An Overview of the Webinar - Joorney Behind the Scenes
During our May webinar, we had a very different topic than what we usually talk about. Instead of covering a specific business immigration program, we took you behind the scenes of Joorney and dove into the scope of our work.
We took this opportunity to answer common and not so common questions we get from our partners and clients.
Below, you can listen to or read the answers to specific questions or watch the full webinar here.
Q: What is Joorney known for?
A: Joorney is known for creating very high quality custom business plans. Currently, we have more than 900 trusted partners. We work with different clients in more than 65 different countries. We have seven different languages in-house. Although in Canada, we work mostly in English as most of the programs require applicants to have a particular level of language proficiency in English.
We are currently doing more than 3000 business plans a year. We are able to accomplish this because of our nearly 100 person team and we are very proud of what we have achieved so far in this space. Another thing that we are most proud of is the responsiveness of our team. It is one of our main competitive advantages.
Q: What are these business plans prepared for?
A: Within our business plans for immigration, we have different programs that we prepare the business plans for. We have the LMIA Owner-Operator Program. It is not as popular these days as it was in the beginning of 2021, for which we prepared most of our business plans in the first quarter.
Then, we have the Start-Up Visa Program. We are planning to do a very specific webinar on the different packages that we offer for this Start-Up Visa Program. This is a very important program for which we do many business plans.
We also have the PNPs (Provincial Nominee Program). Ontario and British Columbia (BC) are usually the ones that we do the most. We are currently not doing BC because of the status of the program. However, we are doing Ontario PNP.
We also have the Self-Employed Visa Business Plan. In addition to this, we have ICT (Intra Company Transfer), which is actually one of the most popular business plans that we do these days. We also deal with Trade Agreement business plans, including CUSMA & NAFTA.
There is one more program that I want to mention here: with the C-11 significant benefit. We have been doing this business and it is becoming very popular. Our last webinar was actually about that program. So, we are very much committed to making sure that if there is any program in the Canadian Business Immigration that requires a business plan, we will be ready to develop it for you.
Q: Does Joorney do business plans for PNPs other than Ontario & BC?
A: We have different PNPs that we deal in. We have Alberta PNP. We also have the Regional Pilot for BC, Manitoba MPMP, New Brunswick NBPNP, and Nova Scotia NSNP.
We have a whole list of PNPs that we deal with on our website. Another important thing to consider is that for the provinces that are requesting a concept, we also prepare the business concept. So, we offer all our support regarding any immigration business plans where our client needs help–either with their own application or helping a consultant or lawyer for the application of clients
Q: Explain how a project is handled internally in Joorney.
A: Initially, a client is in contact with our Account Manager. The Account Manager explains the services and how they are going to be the person that you would be talking to about signing the contract, paying the invoice, and making sure that you are covered throughout the process of the creation of the Business Plan. Once you confirm that you are moving forward, then you get in touch with our Project Manager.
Interestingly, in Joorney, the person that the clients talk to is not the same person who would be writing the business plan. We take pride in ourselves for having a team that is focused on the project they are taking charge of.
So, our Account Managers cater to the sales and customer services. We have the Project Managers, who coordinate with the writers in order to get the best outcome for the business plan. In the end, we have a team that takes care of proofreading and graphic designing. Therefore, it is important to know that each Project Manager has a team of Business Plan Writers that work on specific projects. These Project Managers choose the best writer for their projects on the basis of their expertise and experience in that particular industry and immigration program.
Q: What is a business plan process and how does it work?
A: When the client is ready to start with the business plan, we initiate the process and make it formal by sending the contract and the invoice. We use Adobe EchoSign for the contract and QuickBooks for invoicing. Invoices can be paid either by credit card, debit card, wire-transfer, or e-transfer. Once the contract and invoice is taken care of, we move on to the questionnaire. This is a very important document that helps us in extracting very important and essential information about the client’s business.
The received answers of the questionnaire are forwarded to our operations team, our Project Managers for review in detail. After they review, if they have any additional questions or something that needs to be clarified regarding the business, they reach out to the client or our partners for clarifications.
