How Sylvan Learning’s Business Model Creates a One of a Kind Franchise Opportunity with the Lowest Fees in the Industry
From its streamlined royalty rate to its inclusive approach to managing operations, Sylvan Learning sets its franchisees up for long-term success from day one.
As demand in the supplemental education segment of the franchising industry continues to grow, brands are competing for new and innovative ways to stand out from the competition. For Sylvan Learning, that competitive edge begins with its top tier programs—the brand’s 40+ years of experience, combined with a focus on staying ahead of the latest trends both in and outside of the classroom, continue to resonate with families across the country. But it isn’t just the brand’s relationship with consumers that enables it to outpace other concepts. Sylvan Learning also boasts a unique business model that’s attractive to both existing and aspiring franchisees.
Part of what makes Sylvan’s business model so unique is that it’s all-encompassing. The brand’s corporate team and franchisees have worked together to identify what local owners need in order to be successful, and set up the systems and processes that ensure those tools and resources are made available. That then means that on top of an affordable initial investment rate, Sylvan Learning franchisees are better prepared to see a profit than others who are working with the competition.
Unlike competitors who charge a royalty rate and a fee for national marketing along with numerous other fees, Sylvan Learning offers an all-in flat royalty rate of 16 percent. The royalty structure is designed to save local owners money while positioning them to bring in higher revenues than the competition. That rate includes payments to the brand’s national ad fund, mandatory student assessments and all online training resources, including e-learning courses and web conferences, as well as access to a full-time corporate team that helps source and secure contracts on behalf of franchisees. It also covers fees that were previously associated with Sylvan’s digital platform SylvanSync—instead of being charged up to $2.50 per session, the fees are now part of the all-in royalty fee. Sylvan University Now, an interactive online platform that includes programs created by training specialists for franchisees, center directors, directors of education and teacher certifications, is also included with the brand’s royalty fee, along with the brand’s initial training program Sylvan 101, meaning that franchisees don’t have to pay additional fees for their in-person training.
“When looking at ways to enhance our business model, we discovered that brands in the education segment of the franchising industry—ourselves included—were nickel-and-diming franchisees. That really adds up for local entrepreneurs, so we found a way to simplify the structure and ultimately lower the cost for the franchisees in our system,” said Jacob Jones, SVP of Finance for Sylvan Learning. “Now, we offer franchisees an all-in royalty rate that covers all payments to the corporate team. This system allows us to help our franchisees and candidates understand our financial model in advance so they can anticipate the funds that will be due on a monthly basis, better positioning them for long-term success.”