Name: Priya Venkat
Franchise: Best in Class Education Center
Franchise locations: Allen, Texas, and McKinney, Texas
Number of years in business/Number of employees: 2 and a half years / 11 part-time employees
Initial investment: Initial franchise fee: $27,000 - $30,000; Total investment: $90,000 - $100,000
Sometimes, one decision changes your life. For Priya Venkat, it was enrolling her children in a Best in Class Education Center.
After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Venkat moved to Seattle and spent 14 years in the medical field, specializing in fertility. Evidenced by her background, she values education highly and was concerned about what her children were learning -- or what they weren’t. “After toting around parent-teacher conferences and checking my children’s homework, I became alarmingly aware that the education my children were receiving in school fell short,” she says.
So she set out to do something about it. She shopped around for an education program that would help her kids, but she had a tough time finding the right one for her family. “After visiting ... ‘household name’ centers, I was convinced that their curriculums were outdated, repetitive and didn’t offer the necessary strength to uphold advanced lessons,” she says. “In 2007, I brought my four-year-old to Best in Class and have never doubted my decision since.”
When the family uprooted themselves from Seattle to Texas for Venkat’s husband’s job, she decided to chase her dream of entrepreneurship. She knew she wanted to own a business, and a franchise would allow her to use a proven system and have corporate resources at her disposal. She thought of her experience with Best in Class. “It was my first-person experience as a mother that inspired me to open my own center in Plano-Allen, Texas,” she says. “I used my personal experience and what I saw going on in my own children’s school to inform my decision-making about becoming a franchisee with Best in Class.”
Maternal instinct isn’t everything, however. Venkat says she relied mostly on the research she did online to make sure she knew what she was getting into. The rest was as easy as ABC. Venkat says she didn’t face any unexpected challenges getting started due to the support and preparation she received from the company’s corporate team.Today, Venkat has two Best in Class franchises and is looking forward to expansion. She also wants to give back to her community through philanthropy in the future. For those who want to follow in her footsteps, she offers this lesson: “Bring enthusiasm, drive, energy, a paper/pencil and a smile to work every day!”