Southern Ontario and Eastern Canada
Gary Prenevost | Southern Ontario and Eastern Canada
Match Makers Find the Right Fit for Franchiseesby Ryan StarrMississauga, ON | October 5, 2011 – Oliver Howey was looking for love. Or, rather, he was looking for a franchise he could love. But he wanted to be sure he found the right fit. Howey had just gotten out of a rocky relationship; he’d been laid off from a job in employment assistance services. He didn’t want to be hurt again. He turned to Gary Prenevost, president of the southern Ontario branch of FranNet, a franchise matchmaking service. Working through FranNet’s search process, they found a franchise that suited Howey: Tutor Doctor, an in-home, one-on-one tutoring service. It’s been about a year. So far, so good. “It’s going well,” says Howey. “Like every business startup, it’s got its humps and bumps, but it’s a well-founded franchise with strong home-office support; I can talk directly to the president.” Most important, Howey is passionate about his new business. “That’s the number one thing you need, because, if you can be passionate abou t it, you’ll work through the humps and bumps.” It’s the outcome Prenevost aims to achieve with all his clients. Those seeking to buy a franchise often operate on the presumption that “I’ll know it, when I see it,” says Prenevost, who sits on the board of the Canadian Franchise Association. “They haven’t taken enough time to think it through.” FranNet’s system “reverse-engineers” the search process. During the initial consultation, FranNet determines a client’s ideal business model, then identifies his or her skills and areas of strength, and the kind of work he or she most wants to do. Based on this, FranNet introduces the client to a selection of suitable franchise options, then guides the client through an investigative process to research and assess which of the prospective franchises is the best match. This can involve talking to as many as 10 existing franchisees to gather their perspectives. Due diligence helps to avoid bad apples. “Not all franchises are created equal,” says Prenevost. “Some belong to the heartbeat-and-chequebook school of recruiting, and will accept any prospective franchisee as long as they’ve got a fat wallet and can fog a mirror. It scares me.” CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY. Rachelle Shea works with Gary Prenevost, president of FranNet, a franchising matchmaking service. PHOTO BY SARA DEA FOR TORONTO STAR Mississauga, ON | April 8, 2011 – Looking to feed Ontario’s growing entrepreneurial spirit, Zoup! Fresh Soup Company, the leading soup restaurant concept in the fast-casual industry, will be educating entrepreneurs through the FranNet of South Ontario’s “Meet the Franchisor” workshop on May 3, 2011.
Zoup! Stirs Up Ontario’s Entrepreneurial Pot
Held at the Four Points by Sheraton in Mississauga, the workshop will be hosted by Gary Prenevost, FranNet’s top franchisee in North America, with the goal of presenting entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn what has made Zoup! a leader in its industry for more than 12 years. “I have received numerous requests from my clients to represent food concepts in the fast-casual category, and I’m thrilled to represent Zoup! and its unique franchise opportunity,” said Prenevost. “Over the years, Zoup! has built an incredible infrastructure and offers the support to help guide the savvy entrepreneur looking to grow within a proven franchise system.” For the workshop, Zoup! will host a soup tasting at 2 p.m., offering samples of its award-winning Lobster Bisque, Chicken Pot Pie and vegetarian soups, followed by a presentation and Q&A with Eric Ersher, Zoup! founder and managing partner, and Richard Simtob, Zoup! partner. An additional workshop will be held later in the day, with a soup tasting a 6 p.m., followed by a presentation and Q&A at 7 p.m. The workshop is free, but registration is required. Already the hottest soup spot in Detroit, Mich., and a regional favorite throughout the Midwest and Northeast United States with 31 restaurants in eight states, Zoup! is engaged in an aggressive growth plan to expand its unique concept and menu throughout the northern half of the United States and Canada. With its first Canadian franchise set to open in Waterloo, Ontario, company plans call for an additional 25 Ontario locations in the next five years. “As we continue to build momentum and grow our concept in the United States and Canada, we’ve turned to Ontario to become the center for further Canadian growth,” said Ersher. “We hope that those attending our workshops will see the strength of our business model and feel the unique culture we bring to the franchise community.” Zoup! features hundreds of award-winning soups with 12 rotating daily varieties, including low-fat, vegetarian, dairy-free, low-points and gluten-free options. According to Ersher, “We created Zoup! after discovering that really good soup is hard to find. Also, in talking to people, it became clear that there’s something special about soup and the way it elicits thoughts of family, well-being and comfort for many people. We strive to offer authentic, hand-crafted soups that are as good – and as “feel-good” – as the homemade soups our mothers and grandmothers used to cook up.” Zoup!’s “Something for Everyone” nutritional offerings include low-fat soups such as Veggie Waves of Grain, Old Fashion Chicken Noodle and Frontier 7 Bean, dairy-free soups like the Mulligatawny and Sesame Noodle Bowl, vegetarian soups, including Tomato Bisque and Spicy Italian Vegetable, low-points options such as Spicy Black Bean Chili and Wild Mushroom Barley and gluten-free choices such like the Tomato Spinach and Brown Rice. Customer favorites also include Chicken Pot Pie, Lobster Bisque and Vegetarian Split Pea. To help customers select from the soups offered each day, Zoup! encourages sampling. “It’s one of the most important and most fun things we offer at Zoup!,” says Ersher. “We want our customers to try our soups before ordering because we want to be sure that they always enjoy their meal.” The menu also includes fresh, made-to-order GreenZ! Salads, grilled and rolled SandwicheZ! and an array of baked goods and beverages. Founded in 1998, Zoup! is the leading fast-casual soup concept restaurant that is defining the category with its premium and proprietary soups and other recipes. A dining experience that features 12 always-rotating soup varieties each day in an environment that focuses on comfort, satisfaction and convenience, Zoup! has grown its network of franchises to 31 restaurants throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Illinois. For more information, visit www.zoup.com. Mississauga FranNet consultant provides guidance to prospective entrepreneurs in an uncertain business environment
