With the high risk involved in starting a brand at “ground zero”, many entrepreneurs opt for franchising instead. You may be more familiar with opportunities in restaurants and food service, ranging from fast food to formal fine dining. Expanding beyond hospitality, many of the most popular brands in Canada are franchised, providing consumers with a uniform set of standards and expectations.
Inspiration Learning Center is a leader in Canadian education, providing top-tier education to students, families, franchisees, and stakeholders. While some facts are consistent “across the board”, our industry is different in that it is the marriage between education and business. In other words, you must have the “heart” for community service where other industries require different character-attributes
If you are thinking about opening your very own learning center, please feel free to reach out by email or phone. Alternatively, we can arrange a Zoom meeting or an “in-person” tour of our Markham headquarters.
What franchises make the most money?
Who doesn’t want to make money, right?
It is important to note that some lines of business have a greater cash volume but are unable to retain a significant portion. This is common in businesses that have a high variable cost, like food and other expenses. While it is impossible to predict which projects will “bear fruit”, it is reasonable to look to history for guidance.
Successful franchises share some standard features like…
Great brand awareness and reputation (even if the scope is initially limited).
Enthusiastic management team.
Altruism and compassion.
Groundbreakers. (Paradigm smashers).
A “paradigm smasher” is a brand that reshapes the industry, whether it be technology or systemology.
Drive-thru window (efficiency and convenience)
Personal computer (centralized information and productivity).
Inspiration’s “East Meets West” model (getting students ready for life, regardless of their starting point).
It’s one thing to make money, it’s another to redefine your legacy.
Inspiration is about opening doors and making the Canadian Dream accessible.
Are you in?
Can I own a franchise?
When you acquire a franchise, you are acquiring the rights to use a specific brand and model. There are expectations on both ends of the deal, ensuring that everything works smoothly and efficiently. While it may seem advantageous to accept every applicant, this is counterproductive and could devastate the brand’s reputation.
The best bet is to carefully screen each applicant, choosing the people that best mesh with the brand’s values.
In the case of an education system (like ours), we look for:
Experience in customer service.
Love of children.
What franchise should I buy?
This is a common question, perhaps the most important one. Whatever you do, you will do it most of your week. In fact, there might be days when you see your colleagues more than you see your own family! Taking this into consideration, it is beneficial to do an inventory of your personal skills and interests.
Some questions to reflect on include (but are not limited to):
What do you do for fun?
Do you ever get tired of people (and need to be alone)?
Do I have a large friend circle?
Can I use social media in different languages?
How do I enjoy problem-solving?
If you have a fascination with fried chicken then it would be best to visit KFC. However, if you are like us and are passionate about helping youngsters, perhaps Inspiration is the right place to build your future.
Why is a franchise more sustainable?
It is never easy to reinvent the wheel, nor should it be. If everyone could become a success overnight, then success would not be rare. It takes years to develop a brand, especially the positive goodwill needed to sustain it over the generations. If you start a business from the ground level, you must invest large sums into the initial marketing campaign, without any guarantees whatsoever. When you join a franchising network, you are able to put your resources into expanding the brand’s reach, instead of establishing it outright. This results in a higher penetration and retention rate.
When buying a franchise, what questions should I ask?
How long have you been in business?
How many locations do you have?
How are you different from your competitors?
How much money do I need to sustain myself for the first year?
What kind of support can I expect from headquarters?
Why is the franchise agreement important?
The franchise agreement spells out everyone’s responsibilities, so there are no confusion down the road. This can be seen as a sort of “roadmap” to success, giving every “player” specific “roles” in the context of a “game”. For example, it will allocate physical jurisdiction to each party, ensuring that boundaries are respected and problems are mitigated. Alternatively, it can spell out advertising budgeting and contributions, whether it be for local or national campaigns. The franchise agreement is one part of the business plan, which organizes resources, personnel, and time.
What is the connection between franchising and licensing?
Franchising and licensing often go “hand and hand” but can differ in some contexts. Franchising is the process of offering a “business system” to a 3rd party in exchange for fees and royalties. Licensing can exist without franchising, like a t-shirt company acquiring the right to use a specific logo. If you have any questions about specific details, it is important to bring them up! No question is a bad question!
What is franchisee training like?
Even if you have worked in a school environment before, it is important to learn the specific business processes relevant to this system. While this may seem abstract, there are many “small steps” needed to learn and master. No one is expected to be perfect, especially if they are new! The best recipe for success is to match “new partners” with seasoned experts, ensuring that nothing important is missed. While some of this training occurs in your new learning center location, some material is taught from our Markham Headquarters.
While it is normal to have “a million questions” it can also be easy to become overwhelmed. Part of the benefit of joining a franchise network is the wealth of knowledge that you are privy to. This will alleviate much of the stress commonly associated with starting your own business. That way you can “hit the ground running” and see success early on.
Whatever your story is, we would love to get to know you!