Why am I a franchise owner?
I wanted to own a business but was not creative enough to come up with an awesome original idea. A huge advantage of owning a franchise rather than either buying an existing business, or starting from scratch, is that there is a proven model in place and you are not in it alone. One should make sure there is an infrastructure in place that includes training, ongoing development and support, marketing materials, and proven processes. A national conference and other opportunities to interact with peer owners, are key to being able to share experiences and best practices.
On the downside, owning a franchise requires payment of royalties, which is typically 6%, or so of annual revenues. The investment level can be significant, but definitely varies depending on the franchise. Because franchises do have proven processes and branding priorities, a franchisee may have less flexibility than other business owners.
Why did I choose College Nannies+Tutors?
I worked with a franchise advisor, and was taken through a series of steps. One of which was an inventory of skills, abilities, interests, and desired financial investment. I then attended a franchise fair (similar to a job fair) and evaluated different opportunities.
That was where my husband and I met the founder of College Nannies+Tutors, Joe Keeley. While I must admit, I had already declared that I didn’t want anything to do with “childcare”, it soon became obvious that this was the opportunity we were looking for. Not only was he young, dynamic, and smart…Joe was also enthusiastic and won our trust. Upon doing our “due diligence”, we talked to other owners to try to understand their pain points and feelings of success. We decided that since our hometown of Austin was blessed with an abundance of families that are educationally focused, and also has an amazing supply of college students wanting work, we believed it was a winning combination.
While we originally started looking at owning a business to have a second source of income, we soon recognized that we could help relieve the stress of young families and provide jobs for college students. We bought our franchise in 2007 and now have four learning centers where we conduct tutoring in the Austin Metro area, provide nannies (and sitters) in hundreds of private homes, and employ about a dozen full time staff and almost 200 part time tutors and nannies.