Though tough economic times are upon us, the reality is that franchising remains the stand out exception as entrepreneurs continue to look for new start up ventures. “Recession-resistant” business models such as coffee shops, service based franchises and pet industry businesses remain strong viable options for those entrepreneurs looking to establish their own business.

Even when there have been publicized dips in the national economy, layoffs have become a natural part of our economic troubles resulting in thousands of individuals making the conscious decision to establish their own businesses to ensure they ‘control their own destiny’.

There are currently more than 78,000 franchised units, employing in excess of 1 million Canadians. Canadian franchised businesses generate more than $68 Billion dollars in revenue each year across 1300 franchised brands, which collectively employ 1 out of every 14 working Canadians. Of all the franchises opened in Canada within the last 5 years, 86% are under the same ownership and 97% are still in business. Franchising is well respected across more than 40 different sectors from florists to dry-cleaners to pet day/boarding spas.

It is also worth noting that every Canadian bank has now established a national franchise department specifically to deal with the growing demand for startup franchised businesses. The future for Canadian franchising is extremely healthy. More and more US brands are expanding north of the border to take advantage of the Canadian market.

Canada has a well-educated, highly skilled workforce with disposable income and spending patterns similar to Americans. Whilst technically an “international market”, Canada is close enough to the U.S market in so many ways that it makes perfect sense to choose Canada as the first foray into international franchising.  The opposite is also true, right next to Canada is the strongest franchise market in the world which is a melting pot for creativity allowing successful Canadian Franchisors like Tim Hortons and Second Cup allow them to take their brands to 335,000,000 more customers who in all likelihood have already been introduced to their brand via cross border TV ads and visitors from the US. All in all franchising is a huge Canadian business opportunity for any company or person who seeks and industry with its major growth years ahead.

Peter Thomas brought Century 21 Real Estate, Massage Heights and Dogtopia to Canada and has been involved with many more brands over the past 40 years on the Canadian business scene.

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