Public cuts are private gains

Toby Young, 24, also wants to start his own business but he said franchising is not the route to go. “I want to be my own boss,” he said. “Franchise? You end up working for them.”

The Toronto Star
September 27, 1997

Public cuts are private gains
Franchisors target education and health care
Steven Theobald


MINISTER GETS GRILLING: A light-hearted consumer minister, David Tsubouchi, has some fun with a tanning bed at the opening of the CFA Franchise Show yesterday at Exhibition Place. Boris Spremo/Toronto Star

When David Tsubouchi cut the ribbon opening the CFA Franchise Show in Toronto yesterday, he could quite rightly claim that his government did something to help ensure the success of the event.

“What we are doing right now is providing a better climate for people to start businesses,” Ontario’s minister of consumer and commercial relations said.

But it’s not lower taxes or less red tape that is creating opportunities for franchisors and franchisees. Deficit fighting governments have slashed social services to a point where businesses are stumbling over each other to take up the slack.

“A lot of the services are filling in where the governments have cut back,” said Richard Cunningham, Canadian Franchise Association president.

“For example, there is a new service for people who are at home and are ill or elderly and need supervision.”

Gordon Clarke also sees opportunity knocking in this field. He went to the trade show to get information about buying a home health care franchise.

“The government is downloading the responsibility of the hospitals,” said Clarke, whose wife is a nurse. “Some people now at home still need registered nurses visiting them.”

With all the nurses being laid off, finding staff won’t be a problem either, he added. Although he hasn’t sat down yet and crunched the numbers, the initial layout shouldn’t be that much, he said.

“You don’t need inventories or even a large office space.”

Clarke is a land surveyor between jobs and said he is weighing his options before he considers returning to surveying.

“We’re looking at all possibilities,” he said. “But you have to go into them with both eyes open.”

The Common Sense Revolution has meant big bucks for Michael Peever, president of A Little Extra Help Tutoring Services, of Whitby.

“The best thing to happen to my business is what the government has been doing lately cutting back education funding and increasing class sizes.”

He’s go a booth set up at the CFA trade show to sell tutoring franchises.

For $15,000, which includes a computer, you too can start up a tutoring business – and you don’t even have to have teaching experience.

Peever said franchisees typically make about $28,000 in their first year ad earnings should go up in time.

His main contribution is access to a database that contains lists of retired, unemployed or underemployed teachers – often recent graduates – as well as full-time teachers looking to supplement their incomes.

“Ontario is so ripe for this business,” he said. “The phone has been ringing off the hook.”

If health or education businesses don’t excite you, how about plunking down $90,000 to buy a shiny new diesel fuel tanker? It’s a mobile fuelling station that makes house calls at job sites running heavy machinery.

Or if beer is your liquid of choice, for only $325,000 you can own your own Winchester Arms, a British-style pub franchise that boasts 26 locations.

“Most of that money is for construction,” said Arms representative Michael O’Brien.

Royalty fees are 6 per cent of all revenues, a rate people shouldn’t cry in their beer over, said O’Brien.

“A friend of mine just bought a Second Cup,” he said. “They charge 10 per cent.”

Buying a franchise does have its costs, but it might be a price worth paying if it’s the right company, said Sam Caserta.

The 19-year-old just finished high school but instead of going to university, he said he’d rather invest his time and money into a business such as a franchise.

Caserta stressed that he wants to be his own boss.

“I really want to own my own business,” he said. “I was looking at McDonald’s”

He said he has built up his savings and his parents, who just sold their variety store business, would be willing to help him out.

“I want to start while I’m young.”

Toby Young, 24, also wants to start his own business but he said franchising is not the route to go.

“I want to be my own boss,” he said. “Franchise? You end up working for them.”

He’s at the trade show as part of a field trip from his Mohawk College small-business management program.

“I’m here getting some good ideas,” he said.

The CFA trade show runs until Sunday night at the National Trade Centre at Exhibition Place and costs $10 to get in. Children under 12 are allowed in free.

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