One Canadian for Two Men and a Truck; Master franchisor model speeds up business rollout in foreign country

Andraya Frith

Aug 27, 2013

Denise Deveau, Financial Post, National Post

(Extract)

John Prittie is pretty much finished with his Ontario expansion plans: "We only have one more franchise to put in Ontario and that's Windsor," said the president and master franchisor for Two Men and a Truck Canada.

The opportunity to take on a master franchisor role with a company anxious to move into Canada was too tempting to turn down, he said. "The whole idea appealed to me when I saw a chance to buy into a system with a very successful business model, as well as proven systems, policies and procedures."

When he signed the deal in 2005, Michigan-based Two Men and a Truck had just north of US$200-million in sales and 175 franchises up and running in the united States. Before committing, however, he took a good hard look at the moving industry in Canada.

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One thing most master franchisors should do is operate a couple of units themselves, Mr. Prittie said.

"Having a couple of corporately owned locations run by a general manager allows you to learn and understand the business. They can also be used for training."

All things considered, the franchise model is often the best way to get a toehold in new markets, said Andraya Frith, chairwoman for the national franchise and distribution group at Osler in Toronto.

"The model is often a better way to go because it's a less capital intensive way to enter a market more quickly."

The key for franchises, not surprisingly, is to pick local partners with the right combination of experience, capital and resources, Ms. Frith said. "A lot of very successful franchisors can really flounder if the wrong partner can't meet their minimum development obligations."

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