Once we have all the answers we need, our writing process starts. The timeline of the Business Plan starts after we receive everything we need regarding the business. Usually, it takes 7 to 10 or 10 to 15 business days for the first draft to be delivered depending upon the type of business plan.
We offer an unlimited amount of revisions on a business plan. So, anything a client wants to add or change–for example, he decides to hire one more person on the roll. We will include it in the plan. Unlimited revisions are offered to fully satisfy the clients as our main goal is to have a fully satisfied client. Also, our business plans are customised as per our clients’ requirements and the related industry.
When the client agrees to the final draft, then it is sent to our designing team. It usually takes one to two business days to get it designed. We can always design the final draft as per the wishes of our clients. For example, using specific photos/pictures or the final look of the business plan. Important point to note here is that the unlimited revisions stop once the business plan is designed and delivered.
There are some things that I want to highlight here. When we receive the information in the questionnaire, our team takes time to review it. If we have any missing information or need more questions to be answered, we will reach out to either our partner or directly to the client.
It is important to know that once we have clarified those questions, that is when our timeline starts. Either it is 7 to 10 or 10 to 15 business days. Another very important point is that we have a process that ends with design. The design process happens only when the client says that they are satisfied with the final draft. Once we have this signed, we consider the project completed. If there are any changes after design, we may do courtesy revisions but beyond that, the client would be charged.
Q: What does Joorney expect from its clients before starting the Business Plan?
A: Indeed,the questionnaire it is a very important section because we do get initial information that we need to know from the client. However, there are lots of parts in the questionnaire that we can help with and we also have solutions for some topics that the client might be struggling with. For example, the first thing we need to know would be the business model and its products & services. So, we would simply need to know what will be the business model of the future company in Canada. Is it going to be the corner shop, a delivery service, repair shop, a convenience store, or something much more complex like renewable energy? The client is the person who knows the best about the products or services he is going to offer.
Another important topic is the personnel, which basically means the hiring plan. We ask the clients about how many employees they plan to hire in Canada, their positions, whether they are going to be full-time or part-time. We also ask about the annual salaries in Canada. We also ask if they plan to hire independent contractors and the services they would be providing.
The next important question we ask our clients is about investment to know how much they are planning to invest from outside of Canada in this future company. Last but not the least is the location. Canada is a big country and clients have their preferences when it comes to location. If a client needs help in deciding on the right location, we do offer an additional service to help with selecting the desired location.
Q: What does Joorney offer for immigration beyond the business plan?
A: We prepare a life cycle of the client to elaborate on the different products and services that Joorney offers. We first have a service that we call business idea selection wherein we suggest a business idea that makes sense for a particular applicant. This service is for if the applicant does not know what business idea they should apply with or for applicants who have ideas, but need more information about the market because they have never been to Canada and they don’t know how a particular industry works in Canada.
To meet these special requirements, we have developed a preliminary immigration market research, aside from our regular services of creating business concepts and business plans for immigration. Besides these, we have digital services such as website development and also content packages as well, so that our clients can improve their web presence and grow their business through marketing.
Q: What type of clients does Joorney deal with?
A: So, there are three different types of clients that we usually cater to:
- One, who does not have a business idea. We suggest them to take the business idea selection service and then move forward with the business plan.
- Then, there are other clients that have no market information, but they do have a business idea. So, we help them research the market and make sure that they have a clear understanding of the industry, competition, location, and other sections to gain all the information they need to establish a business in that particular industry. In such cases, we recommend Preliminary Immigration Market Research and then go ahead with the business plan.
- The third type of client is one that is ready. They know exactly what they are going to and have determined a strategy regarding how they are going to establish the business in Canada. This type of client is ready to start the business plan right away.
Q: How does Preliminary Market Research help in developing a business idea and business plan successfully?
A: There are different types of clients for different types of services. There are some clients who will have a very good idea of what they want to do, and may have a lot of experience abroad. For example, maybe they have a restaurant abroad, but they are not sure if the type of food that they are serving abroad would work well in Canada as well. Or what kind of location they are supposed to choose in order to have the best type of restaurant in the area. They would not want to end up in an area where they already have five different restaurants that are similar to theirs. This is where our preliminary innovation market research comes into picture. The best part of this service is that we have developed it to cater to the specific needs of the immigration clients.
