The Saskatchewan city of Saskatoon is now the third best place to do business in Canada according to a recent ranking by Canadian Business Magazine.
The publication used more than 20 different factors to create its grades for the ranking, including whether there are prohibitive taxes and regulations in place, the potential customer base demographics and how much setting up a business costs in the area. Saskatoon was also named the fourth most lucrative place to do business in country, according to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.
While this ranking can certainly benefit Saskatoon and potential franchisees who are looking for a spot to start their business or expand their existing one, there is some negative news. Cities one and two on the list were Grand Prairie and Edmonton in Alberta, both of which are prairie cities like Saskatoon. This, according to CBM western editor Michael McCullough, is largely because costs have gone down due to the commodities slump. McCullough did note that he believes the current oil, potash and uranium downturn is only temporary.
Alex Fallon, the CEO of the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, also spoke to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix about the city's third-place finish. It's the area's low business costs—particularly the lease rates—along with the economic diversity and high living standard of residents that Fallon believes helped Saskatoon earn a spot in the top three. Bill Boyd, a provincial economy minister, echoed Fallon's statement and also cited low taxes.
Location is everything
"Location, location, location" is a mantra right out of Business 101, and it certainly applies to many Canadian franchises. The right spot can make the different between success and failure, but finding that ideal location isn't always easy. Cities like Saskatoon, with tax benefits, low costs and a wide customer base, are generally the types of places you want to at least consider before making a final decision.
Keep in mind that a franchiser who offers support in the site selection and lease or purchase process helps take some of the risk and headaches out of your search. Since a franchiser knows its location requirements inside and out, you won't waste on a location that's not suitable. These requirements are often crafted through the franchiser's experiences with past businesses and their market research, so following them should give you an advantage as soon as you open your doors.