Canadian Franchise Expert Testimonial: After Layoff, Ontario Man Finds New Career as Speedpro Owner

Jeff Trudeau found a business he loved with help from Canadian franchise advisor Gary Prenevost

Jeff Trudeau can’t say enough good about Gary Prenevost and how he changed his life — and that of his family — in the last few months.

Trudeau was a successful engineer, a team player, when the economy and corporate culture caught up with him.

“With the loss of a contract, I was downsized in May 2012 (given notice in mid-May, his employment ended in mid-July). My job was done,” he says, looking back to that jolting occurrence. He now says it was one of the best things that has happened to him.
“It was a wholly unexpected career move after spending the last 20 years of my life in the design of water and sewage systems,” he says, laughing at what has happened after finding Prenevost during a dark spot in his life.

Trudeau has gone from being an unsatisfied employee to being a Speedpro Imaging franchise owner.

Before he sought out the expertise of Prenevost, he did a little self-examination.

He didn’t want to pick up roots and move from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, just west of Toronto. His wife and children, now 15 and 14, enjoyed their lives there. But that limited his opportunities if he wanted to remain an engineer.

“We didn’t want to move out west,” he says. Besides that, looking back he admits he had not been happy with his job for some time. Why stay in his given profession?

“I wasn’t satisfied with corporate life, the corporate culture,” he says. He no longer wanted to play those games. But he wanted to provide for his family.

He went to a career counselor who suggested self-employment and franchising in particular. She directed him to Prenevost and FranNet, which matches entrepreneurs with franchises.

Then began a series of coffee meetings with Prenevost in which the latter asked questions in order to “find out what my skills and experiences are. What do I like to do? What makes me happy? What do you dislike?” and more.

“Gary helped me identify my own set of factors to use in deciding between different franchises,” says Trudeau. These included things like home-life impact, ego involvement (“did I need to be in a prestige industry?”), franchise operations and recruiting processes and what types of financial returns he wanted.

Prenevost was helping him sort through different factors to allow Trudeau to make an informed decision about franchising and particular brands. At all times, the “no-go” option was on the table.

Once Trudeau decided to look into Speedpro, the meetings continued, with Prenevost trying to make sure Trudeau would be satisfied and was talking to the right people to get a detailed portrait of life as a franchisee.

“I did more kicking tires, talking with owners, talking with the franchisor. I talked to Gary on a weekly basis. Then I talked with a banker and financial adviser. It was all part of me deciding ‘Is this something I can do and make work? Does it meet all of my needs?’”

While Trudeau sorted through the issues, deciding “if this was a company I’d be comfortable buying into?” and finding out what kind of support he’d get from the franchiser in Winnipeg, “Gary was guiding and reassuring, asking what I’m uncovering and what does my gut tell me, making sure I’m comfortable with my decision all the way through.”

He and his wife have now started a Speedpro.

“It’s been going really good,” says Trudeau. “The franchisor helped with employee recruitment. I’ve got two employees, beautiful office space, a lot of natural light. I’m very happy with it. Gary helped me select the right franchise, and helped guide me through my research and what questions to ask otehr Speedpro franchisees. There haven’t been any surprises — it was all eyes wide open. Now I’m working to grow!”

Aug 1, 2013