2011 Small Business Survival Tips
Mississauga, ON (Grassroots Newswire) February 8, 2011 – As 2011 begins, economic recovery remains sluggish and unemployment remains high. In such an uncertain business environment, does it make sense to consider franchise ownership? It might, says Gary Prenevost, a Mississauga FranNet franchise consultant, if you approach starting up a small business with the right tools and mindset. “The small business landscape is changing,” says Prenevost. “To survive, and eventually thrive, in these times, entrepreneurs need to bring their expectations into line with today’s economy and then continually adjust their strategies to react to the changing business climate.” As a FranNet Consultant, Prenevost helps people in the Mississauga area explore the idea of franchise ownership by providing direction, information, resources and support to help people find a franchise business model that meets their individual needs. Entrepreneur.com, in 10 Steps to Small Business Success in 2011, provides advice to today’s small business owners on surviving the current economic doldrums. Prenevost says that the following “Survival Tips,” based on those “10 Steps”, provide would-be entrepreneurs with a reality checklist on the challenges and satisfactions of small business ownership in an uncertain economy. 1. Plan: Create or refine your business plan to focus on grabbing market share and winning new business today, while other businesses are struggling with the sluggish economy. Create benchmarks and evaluate your progress frequently. 2. More like that: Do your homework. Review what is working, and not working, in current marketing initiatives. Then, decide how to apply that knowledge to your business. 3. Talk less; listen more: Open your mind to new ideas. Listen to existing and prospective customers. Find out what your friends, coworkers and even strangers online are saying about your industry or business arena. These conversations can help you gain a new, and profitable, perspective on your business. 4. Cut your losses: Resolve to avoid high-maintenance, low-margin customers by defining the type of customer you want to work with. Then focus on winning that kind of business. 5. Strike a deal. Your vendors are fellow business owners which means they are looking for a way to win market share and increase revenues, too. Plan to lock in long term contracts now with a volume discount. Then, negotiate a payment plan, along with storage and timed delivery. 6. Network: Hone your understanding of your business by attending local chamber of commerce events. Then take your new confidence for a spin by joining and participating in networking events for your industry. 7. Define your brand. Understand what sets your business or product apart, whether it’s service, quality, design or something else, and then plan to market that message aggressively to your target audience. 8. Create a cushion: As the housing market strengthens, consider tapping into the equity on your home to help build your credit profile. 9. Motivate: Develop a well-defined bonus plan to create an opportunity for your employees to share in your success by contributing to that success. It’s the perfect win-win scenario. 10. Piggyback: Find companies that have already captured your target market with a different product or service and consider teaming up to help them create new value for their customers – who will soon be your customers, too. “Surviving or starting a business in an economic downturn is a little like playing a game of chess,” says Prenevost. “Each move you make should position you for your next move – but you need to be able to adjust your strategy continually. It’s a constant challenge, but if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, the financial and personal rewards can be significant.” For those considering owning a business in 2011, FranNet provides insight into the advantages of franchise ownership. “Franchise ownership provides a roadmap for the new entrepreneur, guiding him or her through many of the critical start-up challenges with established guidelines and support for marketing, sales, supply and management practices,” explains Prenevost. “For someone starting a business in 2011, this kind of an edge could be the critical difference between success and struggle.” For more information about FranNet in Mississauga, please contact Gary Prenevost at 905-405-6300 or www.frannet.com/gprenevost. About FranNet FranNet provides free guidance and information to individuals who are interested in purchasing a franchised business. Our role is to educate entrepreneurs on the franchise industry to help clients determine if franchise ownership is for them. FranNet works with many of the best franchises in the industry and FranNet consultants use a special profiling and consultative process to determine the right franchise opportunity and business model unique to each person. Our services are 100% free through the entire process. FranNet hosts numerous informational seminars and educational programs that are open to the public each month throughout the country and online. To learn more about opportunities with FranNet visit www.frannet.com.
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