Making the Transition from Retail to Educational Franchising
Having spent more than a decade in the educational franchising sector, I’ve met many potential franchisees eager to enter this burgeoning market each with their own experience and personality.
I often recall my meeting with a gentleman who had previously been a franchisor for a well known brand of car tires. Looking for a new direction and considering the EFL market, his opening question was, ‘How many students will I have?’ A logical question from a background where he knew how much profit he would make based on how many units he sold, but the reality of educational franchising is a very different business.
Like entering any other new enterprise, you’ll need a solid business plan to succeed, but it is a business based on relationships. It’s not the traditional supply and demand business model that many are used to. That’s what makes it great, that’s what makes it challenging.
It comes down to this, sell a person a set of tires and you may not see them again for a year. But in our learning centres, you see the students and parents all year round. If you’ve done a good job and built successful relationships with both, you’ll see them for many years to come, week after week, month after month – and the students’ siblings and friends will follow in their footsteps.
It’s not a business for back seat drivers. When launching an EFL franchise, a lot depends on the country, region, and culture. A wide number of complex factors come into play. But there’s one thing that is constant and that is the passion for teaching English to eager young minds. Perhaps passion is a key ingredient in any business, but we find that franchisors who enjoy the greatest success are those that live and breathe the business. More than that, it becomes a way of life.
This business is founded on strong relationships every step of the way. Close interaction with your teaching team and the franchisees around you is almost as important as the relationships you will develop with both parents and students alike. It’s true of our relationship with our master franchisors too. We have grown substantially in the past 30 years and our focus on building a community has been a major factor in our success.
VP Business Development