This service does not contain only information about the target market or the demand for the services provided. We also gather information about whether the industry is poised for growth or not. So, we go much deeper into it. We also explain the kind of location clients should consider and why they should consider that location. We also do price analysis to show what other people are charging for similar services, revenue suggestions, and revenue streams. For example, you may want to charge as a subscription or charge a one-time fee. These are all different kinds of business models that we cover in the preliminary market research. Once we are done with this, the client would not need to populate the questionnaire as we would have all the information to get started with a business plan.
Besides this, we would also propose a hiring plan. We may suggest that in a certain type of business, you would hire only one representative while in other businesses, you may require two. This can be different in Canada than other countries. For example, if we talk about the agriculture industry, in India, we would typically go labour intensive and hire more people. Whereas in Canada, you would have more machines and may not hire many people. This kind of specific knowledge is only available to consultants who are well-acquainted with the topic, have more experience in Canada, and understand the viability of different business types.
We also go into potential suppliers that a lot of people struggle with when they come to Canada. They are not sure how they are going to find the supplies they need. For example, for manufacturing furniture, they would want to know from where they can get wood or glue or whatever supplies they need to make furniture. It is very hard to find companies that could help you and can work with you. This is where we use our local knowledge to assist you. So, the preliminary market research service is very well-developed for people who have already narrowed down on what they want to do in Canada, but are not sure of how to do it.
Q: How does Joorney help in identifying the most viable business idea for its clients to be successful in Canada?
A: Yes, it is possible, but you need to look at why you were refused under the ICT. It does happen that we consider the significant benefit program when we think that the ICT will be weak for any reason. So a refusal doesn’t mean that you cannot reapply either for the same program or through another program. But we do need to dive deep into the reason for the refusal.
Q: How important is location in the success of a business?
A: A lot of clients know about their business model, the products or services. They are already 90% there to get started with the business. However, the matter of location is something that people are not always sure of. For example, there are some immigration programs that give you more points for areas that are rural whereas some programs have mandates of higher investment like if you want to start a business in Toronto, you have to invest more. So, clients really want to find a location that matches their budget but at the same time, they would want to get the maximum points they can get.
In short, the matter of choosing the location is not as simple as it seems. So, we do our best to analyse the kind of business. For example, what are the factors for a good gas station? We would want a location that is very well accessible and has major roads there. At the same time, if there were five gas stations in a row, we would not want to go with that location. We would rather go with something that is not so rural but a bit more urban.
We customise the process every time. For example, for a furniture manufacturing unit, we would consider a location that has other suppliers in the proximity. You would not want to be in a situation wherein you would be buying material from very far away as it would not be financially feasible. We would also consider whether or not there are other major companies in proximity that would be potential buyers for this business as this business does not sell directly to the customers.
It is very important to customise the location analysis process depending on the factors that are very important for the clients such as personal preference. For example, a location that is good for my business but also close to major ports. People have different personal preferences that also affect their businesses. So, we have to take into consideration the different types of preferences people have to narrow down two or three best locations. It is up to the client really to have their last say in choosing the location.
Q: Does a business plan include market research and industry analysis?
A: Within the business plan, we do include a market analysis and an industry analysis. But they are shorter sections included in the business plan about the particular industry that the applicant is working with. It does not entail a deep market research and it does not include analysis about what your strategy should be or what your pricing should be. So, those types of inquiries would happen before you get started on the business plan. There are other business models that may be easier than others, or simpler. We can devise some of this information if you’re missing a few of them in the questionnaire. But if, as a whole, you do not feel ready to answer some of the questions that we may need to get started on the business plan, then we would recommend for you to hire us for these services before you get started.
Q: What are the services that Joorney does not provide?
A: I want to clarify some things that we don’t do because a lot of our partners and some of our clients reach out to us with different questions that they may have. But in some cases, we may not be able to answer. So, I want to clarify what we don’t do and I think that is as important as explaining what it is we do. We are a company that specialises in preparing business plans for immigration. We are not immigration consultants. We are not immigration lawyers. We do not have immigration consultants or lawyers within our team. The immigration consultants and lawyers are our partners. They are our most important partners that we work with and we work for. So, we do not do immigration.
