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I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Monday, June 26, 2017

"Educate yourself on franchises before starting one of your own"/ Rima Qureshi

May. 8, 2018 "Educate yourself on franchises before starting one of your own": Today I found this article by Harvey Schachter in the Globe and Mail:

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

That’s the message many of us have about franchising. But Dr. John Hayes – a journalism professor turned franchising guru, after deciding in 1979 to write a book on the process – says while it’s good to be fearful, we shouldn’t let the risks block us from what could be the opportunity of a lifetime.

If you would like to own your own business, there are far more franchises available than you might imagine, extending well beyond Tim Hortons and the fast-food restaurants that we are familiar with.

Take Dental Fix: It services equipment in dentists’ offices in your area, from mobile vans, one of many such servicing-on-wheels opportunities. Experimac sells and services Apple-brand products. As well, there’s travel, executive coaching, laundries and a host of other non-food opportunities.

Instead of starting a business on your own, the franchisor gives you a boost, with a system that has worked successfully elsewhere.

Start your own pizza restaurant, he writes in his book, Take The Fear Out of Franchising, and you are on your own. You’ll hit bumps along the road, even sinkholes, often self-made, which a franchisor would have helped you avoid.

That being said, he says it’s legitimate – and wise – to be afraid. Franchise agreements are specific and long-term. They lock you into something that, if you haven’t properly investigated, may be wrong for you – a bad business, or a great business that is just bad for you. “Franchising is not something you should take lightly,” he says in an interview.

Based in Palm Beach, Fla., after seven years teaching at a private university in Kuwait, he sets out a number of tenets to be alert to:
  • Every franchise requires specific values and skills from franchisees: You need to be sure that the franchise opportunity fits what you want to do and are capable of doing. “You are not your neighbour or brother-in-law who bought a franchise and has been very successful. They may have skills you don’t have,” he says. He points to early franchisees with Mail Boxes (now the UPS store) who thought they were getting into a Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., retail operation, dealing with copying and couriering.
But to be successful, they needed to work much longer hours, a good deal of those selling their service – something they may not have enjoyed – to the local business community. Many franchisors have personality tests that compare you to the profile of their most successful franchisees. He encourages you take the tests to understand yourself and the opportunity better.

  • A franchise is a licence: Someone is giving you the right to operate the business under their brand for a specific time during which you must follow their rules. “Violate their system and you lose the license. You can’t change the system. You can’t ignore the system. But people try to do that all the time,” he says, which leads to problems.

  • Every franchise is a system: Make that, Dr. Hayes says, every good or great franchise is a system. You need to understand that system and whether it’s ideal for you. The best way is to work at one of the outlets; indeed, he says, some franchises require prior experience in their stores. Offer to work a day, or part-time, or during a vacation period so you can see the system from within.

  • The franchisor is always in control: With the benefit of a proven system comes loss of control. That is the dilemma you face, and why some people choose instead to open their own independent outlets. “The franchisor owns the name and the system. You don’t own anything. You can’t change the colour of the paint in stores. You can’t have a Wednesday special. You can’t change anything,” Dr. Hayes says. Good franchisors want you to succeed and try to make the system work for you. But they are still in control.
“If you’re a teacher and want to start a travel business, how will you know where to advertise and what to say? But the franchisor knows that, will give you the ad and tell you where to place it. They take the guesswork out and save you money, keeping you in business as a result,” he says.

So, be afraid. Very afraid. But don’t let that stop you from doing due diligence if you have always wanted to own your own business. It may be the right opportunity for you.

Doug Lippay
1 day ago

If you are considering a franchise purchase, one should establish an exit strategy before signing the agreements. Best laid plans don't always work out, good idea to have a plan b, just in case.

Also, if purchasing an existing operation, find out why it's on the market. Most happy, successful operators are not looking to sell their business.

The Ladder: Rima Qureshi: Today I found this article in the Globe and Mail:

Rima Qureshi, based in Montreal, is senior vice-president and head of the North America region at Ericsson.

I was born in Pakistan, where there was a very traditional approach to things – a good girl should get married and then let her husband decide how she goes on with her studies.

My dad had a very different outlook on education. Education was extremely important to him and he instilled that in myself and my sister from a very young age. My dad’s side of the family has traditionally been in science and medicine professions. He wanted me to continue the family tradition.

I didn’t really start out by saying I wanted to be a leader of something. I somehow ended up that way. One of my earliest leadership experiences was in junior high school. We had a trip to Quebec City and needed to raise money. I took over the responsibility and organized bake sales and other ways to raise the money. As I was growing up, I noticed that my family tended towards me directing and leading whatever needed to be done. I guess they thought I was good at it.

Computers were the new thing when I had to decide what to study and so I decided to try it. I really enjoyed working with computers. I started programming probably when I was 15 or 16 years old on a Commodore 64. When you program, you write clear instructions and you get very expected, organized and rational results. In a world where things are not necessarily like that, it was nice to work with things that were black and white, or ones and zeros.

I started, within Ericsson, in Montreal and then had the opportunity to live and work in Sweden. I realized quickly that [a] very structured, very fact-based analytical approach to management did not work in a consensus-based environment. I needed to adapt very quickly to that environment. I moved from where I was – much more analytical – to becoming much more focused on the softer side of things, listening to people and creating a common view and a common vision for why people should do things.

I’m an explorer introvert. That means that I push the boundaries and I am looking for new ideas, but I am very analytical and I initially try to solve problems and come up with solutions on my own instead of involving people early in the process. But as a CEO, I can’t just present people with my solution. I am learning to engage more with people as I make decisions. I’m learning, also, to make sure that I don’t show up with the decision already made.

My passion is learning. That is what drives me at work and my hobbies. I am avid reader of history, fiction and technology trends. I love new experiences, whether it be through travel, the ability to live somewhere, a different job or [to] meet new people. That’s probably been sparked by my dad’s focus on the importance of education.

I’m travelling about 80 per cent of the time, often between Dallas, Montreal and Sweden. Going from North America to Europe is something that’s straightforward for me now. I’ve done it so many times, so it’s like riding a bus.

The best way to stay awake is to stand up. If I have difficulty concentrating in a meeting, I’ll usually stand up to fight it.

I prefer one-on-one discussions, but I’ve had to learn to network. It’s part of the job. The easiest way is to ask a question and let people talk about themselves. The trick is to give people an opportunity to talk about something that they feel passionate about. It is a great way to get to know someone.

As much as possible, I try not to tell people what I do for a living. I am not defined only by who I am at work. I am much more than that. It is interesting how some people feel the urge to talk about what they do for a living. It seems to define them completely. If I am asked what I do, I usually respond that I work in technology.

As much as possible, I eat at home when in Montreal. One of the things I look forward to most, especially in the summertime, is to head to the Jean-Talon Market and buy lots of great local food. We try to eat as local as possible so I preserve and cook as a way to relax.

franco prairie
2 days ago

Good for you.
When acquaintances want to know about my background I let them know, then I make a point to say I love the Canadian people, the first thing I did was to integrate to this wonderful country who has giving my canadian born kids a fantastic future for them and their families.
Ah, feels so great to be part of one Canada.

moon howler
2 days ago

Congratulations. You are Canadian, and some.


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