Franchising Helps 'The Little Guy' Offset BC's High Cost of Living By: Chris Riddell "Entrepreneurs love the idea and see the tremendous potential in front of us" - Richard Larkin British Columbia has some of the most beautiful and scenic land in all of Canada, and this is why there is a strong sense of environmental stewardship here. But BC also has a high cost of living, and people need high incomes to make ends meet. For this reason it’s a great province to start up a franchise with an environmentally friendly edge, or one that helps people manage their finances or save some money. These three franchises play on these themes and originate from BC. Clean Air Yard Care Clean Air Yard Care started a clean air revolution with their 100% environmentally friendly yard care service. As BC is the greenest province in the country, it’s no wonder why this franchise got its start there. They recently launched a 100% organic fertilizer program to further define their environmental edge. “What gives us a strong competitive advantage in the market is that we can provide the same speed, efficiency and quality of service as our competition without the noise, pollution and smell of gas and oil burning equipment,” says Richard Larkin, president and CEO and Clean Air Yard Care. “While that's a great bonus for the customer, the franchisee has a better profit margin because our operating costs are less with no fuel costs. We run our business off the grid, powered by solar energy.” Clean Air Yard Care is also the first landscaping company in Canada to achieve carbon neutral status. According to Larkin, if everyone in Canada switched to Clean Air Yard Care it would reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 5%, or 80,000 metric tons. Clean Air Yard Care plans on maintain its growth strategy on Vancouver Island and the lower mainland with another 8-10 units by 2014. “The entrepreneurs love the idea and see the tremendous potential in front of us. The environmental impact tends to attract those who want to make a statement and show they are committed to protecting and preserving our environment,” says Larkin. 4 Pillars Consulting BC has a high cost of living, and this often means that many people living in BC also have crippling debt loads. This is where 4 Pillars Consulting comes in. They provide planning services to help people get their financial house in order. Debt levels in BC are some of the highest in the country and this translates to a serious need for these services. “BC clients on average have higher income as well as higher debt loads and are looking for more sophisticated options and long term solutions to deal with their debt so that they can meet their long term financial goals,” says Reg Rocha, president of 4 Pillars Consulting. “We are very creative with the plans we create and it’s not a one size fits all solution,” says Rocha. “We work with clients through every aspect of their financial challenges and provide them a long term plan to follow to guide them back to financial stability.” 4 Pillars Consulting has a three step growth plan in place. The plan involves developing greater brand identity, creating more products and services, and allying itself with other likeminded companies. Ultimately, they want to help as many Canadians as possible, and are becoming regarded as an industry leader in what they do. Get more information on Budget Brake, Clean Air Yard Care and 4 Pillars Consulting... Budget Brake For 40 years Budget brake has been offering expert repair services at reasonable prices. Although business has been flat in recent years, in the first quarter of 2013 things have been on the uptake. The global recession took a hit on Budget Brake, but they’ve weathered the storm to reach calmer seas with new franchise opportunities available in BC and Alberta. “Our “budget” system provides full training from the ground up. This includes business, sales and accounting,” says Lane Vance, president of Budget Brake. “Our brand is well known in BC and Alberta, and it continues to grow. The success of our brand is due in part to our extensive advertising and the customer experience at the shop level.” “We actively support and foster relationships between our franchisees,” says Vance. “These oneto-one relationships helps our franchisees feel like they are a part of the system and they know if they have a particularly difficult repair that they can reach out to our office or another franchisee for advice. This helps our customers get honest, reliable service at all of our locations.” Budget Brake has a five year growth plan in place which is constantly being adjusted according to the previous year’s business, and what the future is expected to hold.