Sometimes, we get a lot of immigration questions or legal questions. So, in that particular case, we can only talk from experience of our business plans, but we cannot provide legal advice.
Another thing that we don’t do is that we do not determine the program or the immigration strategy that you should take as an applicant. This is something that can be done only by an immigration consultant and an immigration lawyer. It is something you can do in case you are applying on your own. But we, as a business plan writing company, we do not do that for you. So, again to emphasise, we do not prepare documents for the immigration application.
Sometimes we get asked questions like can you guarantee that your business plan is going to be successful for the program? No, we cannot. We would rather be very honest with our partners and our clients, because nobody can guarantee success on any of the programs. It should not be the case even for an immigration lawyer or a consultant, and even for us as business plan writers. So, it is important to know that we are going to do the best possible job in what we are preparing for you and that I can assure. You will receive the best possible work done in the business plan or business concept or market research or business idea selection that we are preparing for you, but we will never guarantee success or guarantee a number of points that you would be receiving.
I also want to clarify that we do not select the business ideas for our clients. For the business idea selection, the final selection is done by the client. So, as Dorothea has mentioned that all of the documents that we prepare, we prepare them from the business side of things. We do take into consideration what their path is going to be, and offer a few options. But the business ideas are selected by the applicant and not by us.
We also don’t use templates for our business plans. All our business plans are custom made for a particular applicant or a particular industry or a particular business model. So, despite the volume we handle, our clients must know from us that every business is personalised and custom made. There are no templates involved. Be rest assured that you will be receiving a business plan that is tailored for you and your needs for a particular application.
Q: What is the turnaround time for these services and how many times does Joorney revise the draft?
A: Just to remind everybody about the timeframe. So, on the right, you are going to see the turnaround times. Some of these may vary depending on high peaks of traffic, but, on a regular basis, it should be 7 to 10 days for most of our programs, except for the Start-Up Visa.
All of our immigration programs have unlimited revisions except for the Start-Up Visa. This business plan is submitted to a designated organisation that is not necessarily submitted for immigration. While the others are usually submitted to immigration. So, we offer unlimited revisions on those and the Start-Up Visa has three revisions. To be honest, most people use only two revisions and don’t even require the third one. So, just to keep that in mind.
Q: Are the location and market analysis services included in the C-11 business plan package?
A: No, they are not. As Dorothea was mentioning, the location analysis is separate and it has a price of CAD 1,000 if you want our help in deciding on or suggesting a location. For market analysis, we do include a section about industry and market analysis, but it is a very summarised section where it explains about the industry and the market. However, the preliminary market research is going to be a separate service and it is not included in the C-11 business plan.
Q: Does Joorney suggest independent business models or prefer to encourage franchise purchase?
A: One of the questions that we ask the client, even in the first initial stage where we gather information, we ask them whether or not they’re interested in purchasing an existing business or starting a franchise as a franchisee or starting a brand new business from scratch.
We take this into consideration as well, because some people may not be ready to go into a new business without the support of a franchisor, which is also fine. We usually suggest this for some of the businesses that we know are very successful with the franchisor. Whereas for others, we have experienced that it is usually better to go independently.
We would suggest going with a franchise if the client wants to do something that he or she has no experience doing. For example, you want to run a restaurant, but you have never managed the restaurant. In this case, this is a factor that would help us determine whether or not to suggest the franchise.
Also, if it is something that the client is interested in, for example, doing pizza sales, this is traditionally better done with the franchisor. However, if you want to do something very special, something customised, then it is not a good way to go with a franchisor because you would have 10 different businesses doing the same thing in the area. Same goes for senior cares which usually have a lot of good franchisors. They will provide a lot of support. In this case, we would just propose several franchises that you can choose from, and then you will need to contact them independently.
But from my experience, we propose a franchise maybe like one out of seven or eight cases. Usually, we do independent business because they are more unique.
Q: Is franchise a good option in the immigration programs of Canada?
A: It is important to confirm with the immigration consultant and immigration lawyer because there may be some programs that are not so open to franchises depending on the location that you are going to be establishing.
