The priority of securing business money when you have selected and are starting a franchise becomes even more important as you focus on getting the business started and up and running.Let’s discuss some of the sources of capital in the Canadian franchise environment, and we’ll share some tips and strategies that have helped many other clients looking for Canadian business financing in the franchise environment.There are actually 5 sources of capital that will successfully allow you to complete the financing of your new business. They include your own equity injection into the business, i.e. your down payment, bank and institutional financing (its not what you might think, so stay tuned on that one ), asset financing via an independent finance company, and finally a potential vendor take back from either the franchisor of the existing franchisee from whom you are buying the business.Let’s therefore backtrack a bit and hopefully give you some solid tips and new information around how this financing is, in our words ‘ cobbled together ‘ to give you a total financing solution for your new business.It’s always the same question when we talk to clients… ‘How much do we have to put in ‘… they are of course referring to their owner equity investment into the business. The truth is that the amount varies when it comes to the financing portion of your business. That amount is flexible and can vary anywhere from 10 – 50 per cent depending on the size of the financing and the amount of working capital you want to have on hand d on day once that will allow you to finance the business properly.Another tip we’ll share in the above mentioned ‘ owner equity ‘ area is simply that in many cases some franchisors will actually mandate how much you ‘ have ‘ to put in. We therefore recommend to all clients that they get a clear understanding up front so there are no surprises. In defense of the franchisor they are probably relying on their own experience that allows them to have determined over time what it takes to successfully run and grow one of their units in their franchise system.So how exactly do the banks in Canada participate in the starting of your franchise? Is it as simple as approaching your bank and determining what business money they will lend to finance a franchise? Not really we tall clients. We have rarely if ever seen a direct term loan to cover the financing of a franchise. But yet the banks do participate in most of the franchise financing in Canada. How? They piggy back on a special government program called the BIL/CSBF programme. This loan is underwritten by Ottawa, and has very generous terms and conditions around rate and structure. Unbelievably you are actually only guaranteeing personally 25% of the loan, which is another benefit.So our cobbling together of a financing package is getting there – another great strategy is to finance separate individual assets with an independent lease firm. This type of asset financing is easier to get approved, and can cover a significant portion of any assets that need to be financed.We spoke of a potential vendor take back from the franchisor or existing franchise as part of the purchase package. We will share with you several tips and comments on this one – namely that you should not fully rely on getting this type of financing in place. Occasionally you might be successful, may times you wont. Why? Simply because the franchisor or existing franchisee is motivated to sell you a franchise, not finance it!Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced Canadian business financing advisor in the area of starting a franchise and getting the right business money in place to allow you to complete your new role as a Canadian entrepreneur.
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There are t-shirts and then there are works of art. Mostly the two are separate but when a team of creative intellectuals combine their talents to produce designs for t-shirts, the result can be both visually stunning and thought-provoking. More than just a pretty item of casual wear, t-shirts can be insightful and eye-catching, and worthy of being mounted and hung above the fire-place as they are of being worn to the supermarket.The idea of using t-shirts as a form of art is becoming more and more widespread. Many artists are creating designs for t-shirts and many t-shirt designers incorporate works from famous artists or use the principles of art to create their designs. The high quality of many of the designs we see on t-shirts today is reflected in the wider availability of the same designs as prints and wall hangings. Art is no longer confined to dusty art galleries; it is walking past us every day on our way to work.Art has been used for centuries as a way to explore ideas and provoke thought and discussion. It could be argued that modern day t-shirts are an extension of this idea. T-shirts can be designed by anyone who has access to a computer with appropriate software and a basic understanding of the principles of design. Designing our own t-shirts gives all of us the opportunity to question the values of society or present a different perspective in a non-threatening and often entertaining way.A good example of art and t-shirts colliding is the Imaginary Foundation – an elusive group of intellectuals who believe in human progress and potential and want to encourage thought and learning through the power of the imagination. Their t-shirts focus on ideas from art and science, often combining the two in innovative and interesting ways. With such an amazing resource of creative energy to draw from, it is no accident that the Imaginary Foundation has chosen t-shirts as its way of expressing its ideas.The ability to reach a wide audience may be one of the main appeals of t-shirt design for established artists and teams like the Imaginary Foundation. If you have a definite message you want to get across, putting it on t-shirts could be the ideal way to do it.The added value of the clothing industry over more traditional forms of art, may be that rather than being seen predominantly by visitors to art galleries, t-shirts are visible everywhere and by a wide cross-section of the population. Although art galleries may generally be visited more by those with an established interest in art, walking down the street in a t-shirt makes art visible to people who might otherwise not be exposed to it in their daily lives.
