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Women in Franchising: Setting the Next Generation Up for Success

Jodi Pickles, Oxford Learning Centres

Why did you decide to invest in your franchise?

I wanted to help others! My brother had a learning disability growing up and I was always looking for ways to help others reach their full potential. My father opened an Oxford Learning Centre and when I was looking to open my own business, he told me to seriously consider Oxford. He thought it was a perfect fit for me.

What were you doing before franchising?

Before I opened up Oxford, I worked in our family business. My parents owned a skincare company and I was a director of operations. The plan was to take over their company, but when they decided to retire, I decided I wanted to do something else. That was when I started searching for new opportunities.

What are the benefits of franchising with this specific franchise? What are some of the challenges?

The benefits are that the processes are already in place. I like following a proven system that works. It allows more time to interact with customers. I love people and do not thrive in work that doesn’t have me face to face with others.

A challenge is you don’t have control over the fees or full control over the company’s decisions and direction.

Why do you think women should get into franchising?

For me, it was a perfect fit with raising a family. Oxford has a system in place for everything. I did not need to be there every minute of operating hours to ensure things were being done. My management team knew exactly what to do based on the system that has been laid out by our franchisor.

What advice do you have for women who want to buy a franchise?

Choose a franchise that aligns with your talents, strengths, and values. You will be in a relationship with this business for a long time so make sure it fits YOU.

Within your selection process, talk to a lot of other franchise owners about their experiences with head office, support, and the day to day of the business. Also know what you want in terms of work-life balance and how long it typically takes to start seeing a profit.

Tosha Doiron, Stagecoach Performing Arts

Why did you decide to invest in your franchise?

I began as a teacher in another Stagecoach Location and really liked what the company was about and what it stood for.  I had a great example of another franchise owner (also a woman) who led me to see all the benefits of running one of my own.  Stagecoach was very open, welcoming, supportive and had a great history and reputation that I felt confident in investing in.

What were you doing before franchising?  

I was (and still am) a performer and educator. Stagecoach fit perfectly with my other passions and interests and continues to allow me to pursue other interests.

What are the benefits of franchising with this specific franchise? What are some of the challenges?

Teaching children confidence through the performing arts – it doesn’t get much better than that!  Now, I could do that on my own, but having the Stagecoach network and support has allowed me to reach more people, grow my business, and gain access to excellent marketing, child protection training, teacher training, special events, IT, and more. I also love the connection to all the other wonderful franchisees in Canada and around the world.

Why do you think women should get into franchising?   

A franchise was my doorway into becoming a successful business owner, something I’m not sure I would have pursued otherwise. My son said the other day, “Mom, who’s your boss?” and I said “Um … no one … I’m the boss!” Ha! So go woman, go be the boss! But seriously, I think many women possess the drive, intelligence, thoughtfulness, attention to detail, organizational skills, passion, and compassion to be great leaders and franchise owners, especially in a business like mine.

What advice do you have for women who want to buy a franchise?

Make sure it’s a company or product you believe in. I often ask myself, would I put my child in this program if I didn’t own it? I want the answer to always be “yes,” because I truly believe it is an excellent program with huge benefits for children. It’s a great way for me to gauge what I’m offering and stay on top of what is enjoyable and worthwhile to our customers (parents and children). Also, the time commitment is always greater than what is presented. If it’s your business, it’s 24/7 in your mind.

 

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