Best-in-Class Franchisees

Five Franchisee of the Year winners share the secrets behind their success

Illustration of a male employee giving a thumbs up sign, with five stars in front of him
ND17 – Spirit Leaf

Passionate, engaged, and hard-working franchisees are the cornerstone behind every successful franchise system, and it’s important for franchisors to recognize those that go above and beyond in helping the system find this success. That recognition comes in the form of Franchisee of the Year honours, bestowed on those who have played a pivotal role within the system, and within their communities.

Here, FranchiseCanada gives you an inside look at five Franchisee of the Year winners from the past year. Read on to find out what sets these exemplary franchisees apart, and to learn from their valuable words of franchising wisdom.

Kyle Anderson

Browns Socialhouse – Semiahmoo

Surrey, British Columbia

I wanted to own my own franchise business because…

I wanted to be my own boss, of course! I wanted to be in control of my future, and mitigate risk by investing in a brand with established systems and standards.

I chose to franchise with this particular concept because…

The direction of the brand is the direction I wanted to go. I felt this concept was something the market was lacking, and wanted to be a part of it.

The benefits of being a franchisee are…

More rewards, and less risk. We have great corporate assistance, and the ability to network with all of the amazing franchisees within our system. We have a collective group of minds all driving toward the same goal.

The best part of owning my own business is…

Interacting with so many great people, from members of the community to the hundreds of staff we’ve employed over the years. It feels like we’re bringing so many people together.

I’ve found success with my franchise because…

I love what I do and the people I work with. Being a franchisee, you get to establish the culture within your brand, and create the environment you always wanted to work in.

My advice to others considering franchising is…

Align yourself with a brand that’s consistent with your personality and goals. Make sure to look for a franchise with a good reputation, track record of performance, and strong support system with great corporate staff.

Leo Landriault

Kwik Kloset
Sudbury, Ontario

I wanted to own my own franchise business because…

I like the fact that I can run my own business and still have support. Starting a new endeavour, it was important to work with people who knew the products and installation methods I would need to learn. That way, I wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time I tried something I hadn’t tried before.

I chose to franchise with this particular concept because…

I was a finishing contractor, and I was constantly being asked to do closets. I felt that there had to be a better approach than the one I was using, so I went online to look for one. When I found Tom Turnbull’s Kwik Kloset concept and realized it was based in southern Ontario, I thought it had potential. After talking with Tom and seeing the range of products he had available, I knew I had found my solution.

The benefits of being a franchisee are…

When you’re embarking on a new enterprise, it’s great to have someone to turn to for advice. As a franchisee, you can tap into the organization’s buying potential. This will often help with the bottom line. They can also help when there are problems with suppliers or deliveries; they know who to go to for solutions. Because you’re part of a bigger organization, not just an individual, you’re more likely to be taken seriously. With Kwik Kloset having its own website, I don’t need to maintain one. The benefits are only limited by your imagination.

The best part of owning my own business is…

Having a franchise for me is an independence thing. Whether I make it or not, it’s up to me. I like having that authority, and the final responsibility.

I’ve found success with my business because…

Part of it is that Sudbury is a small market, part of it is that we’ve worked hard, part of it is a little luck, and part of it is being in the right place at the right time. I also have to give credit where it’s due – to my wife, who is my best friend and the only person who can consistently outwork me, and to Kwik Kloset Franchising Inc., for helping me out and getting me organized and going. That all plays a factor in it.

My advice to others considering franchising is…

If you’re going to be successful in a franchise, you need the backing of your family, and you have to be really comfortable with whoever owns the franchise, because they can make or break you. You also can’t be afraid of work. This isn’t a 9-5, Monday to Friday job. If you’re going to get into any kind of franchise, you’re working more than 40 hours a week, especially if you want to make a go of it.

Peggy (and Charlie) Young

Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken & Taters
Kingston, Ontario

I wanted to own my own franchise business because….

I worked in the food business for my entire life, and have had many ups and downs. I’ve always dreamed of owning a restaurant of my own one day. Many obstacles along the way prevented that from happening, but I never gave up on the dream of having my own business and creating my own little culture in a community.

I chose to franchise with this particular concept because…

My husband and I grew up in Newfoundland, and Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken & Taters is like a part of our heritage – it’s like having your best friend around the corner. When the opportunity to have a Mary Brown’s franchise popped up, we were thrilled. We knew Mary Brown’s and what they were all about – that East Coast love and passion for everything they do. We had full confidence and never looked back or regretted any minute of it.

The benefits of being a franchisee are…

We gave it careful thought before becoming a franchisee, weighing the pros and cons. What really sold us was knowing we would have the support of an experienced team behind us. From marketing and advertising to training, we know there’s an entire team there to support and guide us when we need it most.