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We think of California’s Napa Valley as one of the great wine centers of the world, but its other great boast is food. The Valley lies in the midst of some of the world’s most creative farmers and livestock growers, surrounded by an ocean of fish and the world’s most abundant variety of fruits, nuts, vegetables, artisan meats and rare foodstocks. In the restaurants and markets of the Valley, all this bounty arrives every day astonishingly fresh, often merely hours old.Situated in the heart of all this abundance, it’s no surprise that Napa Valley has become one of America’s great culinary centers. Chefs love the area for the freshness and variety of its foods. The five million visitors who come to sample the wine country treats every year have created a bustling culinary scene.It could be said that the better part of knowing a wine is knowing what food it goes with.Your knowledge of wines is not that extensive? Then let the people who prepare your food make the selections from the bewildering array of wines and recommend what goes best with your food. If you’re on a culinary adventure, there’s no better way to sample the Valley’s flavors than through the recommendations of the local eateries – they’ll all have good wines.Yountville is considered the center for fine dining. Best of the best here is surely French Laundry, top-rated again by Michelin for 2010 as one of the few three-star restaurants in America. But Napa Valley is bursting with fine eateries. If you don’t know your way around study some of the many guides and reviews. These are available everywhere: your hotel, your custom tour service, the wineries and attractions you visit.And don’t forget the locals for advice. Uncork29 for example offers a good list of restaurants rated by locals. They rate ZuZu in Napa even more highly than French Laundry (try the Moroccan Barbecue Glazed Rack of Lamb with Mint & Red Curry Oil).Choose particular meals or foods you want to try and venture out to the restaurants famous for them. Of course add your special requirements into the search. If you’re looking for some quiet or romantic time, look for ratings on restaurants that include decor, view, etc. If you want some outdoors activity consider a bicycle tour of the valley, stopping at wineries and restaurants along the way.As a visitor to Napa Valley, you can do more than just consume your dining experiences, you can create them as well. You can learn to cook, and learn to shop like a chef. You can take home newfound culinary skills to keep your Valley experience alive long after your trip.Culinary demonstrations and schools abound in Napa Valley. The Culinary School of America in St. Helena offers recipes and samples, and teaches both food and wine skills in restaurant demonstrations of just a few hours, ranging up to week-long courses and more. The school also leads in cooking with local foods and sustainable farming practices.Or how about Gourmet Retreats in Calistoga? Taught by a trained chef, here you can pick up culinary skills in as little as five hours or stay for five days. As with most offerings in the Valley, it’s up to you. And you don’t have to stay where you learn. Getting around Napa Valley is very easy, with trains, buses, tour companies, and rentals of every kind. You can base in one place if you choose and venture forth daily to your attractions.Would you like to learn to shop for your food in the farmers market, and then learn how to turn the ingredients into a culinary delight? Cooking With Julie in Napa offers just this experience. You select from the season’s finest and freshest local produce, fish, meat, cheese, fruits and artisan foods. Then you turn these into a 3-course lunch with wine. Not a bad life skill for one day’s adventure.Napa Valley is NOT going back to school. You have permission to relax, enjoy, consume. But it will be hard not to pick up tips and tricks about wine and food from your stay in the Valley. You’ll take a better way of culinary living home with you, to enjoy until your next visit here, when you come back for more.