Class 101

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Entrepreneurs Favor Franchises With a Clear Value Proposition Businesses that can easily define their product or service remain attractive to candidates.

Class 101

With thousands of franchise concepts on the market today, there's no shortage of choices for prospective business owners. That's why discerning franchisee candidates spend countless hours investigating brands on their own or employ the services of a qualified franchise consultant to help them find the best fit.

To narrow their short list of concepts, there are several key questions to consider. Do I have a passion for the product or service offered by the franchise? Is the product or service in demand? What's the current industry outlook? The answers to these critical questions can often make or break a franchisor's chance of being selected.

But for franchisors who prefer to cut to the chase, decisions often come down to the brand's value proposition. For franchise brands, this means you should be able to clearly communicate how your product fills a specific need, along with any key differentiators that separate you from direct competitors. Considering this criteria, Class 101 is a prime example.

A hyper-competitive playing field.

Class 101 was founded in 2007 as a national college preparatory franchise. Designed to help a target market of nearly 20 million college-bound students compete for enrollment in some 4,000 higher education institutions each year, its three key service offerings include admissions planning, test prep, and scholarship assistance.

Recent research indicates that college admittance applications are on the rise – up 21.3% in just the last five years. This heightened level of interest in securing a prized spot in the college of choice has created a hyper-competitive environment — a place where having the slightest edge could make the difference as to where students end up attending school.

Current franchisees like Karen DeRosa of Dayton, Ohio, were quick to note and capitalize on this increasing demand. "We were most attracted to Class 101 as a franchise opportunity because it's a unique position in the market right now," DeRosa says. "We know that the competitive nature of going to college is only increasing and that parents are always looking for other coaching opportunities for their students."

You can't argue with success.

The majority of Class 101 clients clearly benefit from the brand's value propositions, as the numbers don't lie. In a head-to-head comparison of Class 101 participants and those who don't use college preparatory providers, the results are in stark contrast to one another. On average, Class 101 students apply to seven schools, compared to two or three for non-Class 101 students. Those who enlist the help of Class 101 have a dropout rate of less than 1%, compared to the national average of 33%.

And when it comes to absorbing the skyrocketing cost of tuition, room, and board, scholarships often play a "make or break" role. Class 101 participants apply and receive an average of $160,000 in financial aid and scholarships, compared to just $20,000 for all other students. "We've helped thousands of high school kids through our Class 101 business and we're averaging more than 100 seniors each year as clients," shares Kim Stegemoller, who owns and operates three Class 101 franchise locations in Indiana and Florida.

When it comes down to it, value propositions function as a franchisor's "elevator pitch," which is a quick and concise description of how a business presents its worth to prospective owners. The "elevator pitch" phrase references the old adage that most elevator rides take 30 seconds or less.

Franchisors should take note. Among the selective class of entrepreneurial candidates these days, that brief window of opportunity might be all the time you have to communicate your value proposition.

To find out if the Class 101 franchise opportunity is right for you, visit