The best part of owning my own business is…

I get to put my love, passion, and experience into my own business instead of others’, and to see the end results of my ideas, creativity, and hard work. I have the independence to be able to make decisions that are best for me, my business, our franchisor, and most importantly, the people who make it work – our wonderful staff, and our guests in the community, who are our supporters. I want to get to know each and every one of them, and I just love it when we can put a smile on their faces.

I’ve found success with my franchise because…

We have had tremendous support from our home support team. We pay attention, we work hard, and we are there with the staff, cooking meals, washing the dishes, giving guidance. We support our staff when they need it, and engage with our guests. We know our community, and this is very important. You need to pay attention to what’s happening around your community, and help where you can, and your community will support you. Finally, touch everything you do with love.

My advice to others considering franchising is…

Understand what you’re getting into. Don’t ever think it’s a given that you’ll write a cheque and everything will happen for you, because it won’t. You have to be there, and to be a leader, not a boss. When your staff come to work early, have a smile on their face, and are engaged, you’re on a good path.

Greg Davey

PAUL DAVIS Restoration
Red Deer, Alberta

I wanted to own my own business because…

I wanted the support systems and proven track record of the PAUL DAVIS franchise program to support me so I could focus on growing my business.

I chose to franchise with this particular concept because…

The PAUL DAVIS business model is in an industry sector that I subcontracted to in a previous career, so I was somewhat familiar with the industry, and could see the long-term need and benefit for the services PAUL DAVIS offers to both residential and commercial customers in my local market. PAUL DAVIS was also the only democratic franchise system available, where every franchisee has a vote in how the franchise program evolves, so I felt I would have some say in protecting my investment in the future.

The benefits of being a franchisee are…

I get the collective benefit of knowledge and experiences from our entire franchise system, in all facets of the business model. The franchisor continuously collects best practices from within our system, and marries them with industry innovation to recommend ways to grow my sales and increase my profitability. I don’t need to be an expert in SEO or SEM marketing, because I have access to a central business intelligence HUB 24/7, and a Field Business Consultant, who I can use to tap into the collective knowledge of the entire system and get recommendations for how I can improve my business every day.

The best part of owning my own business is…

I can control my own destiny and ensure a standard of living for my family. I also get to make a positive impact on the lives of my employees, and improve the quality of life in my community.

I’ve found success with my franchise because…

I was able to fulfill a personal passion to help people in their time of need, to make a real difference in our customers’ lives. The PAUL DAVIS franchise allowed me to combine my personal drive to be successful with the structure of a proven business model.

My advice to others considering franchising is…

Find a business model you can immerse yourself in, something you can be passionate about. Locate in a market that has meaning to you and your family, then find the best franchise concept in your industry of choice. Where success leads, profit and quality of life will follow.

Stephanie (and Simon) Jones

PropertyGuys.com
West Kootenays, British Columbia

I wanted to own my own franchise business because…

We’re immigrants from England, and starting a business yourself in a foreign country is daunting. We wanted to add value to our community, and wanted to become employers, rather than employees. Being part of a franchise system means you get help and guidance and support when running the business. Home Office takes the lead on product development, and that allows us to work on our business at a local level. They’re also always there for any bumps in the road.

I chose to franchise with this particular concept because…

We’ve always had a passion for houses, buildings, and property, so the PropertyGuys.com business seemed ideal – the brand fit with our passions and moral ethos in helping homeowners in our communities keep their hard-earned equity.

The benefits of being a franchisee are…

You can concentrate on working with the folks in your community, and leave the bigger business development to the capable visionaries of Home Office. The structure in PropertyGuys.com makes it fun and rewarding, and it’s great to be a part of a larger team, where you can share ideas and support each other.

The best part of owning my own business is…

Freedom! We’ve built our business here in the Kootenays, and employed local people, who are helping us to continue moving forward, and helping us achieve our goals. Although we live and breathe our business, we can decide when to go on vacation with our family, and set our own schedules. It also gives us an immense sense of personal satisfaction to see what we’ve built, and we have continued excitement as to where we’ll take things next.

I’ve found success with my franchise because…

We’re a team! Simon, my husband, as Head of Sales absolutely understands the needs of our clients when it comes to marketing their homes. He has an off-the-wall approach to our quirkier properties, and listens to what our clients need. I’ve been focused on building a scalable business, and getting the right people to work with us, who have the same passion for what we do. We couldn’t be this successful alone, and are extremely proud of the team we have at our location – they’re the best people ever!

My advice to others considering franchising is…

Make sure that you’re partnering with a company that shares your passion and vision, and encourages collaboration. Your business is a huge part of your life, so ensuring you get immense satisfaction from your day-to-day grind is essential. Of course, there’s also the viability issue; the business has to be right for the location you live in, and you have to be able to make a living from it. Finally, you have to have a connection with the bigger picture, and be able to build relationships with your Home Office.