Children's-Education Franchises Are Going Hi-Tech
New technologies have created innovative ways to teach and communicate with customers.
Children's-education franchises have been a growing category in recent years, and with the pandemic's impact on the marketplace, they've moved towards technology as a focal point. I explored this phenomenon with a few of the sector's leaders to identify some of their strategies.
Many franchisors in this space started out with the common denominator of helping kids. Sometimes it was their own children who needed help. I often find that this is the same reason shared by many prospective franchise owners to buy, launch and grow a business in this category; helping children is something that resonates with most people.
The reduction and changes in the types of classes and programs offered by schools has opened up new opportunities in this sector for a variety of brands, and new technologies have created innovative ways to teach and communicate with customers.
I have featured several forward-thinking brands recently on our Franchise Bible Coach Radio Podcast with Rick and Rob. Anne Huntington was on our show and shared her insights with us. She is the president of Huntington Learning Centers, a well-established education franchise that provides valuable tutoring and test-preparation services to K-12 students.
She mentioned that the key to getting through the pandemic is communication and separating fact from fiction. As the leader of her company, she had to make hard decisions and worked directly with their pwner’s advisory council to develop the best solutions.
When they were founded in 1977, there was no Internet. When the pandemic hit, they had to pivot to online learning overnight. They also had to help parents as they shifted to supporting their kids at home. Consequently, they are now rolling out new remote-learning programs.
Children’s Lighthouse Learning Centers is based in Fort Worth Texas and has more than 50 franchise locations. Shelly Pair is the company's vice president of operations and joined our show during our Fight For Your Franchise Challenge. She shared that they are growing steady as new franchise entrepreneurs seek business ownership.
And technology has helped them pivot during the changes in the industry over the last year. They used Zoom calls for support to keep their franchise owners on track and organized a fun franchise-team happy hour on Fridays to keep morale and spirits up. These virtual training and meetings created more communication and team building within the franchise-owner community.
They also shifted to virtual discovery-day events so prospective franchise owners can learn about franchise opportunities without leaving home, and they plan to keep these technological enhancements in place as they move forward.
Code Ninjas co-founder and CEO David Graham told us that a huge percentage of the jobs that our children will be seeking in the future have not event been invented yet, and the best way to prepare them is to find ways to engage them so they can learn how to think. Code Ninjas uses coding and gaming to this end, and Graham says the pandemic has created an awakening for all business owners to re-think their leadership styles and adapt.
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Technology is a big element of communication across our business, school and social lives. Our children have grown up in a technologically enabled world, with new offerings invented every day around the globe. After the pandemic, more people are now comfortable with technology than ever before. I often joke with my readers and say, "Your grandma couldn’t turn on a computer a year ago, but now she has three Zoom calls a day.” So just imagine what her grandkids are capable of.
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Rick has been involved in the franchise industry since 1994. He franchised his first company and grew it to 49 locations in 19 states during the mid to late 1990s. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and primary trainer focusing on franchise owner relations and creating tools and technologies to increase franchisee success.
Rick developed and launched his second franchise organization in 2003. He led this company as the CEO and CMO growing to over 150 locations in less than three years. He developed the high tech/high touch franchise recruiting and sales system.
Both companies achieved ranking on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 List. During this period Rick served as a business and marketing consultant to small business and multimillion dollar enterprises. He also consulted with franchise owners and prospective franchisees, franchisors, and companies seeking to franchise around the world.
Rick is the Author of Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise Bible series and his 9th Edition was released worldwide in April of 2021. He also is a contributing author to Entrepreneur Magazine and other industry publications on the subject of franchising and business.
He currently heads up the Entrepreneur Franchise Advisors program, serves as an executive coach and strategist for multiple franchise clients and is the co-host of the Franchise Bible Coach Radio Podcast with Rick and Rob.