So, we would also suggest confirming that, as it is true for some provinces. For example, it is not even an option in Toronto. We have seen that it is ineligible in some programs. So, it is always good to go back to your immigration professional and make sure that is clear before you decide for one option or the other.
Q: What factors are taken into consideration while adopting a design for a business plan?
A: I was going to also say that within the design, what we do is a very sober design because the purpose of these business plans are for immigration purposes. So, we basically try to stick with the colours of your logo, if you have one on your website. We prefer to add images and pictures that were offered by you. We also have different stock images that we pay for that we can also add. They will be related to the business that you are doing. So, it does look very good. It is very sober and we do it in a customised way, specifically for you. It is not necessarily a template or a prototype. We just customise it according to the industry and colours of your logo. Yes, we have some samples online, which I think are great for people who want to access them via a website.
Q: How does Joorney gather information for its various services?
A: So, we have different types of sources depending on the industry. Some may be specific to the industry and others may be general to Canada. We use national statistics and industry statistics. Our team does a really good job in finding those sources and using them for the purpose of either the market research, the business idea, or the business plan.
Q: How does Joorney approach a completely new industry or a sector that is not mature in Canada? For example, a new IT business.
A: So, this would be a very specific analysis. In this case, we would not do a preliminary market research. Maybe, we would do our standard market research or other types of research. For example, sometimes, we do interviews with industry experts if it is a very novel subject where you need to hear the experts’ opinions in order to see what is the future of this area.
We can also do surveys where we would find a group of people that we would question about this product that the client is offering. For example, we had this case where a client was developing a certain app and we were asking people would you use this type of app, what kind of features would you like to see in this app, et cetera. So, we would just do a preliminary analysis to see whether or not this app can be successful in the Canadian market.
We would also try to find competition. Few people always say that they don’t have competition, but that is not really true. Even if you don’t have direct competition, you will always have some kind of indirect competition. Those are the companies that do something similar that satisfy the same need for the customer, but are not necessarily offering the same thing. So, we would also see what would make those people choose you and not your indirect competition.
Q: Does Joorney sign an NDA with clients?
A: Basically, within our agreement, we have a confidentiality clause that we take very seriously. However, if there is somebody who has a particular NDA that they would want us to sign, we are happy to receive that additional to our agreement. We will review it with our legal team and then we will sign it, so that you can have it as well. So, if you want double confirmation of our confidentiality, you can definitely do that. If not, you are already covered with our agreement as well.
Q: How do the business plans of Joorney differ from the business plans prepared by others?
A: One, I would say that nobody has done more business plans for immigration programs than Joorney Business Plans. I would say that for Canada as well as for the US. So, that being the case, the expertise that we are gaining each and every day by working with different consultants, lawyers, and applicants is unparalleled. Nobody has that expertise and that is one of our main competitive advantages.
Second would be the size of our team and the way we have developed our structure to offer wonderful customer service. The responsiveness that our team has with our clients is something that cannot be matched with any of our competitors.
So, we have a huge team that none of our competitors have. We have a team where each person focuses on one part of the process. It gives us an advantage of being able to be there for our clients whenever they have any questions or they have any doubts, or to apply any changes that they want. In addition to this, no other company offers unlimited revisions like us, to ensure the happiness and satisfaction of our clients
Q: What is the difference between a Start-Up Visa Program business plan writing, the marketing research part that would be included in the business plan, the business idea selection and the preliminary research service?
A: When it comes to a business plan, you don’t want to submit a business plan that has 100 pages. Usually, the immigration officers are not interested in reading such long documents, and we try to summarise as much as possible. So, a section that explains industry and market research in the business plan would typically be about five to 10 pages at the max, whereas in the preliminary market research, it would have 50 pages with in-depth market information.
In the business plan, you typically would have information about the typical services that are offered by other similar companies. What is the growth rate? You would have a size of the industry size of the market. We would do demographics as well. If it is like a local business, let’s say it is a restaurant and we want to do a demographics information on that particular location. So you would have all of the information that is important in the business plan, but it really isn’t there to help you choose your path. It is really there just to elaborate upon why you chose this idea.
