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Getting The Hole Story: How Joyce Came To Dominate The Donut
Persistence: Joyce was only human. He had regrets like the rest of us. But what perhaps set him apart from others was that he did not let those regrets get in the way of going on with the rest of his life. Where he made a mistake once, he picked himself up, got over it, and went back to work.
Passion: Joyce’s ex-wives might not have anything positive to say about him, but they would both be first hand witnesses to the passion and dedication that he had for his work. And, for Joyce, that was what it was all about. Whether he was in the boardroom or out on the golf course, Joyce wanted to devote himself completely to something he loved.
Focus: Joyce knew that if was going to succeed in the competitive coffee industry, he would have to stand out; he would have to create a unique selling point that would keep customers coming back to his shop instead of the one across the street. And, he knew fancier cups and the like were not going to do it. To that end, Joyce reoriented his company to focus on freshness, believing it was something that would be valued by customers. He was right.
Branding: If there is one thing that Joyce understood better than anything else it was the importance of creating a powerful and lasting brand. He created a company that became “your friend along the way” for Canadians nationwide. By keeping Tim Hortons in touch with communities, and focusing his marketing around Canadian culture, he turned a coffee shop into a Canadian institution.
Franchising: Joyce knew that if he wanted Tim Hortons to grow, and grow rapidly, he would have to embrace a system of franchising. By implementing a structure based on fairness and support for his franchisees, Joyce saw his chain become one of the most popular in the country.
Joyce did not have any formal business education. He did not even have a high school degree. What he did have was determination and ambition. As a result of his impressive career, Joyce has received the Order of Canada, induction into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, and five honorary university degrees. “The amazing part of this story,” he says upon reflection, “is that a young kid can leave small-town Nova Scotia at an early age, and be successful working hard at what he believed in…It’s a great story of what you can achieve in this country.”
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