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March/April 2020

At Your Service

Canadians are a busy bunch, looking to franchises to provide them with services to help improve their businesses or personal lives. Offering a range of services, including business coaching, senior care, commercial cleaning, and tax and financial services, the following franchises are helping to make their customers’ lives more efficient and enriched. Read on to learn more about these customer-centric franchise opportunities!

ActionCOACH

You may wonder how business coaching, a car accident, and underwear are related. Well, Kevin Simpson, manager partner of ActionCOACH, says it all comes down to the dedication of the company’s clients.

“I had client who was getting a start-up – Underware – going. He was in a car accident on the way to our pre-coaching meeting – his car was written off after another driver hit him. He took his substantial insurance payout, purchased a cheaper vehicle, and put the rest into his coaching.  We were able to get him the first ever deal on Dragons’ Den for an underwear company – and got him funded,” recalls Simpson.

Founded 26 years ago by Brad Sugars in Australia, ActionCOACH has eight franchise locations in Canada and is now the largest business coaching franchise in the world in 74 countries with more than 2000 coaches.

“What makes our system unique is we focus on client results, meaning profitability and other key KPIs that a client’s business must attain to thrive and grow,” says Simpson. “We don’t ask or expect yearly commitments, we actually coach on a month-to-month or quarterly basis. If the client or us feel we are not getting results, either can terminate the agreement.”

The global reach of the company is a huge benefit, says Simpson. “Often, we’ll put out a message to our global community about a challenge we’re having with a client in a certain –often obscure – industry. Usually within five minutes we have three coaches with direct experience ready to assist. “

The ideal franchisee has some business experience. All coaches, firm owners, and master licensees must attend training classes as well as weekly webinars and monthly masterclass events.

ActionCOACH has offices in Calgary and Canmore in Alberta and Okanagan in British Columbia, and in Ontario and Quebec.

Home Instead Senior Care

“One of my favourite stories about our Canadian franchise owners is when they all showed up to a meeting at our annual convention dressed as lumberjacks. It showed their sense of humour and camaraderie, but more importantly, how they’re always willing to collaborate and have fun,” says Kathleen McKay, franchise development director for Home Instead Senior Care.

It that’s kind of energy that’s built the success of Home Instead Senior Care, explains McKay. “What makes us unique is we customize care plans for clients and their families.”

Home Instead Senior Care allows seniors to stay in their homes while receiving a variety of care levels – everything from meal preparation and medication management to hospice support and dementia care.

The company was founded by Paul Hogan, who, after caring for his grandmother, was inspired along with his wife Lori to help other families with aging loved ones.

“One of the primary benefits of owning a Home Instead Senior Care franchise is you can have your own business in a field that’s addressing a major need for Canada. Home Instead franchise owners enhance the lives of aging adults and their families,” says McKay.

McKay says one of the challenges franchise owners can encounter is managing growth. “It’s nice the businesses across Canada are growing; however, as a franchisor, we are constantly working to ensure we are providing world-class support to empower our franchise owner and their teams.”

Franchise owners don’t need a background in senior care but should be able to lead a team. McKay says an understanding of business finance is helpful, as is a “heart for serving others.”

The franchise offers classroom, face-to-face, and virtual training, as well as ongoing training. Before investing in a franchise, McKay advises talking to current franchisees.

With 44 offices across Canada and 1,200 in 13 countries, Home Instead Senior Care has opportunities available throughout Canada, including the Greater Toronto Area, as well as Belleville and Kingston, Ontario.

Jani-King Canada

‘Come heck or high water,’ could easily be Jani-King’s motto after Hurricane Juan hit Nova Scotia in 2003. “A franchisee and his employees were cleaning multiple accounts in the Halifax area when the storm made landfall,” explains Murray Oxford, president of Jani-King Canada. “As the night progressed, bridges were shut down, power went out, and roads were almost impassable, but the cleaning went on. The franchisee travelled around the city making sure all his employees made it home safely. Cleaning in adverse weather conditions is normal, but cleaning during a hurricane definitely goes above and beyond.”

Founded in 1969 by Jim Kavanaugh, Jani-King is one of the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise systems, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary. Its success, says Oxford, is due to the owner-operator system.

Jani-King secures commercial cleaning contracts, selects and trains franchise owners, then provides them with an initial customer base. Benefits to clients include reliable, trained, uniformed personnel providing a broad spectrum of services from full-service maintenance cleaning programs to on-call emergency service, post-construction, and renovation cleaning.

The franchise offers flexibility and control as far as hours and income potential. Oxford says Jani-King franchise packages are some of the lowest cost investment opportunities in the market. “The commercial cleaning industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of the economy.  It’s relatively stable and, unlike some other industries, is resistant to the highs and lows of recession.”

Previous experience in the cleaning industry isn’t required but franchisees should possess good communication and organizational skills. Each Jani-King franchise owner must complete the Jani-King training program and pass a demanding hands-on test to prove competency and proficiency.

Oxford says to achieve success, “Franchisees should become exceptional at customer service and follow all components of the franchise system.”

Jani-King has 700 franchisees across the country, with master franchise opportunities available in Saskatchewan, Northern Ontario, and Newfoundland.

Padgett Business Services

In 1965, Georgia small-business owner Walter Padgett saw his fellow business owners struggling to manage their tax and financial issues. So, he developed a system to help them, founding Padgett Business Services. The company was so successful, it started franchising, moving into Canada in 1986. Today, of the approximately 300 Padgett locations throughout North America, 100 are Canadian.

At the onset of any client engagement, we conduct an in-depth interview to understand the client’s operations, challenges, short-term goals, and long-term aspirations. Then we put together a customer service package best addressing those needs. If you asked our clients, they’d probably say Padgett allows them to focus on operating their business more successfully,” explains Hal Canaan, Padgett Canada’s executive vice president.

Challenges for franchisees include hiring, training, and managing staff as the client base grows. As well, because the franchise is knowledge-based, franchisees need to stay current with tax legislation and the fast-moving pace of technology, such as cloud accounting and artificial intelligence (AI).

The franchise runs training courses and conferences throughout the year, along with an online franchisee support platform, and provides help from in-house support staff, mainly in the fields of taxation, technology, and marketing. “Having proven systems for efficiently processing and managing client workloads allows a single accountant to administer a large client base.  Padgett has a national account partnership with Intuit Canada that brings many opportunities for Padgett franchisees,” says Canaan.

Franchisees should have an accounting or financial background, be highly motivated, and possess good interpersonal skills as well as family support and passion for the franchise. “Our franchisees consider our experienced staff in head office to be part of their back office, their research group, and development staff,” says Canaan.

For success, Canaan says, “Be it Padgett Business Services or another franchise system, our advice would be to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel.’ The franchisor’s systems and support have been proven to work and can help run a profitable, successful business.”


By Georgie Binks

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