Sylvan Learning to Open an Average of Two Locations a Month Throughout 2021
The leading supplemental and enrichment education brand quickly pivoted during the pandemic to provide franchisees and families across the world with support during an unexpectedly challenging school year. It also signed deals for four new locations and six resale units.
BALTIMORE (PRWEB) March 25, 2021 - Ask John McAuliffe, the CEO of Sylvan Learning, a supplemental and enrichment education franchise with 750 points of presence across the world, why his company continues to award franchises despite an ongoing pandemic and a massive economic downturn, and there is a simple answer.
“First and foremost, it’s because our products and our process work,” said McAuliffe.
Looking at the numbers, he must be right. In 2019, Sylvan Learning opened 22 new centers. In 2020, a pandemic hit and the brand still opened 16 new centers. Plus, the brand signed for four new territories and six resale units through mid-March and is projecting to sign five to seven more new territories and two additional resales by the beginning of May.
In 2021, it’s becoming clear that the virus’s impact on schools, families and children isn’t going anywhere soon. With 19 centers projected to open this year, the formula to Sylvan’s success merits closer examination. With decades of experience and millions of lives changed, everyone knows Sylvan’s style of education works, but for education to “work” during the COVID-era, it has to be delivered strategically. This, according to McAuliffe, is where the brand continues to succeed.
“We've continued to invest and innovate using technology, adding different products at different times to help students with their education while also providing franchisees with additional streams of revenue,” he said. “Our ability to deliver lessons in the center, at satellite locations, in-home and virtually, has been made possible because of our investments in technology.”
Essentially, McAuliffe had the foresight to invest in technology before it became vital for the brand’s survival. When the pandemic hit, Sylvan was able to stand up online lessons for students over the course of a weekend thanks to the brand’s strong leadership and robust tech infrastructure. When franchises waivered, the brand waived $1.5 million in royalty payments and offered unprecedented levels of support to keep businesses afloat.
While McAuliffe acknowledges that Sylvan didn’t rest on its laurels over the last year. Instead, the corporate team worked diligently to make sure the business was as flexible and agile as possible to drive franchisee profitability.
When McAuliffe says Sylvan’s product and process works, he’s talking about educational tools to mold the younger generation, but he might as well be talking about the brand’s system for realizing profits for its franchisees.
Plans For The Future
In 2021, McAuliffe says Sylvan expects to continue its franchise growth alongside helping a record number of families.
“Our job is to continue to protect our franchisees throughout this period of time,” he said. “We took a big hit in the beginning of COVID-19, and I think we'd be up significantly if there weren't any capacity restraints. Once restrictions are lifted, we'll be in even better shape.”
But if 2020 taught the business community anything, it’s that sitting and waiting for the pandemic to blow over won’t solve anything. Instead, McAuliffe dug in deep to make inroads for his franchisees by knocking on the doors of top CEOs in a way that only a big name like Sylvan could.
Sylvan and his team have convinced a growing roster of top companies to partner with the brand to subsidize or discount the cost of tutoring children. Education benefits for employees exist, and Sylvan has identified them as a powerful selling point for the brand. In fact, McAuliffe predicts a large-scale move toward this type of benefit becoming standard.
“We have been partnering with a variety of companies that we have built relationships with since the start of the pandemic, and many are partly subsidizing tutoring for their employees,” he said. “I think a big shift over the next couple of years is that supplemental education is going to evolve in the same direction as the child care industry.”
With remote work remaining a reality for millions of Americans, the problem of watching kids at home has deeply impacted the workforce. Now, companies may have no choice but to help pay for education services to keep their workers on task and at ease knowing their child is learning.
“Corporations subsidizing education support makes it more accessible and affordable for parents, and I believe we are going to see a big push for this over the next year,” he said.
Always ahead of the curve, Sylvan also launched its School Support program in the fall to serve exactly this need. In 2020, Sylvan introduced this new way for parents to drop their children off at a Sylvan center for support with distance learning throughout the day. Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive from parents and students alike.
Many children have been robbed of a year of in-person schooling thanks to the COVID-19 crisis. Parents have lost time to support their children. Now, even the best students are contending with massive gaps in their education, and Sylvan has the tools to address these gaps.
“The pandemic brought a lot of stress into the lives of families everywhere but it brought an even bigger stress on students with virtual learning,” said Kathleen Eversole, who purchased a Sylvan Learning in February in Narcoosee, Fla. with her husband Blake Stine. “We saw the students in our area struggling with virtual learning and immediately wanted to help but weren’t sure how. When we found Sylvan it really felt like the right choice. Sylvan is a well-known name within communities across the country and they have an amazing educational program that encourage confidence in the classroom and positivity toward learning for children.”
Education is essential, and it’s not going anywhere.
*This discloses the start-up figures that appear in Item 7 of Sylvan Learning’s 2020 Franchise Disclosure Document.
SOURCE Sylvan Learning
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