To Franchise or Not to Franchise

Part 1 of 7

I have a tech start-up, Parkbench is a neighbourhood business and social network that will eventually be shortened to ‘neighbourhood network’ – a new term just like ‘social network’ once was.

Each neighbourhood has it’s own parkbench website. We serve local small businesses by providing marketing and advertising services. We serve advertisers by providing the most hyper local and targeted advertising opportunities on the internet. We also serve users by offering access to exclusive deals, sales, and specials. All of this value turns into revenue streams for each neighbourhood website.

pblogo_horizontalblue email sizeSo, a very pressing question for our company is how to grow. We can take the traditional corporate route and hire a team to manage the neighbourhood websites, both remotely and on the ground, like Yelp. We can also take the franchise route. Although we are a tech company and this is the road less travelled…it may be better.

Throughout the next few months I will be researching and concluding which model I will adopt for my business to grow. My blog series will go through my analysis of understanding whether or not the franchise model is right model for my business. This blog series should help you understand where a franchisor is coming from when they first decided to franchise their business, and the steps they considered before adopting the model. This may help potential franchisees understand their crucial role in any franchise system.

I’ve found the major reason why people want to franchise their business is because they want their name, their brand, their products and services, and their experience shared with as many people as possible. And, they want to do it as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Hiring, training, and managing a corporate structure in multiple countries, regions, cities, and even just neighbourhoods is a daunting task. And, no matter how motivational and positive your leadership style is, employees will NEVER work as hard, as long, and as effectively as owners.

Sounds like franchising is a no brainer. Every business should be doing it, right?

Franchising is definitely not always the best path for a business. Sometimes just because of timing, but sometimes the business model is not a fit.

So far I understand that franchising changes the way you do business; franchising changes the relationships you have with the members of your brand; franchising changes how you make money, how you spend money, and how you manage your money.

This decision could make or break my business, and this blog series will help you understand why a franchisor became a franchisor (whether I do or don’t!)

Part 2 – Does my business fit with the franchise model?



GFS Headshot 3Grant Findlay-Shirras is the CEO of, a Canadian tech start-up based out of Toronto that is changing the way people and businesses interact within communities. He has almost a decade of experience in leadership, sales, marketing, and health – all fused together. With an Honors Specialization in Sports Management from Western University, and an HBA from the Richard Ivey Business School, business & health are more than just two majors – they are two passions. Since graduating, Grant has been a serial entrepreneur with success in events, fitness, business consulting, and now in technology through ParkBench. Grant is a collegiate athlete (tennis), experienced coach, and just a big boy from BC who lives life on 2 words: passion produces.