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Owner Requirements

What Does Sylvan Look for in Prospective Franchisees?

Sylvan’s VP of Franchise Development Georgia Chasen and multi-unit franchisee Marissa Roh share their insights.

For the last 40 years, premier supplemental and enrichment education franchise Sylvan Learning has been paving the way for student success thanks to technology-driven classroom innovation, proven ACT/SAT test prep curricula, in-demand STEM courses and more. The brand has come by its industry-leader status honestly—just look at Sylvan’s proven results and student success stories. That said, it’s not only a brand’s offering or model that drive success; it’s the people. When it comes to Sylvan Learning, the brand’s caliber of franchisee is second to none.

So just what does it take to own a Sylvan Learning center? Read on to find out.

1. Community Involvement

“Sylvan owners need to demonstrate sufficient experience in building community,” said Georgia Chasen, Vice President of Franchise Development. “Ideally, our owners identify as community leaders and are connected to different organizations and groups in the community. They need to be someone who knows what’s important to the families in their community.”

Multi-unit franchisee Marissa Roh, who owns three Sylvan Learning centers in Nebraska, agreed.

“Sylvan is a mission-focused business; you have to embody the commitment to community at the heart of Sylvan Learning to be a successful owner,” said Roh.

Next in the recipe for ownership success? Business acumen.

2. Business Acumen

According to Chasen, possessing a degree of business knowledge and theory absolutely empowers Sylvan owners. However, just because a prospective owner doesn’t have the most developed acumen doesn’t preclude them from ownership.

“We often have franchise partner groups who buy a franchise together,” emphasized Chasen. “It’s rare to find someone who possesses every single skill [on our list of what we desire], but you might have a business partner who has an education background and another who is the financial backer, for example. As long as one partner has that business acumen, that’s what we look for.”

But knowledge is only part of the professional puzzle; as the old truism goes, experience is the best teacher.

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Key Takeaways

  • Successful Sylvan owners are mission-driven professionals committed to education and involved in their local community.
  • A laser-focused approach to building the business through direct involvement is critical for Sylvan franchisees.
  • Franchise candidates need not possess every quality listed above but they should leverage the power of collective aptitude by seeking qualified business partners with complementary strengths and utilizing the exceptional support resources offered by Sylvan Learning’s executive team.

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