However, in the market research, you would get actionable data and that will help you decide what to do. For example, the competition analysis in the business plan would typically be one page, just explaining a couple of most important competitors, but in the market research, that will be pages upon pages explaining specifically, what is the value that the other competitors are proposing? What kind of pricing they are adopting, what is their customer service like? Are there any things that are very particular for them that you should maybe copy or that you should avoid or how to differentiate from them? So, it really explains to you the strategy depending on what others are doing, whereas in the business plan, it just explains the current situation.
Q: How many financial years does a business plan cover?
A: Usually, our financials within the business plans are covering five years. But we will probably go into more details in the first year from the moment when the visa is approved. So, we count that moment and the next 12 months.
Just to clarify, some programs actually require for less than five years. For example, in British Columbia, they only ask for two years and that is in the guide specifically. That’s why we provide only two years for British Columbia because we don’t want to go against the regulations. We do five years for most of our programs, but for Ontario, we do four years because it is in the guide. So, it is really customised for every program and not all of the business plans are the same.
Q: Does Joorney Business Plans apply for companies that are starting or are they also applicable for existing business?
A: We do the existing businesses as well. In this case, it is even better because you actually know the financial performance of the company. The projections are based upon something that you already know. We already know a lot of information about the history of the company, which is something that the immigration officer would see as a great piece of information to know. You already know if this company can be successful and you already have some employees, so, you are maintaining jobs. We are very good at describing the traction that you have currently have with the company that’s existing.
Also, for different programs, such as the PNP, there are different guidelines that need to be followed to emphasise on the companies that are existing versus companies that are new and it varies the requirements. So, it would be recommended to go back to your immigration consultant or lawyer.
Thank you to our team members who presented on this webinar!
Marianella Manzur, Director of Sales & Marketing
Marianella has over 18 years of international experience in business development and consulting in strategy, management, business planning, business intelligence, marketing, and sales. Originally from Colombia, she has worked in an array of different industries in both Latin and North American markets. Marianella is an MBA graduate with postgraduate studies at Harvard Business School in strategy and sales as well as entrepreneurial essentials. Currently, as Director of Sales & Marketing and Head of Market Research of Joorney Global, she channels her broad and diverse business knowledge into helping hundreds of entrepreneurs, startups, and business immigrants achieve their goals every year.
Dorothea Agne, Project Manager
Dorothea Agne became a member of the Joorney team in February 2017. With the help of a quantitative finance degree and a knack for problem solving, she has successfully guided clients through numerous projects, allowing them to turn their business ideas into tangible concepts, plans, or compelling pitch decks. Her main focus has been on exploring the intricacies of the provincial nominee programs.
Uros Sajkic, Account Executive
Uros brings his energy and passion to help business immigration applicants in their journey to Canada by providing the highest quality business plan on the market. Being detail oriented, our immigration professional clients and applicants love to interact with him as he always makes sure all their needs and requirements are being catered. Uros has graduated with a bachelor’s degree International Economy and Finance and gained more than five years of experience in different types of sales and consulting. As Account Executive for the Canadian market, he has gathered extensive knowledge in Canadian immigration and business start-up working with clients of different nationalities and cultures. He is passionate about meeting new entrepreneurs, their business ideas and models, immigration strategy, and always makes sure they get the best possible service.
Tania Trajkovic, Account Manager
Tania likes to meet new people from all over the world and one of her favorite things about working as an Account Manager at Joorney is that she has the chance to do that. Tania has personal experience with immigrating to Canada and knows first-hand how important it is for a client to get help at the right time during their journey. That is why she is doing her best to make sure the client is always happy. The biggest reward for her is to hear back that the client has achieved their dream of immigrating to a new country.
Petar Anicic, Executive Coordinator
Petar graduated as a Technology Engineer, but his extroverted nature brought him to the world of customer service and sales, where he found his passion. He has several years of sales experience in various industries. At Joorney, he helped many business immigration clients with his straightforward approach and responsiveness, ensuring their needs were met, thus making their challenging immigration paths easier.
Disclaimer: Joorney Business Plans Canada is not an immigration consultant, lawyer, or advisor and cannot be held responsible for damages incurred from the use of this information. If you require more information about a program, please contact a registered immigration professional.