May 19, 2020

Canadian franchises scoring big-time success

Adam Groff
3 min
Canadian franchises scoring big-time success

Truly successful entrepreneurs don't hit it big overnight.

In fact, it oftentimes takes years of hard work and dedication before small business ideas become huge successes.

With entrepreneurial enlightenment in mind, here are a handful of Canadian entrepreneurs and how they came to be successful:

Canada's Top Entrepreneurs of the Century

A century is a long time, but the last 100 years was an important time for industry in Canada.

Empires were built during this time, which is why it's an important period to study entrepreneurs who made their franchises and companies last for the long haul, giving you some ideas on sending your business down the same road.

Among them:

Canadian Tire - Founded in 1922, the Billes brothers started one of the most successful tire franchises in Canada with just $1,800 and an old garage. By turning a common tire shop into a mail order tire and parts store, these entrepreneurs built Canadian Tire, which is still a sales leader to this day.

Tim Hortons - Everyone's favorite doughnut and coffee shop became one of the first major restaurant franchises in Canada in 1967. Founder Ron Joyce pushed the idea of franchising the small restaurant in the early 70s and now there are more than 4,000 stores in Canada and the U.S.

Mike Lazaridis - Although he's probably not a household name like Mark Zuckerburg or Bill Gates, Lazaridis turned his love for electrical engineering into developing the BlackBerry, one of the world's first smartphones. He's not a franchise owner, but he's a boundary-pushing entrepreneur.

Canadian Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow

As the following article looks at, what exactly is the secret to success for entrepreneurs who are up and coming?

Well, taking a look at past entrepreneurs certainly helps, but taking a look at the future of Canadian entrepreneurship is just as important:

Lean Machine Inc. - Fast food franchises are one thing, but vending machine franchises are something else entirely. April Glavine founded Lean Machine Inc. in 2005 in order to provide Canadian schools and businesses with healthy vending machine options. Her company’s vending machines are now all across Canada.

Sassy Cassy's Boots - Cassandra Rush founded her boot company in 2009 only to be named Entrepreneur of the Year a year later. She started offering boots of different calf sizes because she knew no other company did.

What I'm Wearin' - Monica Mei founded the mobile app What I'm Wearin' as a go-to source for fashion in and around Toronto. The app has now spread across Canada and into the U.S.

Tips for Entrepreneurs

There are a number of pointers entrepreneurs pick up on as they're building their companies. Whether these entrepreneurs own franchises or tech companies, the secret of success all starts with passion.

When entrepreneurs love what they do, it makes those 70-hour workweeks worth it.

Likewise, using innovative ideas to solve common business problems is another important tip to remember. This comes from building a loyal, committed team around the business.

Finally, putting quality first is the true mark of a great entrepreneur.

No matter how long the days or how many bumps there are in the road to success, making sure quality goes along with every product and service is the key to a successful business.

Let's Connect!


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About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including small business and entrepreneurship

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Jul 5, 2021

CGI: Driving local solutions with global expertise

City of Mesa
3 min
Embrace digital transformation and infuse it with a spirit of agility, says Aleta Jeffres, CGI Vice President Consulting Services

Embrace digital transformation and infuse it with a spirit of agility, is the message to the public sector from Aleta Jeffress, CGI Senior Vice President Consulting Services.

“We partner with clients to drive value and innovation,” said Jeffress who has been working with the US City of Mesa, AZ on their digital journey for their local citizens.

Founded in 1976, CGI is one of the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world. It is insights-driven and outcomes-based to help accelerate return on investments. CGI operates across 21 industries in 400 locations and provides scalable and sustainable services that are informed globally and delivered locally.

“We have expertise in developing and executing strategies to help companies transform their IT to align with the business through cloud strategies, application rationalization, modernization and outsourcing,” said Jeffress speaking from the Denver CGI offices.

“Digital change can be exhausting, but take the opportunity to embrace it and look for new opportunities,” said Jeffress who pointed out projects should have a sense of agility and specific focus on the end-user.

“This can be a big culture change for some clients but by making sure your implementations are not a big bang theory but you can take smaller chunks which you’re able to do over and over again as it's just going to continue to evolve,” she said.

Informed globally and delivered locally

Commenting on CGI’s partnership with the City of Mesa, Jeffress said: “We are providing a solution that has a lower cost of ownership and helps them streamline business processes and helps increase efficiency. 

“The City sought a single source of truth for their ERP business processes. With CGI Advantage, they found a partner in their digital transformation journey with a configurable, unified solution that supports their HR, financial management, and performance budgeting business processes.  

“With CGI Advantage, the City is working with a single source of truth that lowers total cost of ownership, streamlines business processes, and increases efficiency - additional benefits include: 

• A decrease in customizations and staffing requirements resulting in faster upgrade cycles. 

• Empowering HR resources to focus on strategic efforts by removing the need for manual and duplicate data entry. 

• Increased accuracy with reporting. 

• Process improvements shifting from customized or paper-based processes to automated processes. 

• Increased pay transparency and accuracy by leveraging process improvements and configurable support 

A trusted partner 

CGI is a company that focuses very intently and very intentionally on delivery - that is something that really sets us apart,” said Jeffress. 

“We have an internal process where we meet with clients twice a year to ask a specific set of questions. How our clients answer those questions allows us to be sure we are aligned and can be a trusted partner with all of our clients.”

“As an international company, we can provide key resources when our clients need it in a very timely manner,” she said.

Reflecting on the challenges posed by COVID-19 Jeffress said there had been a true evolution in technology services.

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