One of the more popular franchise sectors aspiring owners have pursued recently are products and services for children. These include learning centers, after-school care and athletic and recreational camps. These include popular brand names such as Soccer Shots, Little Gym, Primrose Academy and others. This is a growing industry with an established customer base that continues to increase each year.
The latest U.S. Census estimates more than 20 percent of the population (approximately 74 million) is under the age of 18. The number is projected to grow to over 80 million by 2030. People are now having children later in life, in their 30’s rather than their 20’s, which often means they are more financially stable and can spend a greater amount of money on their children’s development. According to IBIS World, child education and developmental center franchises have grown by five percent over the last five years and total more than $3 billion annually. This can be a very profitable business investment for many franchise owners out there.
As a franchise coach, I talk to many people who are passionate about working with kids. They are interested in children’s products and services businesses because they have children and like working with them, therefore they want to be in a business that deals with children. While I think that it is great to pursue your passion in life, passion should not be the primary reason to open franchise. This is one of the most frequent misconceptions I encounter when working with people looking at franchise opportunities, and it’s even more prevalent with those interested in children’s products and services businesses.
For example, if you own a children’s education franchise, you are not going to be teaching children. Your job as an owner will to be out in the community building relationships with individuals who can refer business to you or people who will directly engage in your service. You will interview, hire and manage people to handle the responsibility of teaching. As a franchise owner, you will do things such as managing schedules and payrolls, motivating others and conducting team meetings. If you want to build a successful business, those are some of the things you need to do.
I absolutely understand the desire to work in an area you love and I encourage people to pursue jobs in that field. When it comes to franchise ownership, however, I make sure to explain that it’s going to take a strong business acumen and specific skills to succeed. Before discussing options, we thoroughly dissect the individual’s skill set and how their skills can translate into successful business ownership. Then, we try to find specific franchise businesses in any given field that have the best skill set match for that individual. Prospective business owners can predictably increase their potential for success by making sure the business is a strong fit with their skills and lifestyle objectives.
Another thing I caution people to think about when pursuing franchise ownership options in the child products and services field is to consider the hours of operation and the impact it could have on their family’s schedule. Many of these businesses have hours that require owners to work on weekends and other times when kids are out of school. If you want to be active in your own child’s schedule, then be careful about getting into a children’s service or educational business. Always be aware that it is a natural conflict that needs to be addressed when operating a business such as this while also focusing on your child’s activities.
Children’s products and service franchises are a great opportunity for potential business owners. The initial investment costs can be relatively inexpensive and the moments/successes you enjoy as an owner can be a particularly enjoyable and fulfilling experience. It is also a growing business with increasing demand for their services. There are several important factors potential franchisees must consider, however, before determining if this is the right path for them. The children’s products and services industry might be a great choice for if you do the proper research and have the necessary skill set.
Rick Bisio recently published the third edition of his Amazon-bestselling author of The Educated Franchisee. Bisio is a leading franchise coach with FranChoice, the creator of the FDD Exchange and the Franchise Glossary and the co-host of Rick Bisio’s Franchise Focus. Since becoming a franchise coach in 2002, Bisio has assisted thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs nationwide explore the dream of business ownership. Prior to joining FranChoice, he was the director of international development at AFC Enterprises, the parent company of Popeye’s Chicken, Church’s Chicken, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Cinnabon, establishing locations in more than 30 countries.