How To Choose the Best Child Care or Child-Centered Franchise for You
If you’ve been dreaming and planning to launch a business that serves families with children, you may be weighing the options of doing it independently, or joining a franchise system. There are big implications for either path you select. Services like child care centers, enrichment and performing arts centers are sustainable, in-demand business models that can offer a lot of personal fulfillment.
There are many wonderful franchise systems and finding the right one can feel overwhelming. Before you commit to the decision or to a partner, consider these key questions to set yourself up for success.
Why a franchise?
Really dig deep into this question to figure out if franchising is right for you. Have you owned and operated a business before? If yes, be well informed on how you can expect a franchise to be different from your previous experience
As the owner of an independent, non-franchised business, every decision is your own. As a franchisee, there are many important things over which you will have little or no flexibility to make your own choices. This is by design, and it’s the primary reason why franchising works. It provides a tested formula that has built-in quality controls and a clear path marked for you, the business owner. If you sign on as a franchisee without fully accepting – and valuing – this reality, you could be in for a tough road ahead.
Does the franchise company’s culture fit you?
Childcare as a franchise is a highly sought-after business because of the benefits that include healthy work-life balance, fulfilling work, and the largely recession-resistant nature of the industry. However, different franchisors offer vastly different company cultures.
In many ways, buying into a franchise system is similar to taking a job for a large company. You may not be at their office each day, but it’s critically important that their company culture is compatible with your own outlook. You should feel inspired by their mission so that you are ready to ascribe to it and let it inform your future business in virtually every way.
If something related to how the business works, treats franchisees, approaches customers, or approaches education doesn’t feel right to you in the research process – it will not improve after you’re a franchisee. It will only get more tenuous. Compare the culture qualities of the franchise systems you’re considering directly to understand which you are drawn to more.
Do you believe in the franchise brand?
As a franchisee, you are selling more than childcare services. You are selling a brand and a vision to your future customers. To do this successfully and with ease, you must authentically be on board with the brand. When you believe in what you are selling, families will feel it immediately. Selling the services will feel natural to you and families will respond positively.
This belief in the brand impacts all areas of your future business. When you are enthusiastic about your brand, every part of your operation runs better. Recruiting the right teachers and staff, retaining them for the long term, and delivering care and education in the classroom are all impacted by your core belief in the brand you deliver.
There are hundreds of details to hash out in your business-planning journey. Your first big decision as a business owner is whether you want to be independent or have the security of a franchise behind you.
Visit the International Franchise Association Blog for valuable resources to help you make this important decision.
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