaten track, there are consistent markers that separate the winners from the has-beens or could-have-beens.
Business affinity trumps specific experience
Most successful franchisees are 100 percent committed to the investment they've made. You'll also find that they may not have had any practical experience in the business category their franchise belongs in. Most people don't have all the skills needed to run a successful business right from the start; it's a collaborative effort. Within the right franchise, your lack of experience in the industry won't determine your success, but your attitude will.
The franchisor is invested, too
Unfortunately, you'll find stories from franchisees who had useful and regular communication with their franchisor and its staff at the start, only to have the support dwindle over time. This journey is not a sprint but a marathon, and you need to make sure you're going with a franchisor who is ready to go the whole way with you.
In addition to regular support, your franchise should be invested in being at the cutting edge of the industry in which they operate. In today's fast-evolving tech and business climate, companies that fall behind are often left in the dust of their competition.
The franchisee community is vibrant
The contentment and health of current franchisees is the most revealing franchise indicator you'll come across in your research. A successful franchise will have a franchisee community full of people who are supportive, eager, active and happy to share information and problem solve with one another.
How well you perform your due diligence in your franchise evaluation will have a direct impact on your overall success. Don't forget to look into the three areas above to see if the franchise you're considering is up to par.