Northern Franchisee Develops Business Plan for Training Center

My name is Maria Struik. I’m an area franchisee for Dixie Lee Food Systems. At Dixie Lee you can get the best tasting chicken anywhere. We have great fish, fish ‘n’ chips. At this particular location – Penetang and Meaford – they will be serving fresh cut fries so they’re brought in here, locally grown potatoes, unprocessed, totally fresh, and they’re a big hit with the public. Dixie Lee is in all of Canada, United States. Dixie Lee is in Dubai, Guyana, and we have a store pending in Jamaica. We always get asked, do you have a business plan? At this point in my career I’m looking to do this business plan because in Bruce Mines, I’m based in Bruce Mines, I want to actually have a training centre and I do need funds to do so, so that’s why I thought it needs to be a professional plan, it needs to be something that everybody can understand and envision what I’m looking for. When you go to a bank or any lender and you try to describe what you’re seeing that you want to do you may, at times, describe it well or you may say “well, you know, I’m thinking of doing this…” whereas if you have a business plan, it’s always the same, it’s always there, it’s all… you have thought the whole thing out, it’s put in words everybody can understand and the lender can read it at his own convenience and his own time. So you can do an interview with a lender, tell him what it’s about, and get back to him – ask him in a week or two after he’s had time to read it. My advice to people looking to buy a business, well… franchising is great because franchises give you the support, the knowledge, the research, the accessibility to a lot of resources that you may as an individual not have thought about. Now, if you still think you want to be the entrepreneur that you always dreamed to be, I challenge you and say, look, go get yourself a business plan because those people that write the business plan for you actually help you rethink your own strategies because it makes you think “did I really want to do this?” when they ask you the questions, so again, it helps you to either strengthen it, or make you recognize your own weaknesses and you may say, “well, it may not be for me to go in business all alone, I may want to be part of a franchise.” Business plans are good any time, they’re not just for new companies, start-up companies, they’re good for established companies. If you want to expand, if you want to grow in a certain direction, or if you want to focus on a certain area, you need a business plan to present it to your lenders, you need a business plan to actually get yourself focused on where you want to go and where you want to take this. It helps you to go for it.

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