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Building your own versus franchising- The ideal option when it comes to setting up a playschool

If you are passionate about early education, setting up a pre school certainly sounds like the perfect space to be in. As you start putting together a business plan, the first decision that stares you in the face is whether you should attempt to build or own brand or take advantage of an already established one. Here is a quick overview on the comparative merits.

Established brand

The foremost advantage that you can avail of, when you choose to go with the franchising model, is the ability to partake the equity of a strong brand. You have at your disposal, a proven business model as also a high degree of acceptance, when it comes to parents. Clearly, with a franchising model you aren’t required to re-invent the wheel when it comes to spreading word on the salience of the brand.

Competitive Advantage

What immediately follows through from having a strong brand at your disposal, is a competitive edge that enables small players to compete with established players as soon as you start operations. The competitive edge is a function of several factors, primary among them being:

  1. Sales and Marketing Support
    With advertising being a large chunk of the business costs, it is virtually impossible for a small player to compete with large brands who have large advertising budgets at their disposal. By being a Franchise of a strong parent organization, you stand to gain from their ad budgets. Translated into your business, it implies higher leads generation as well as conversions, positively impacting your bottom lines.
  2. Curriculum
    A major differentiator of a successful pre school is its well- researched curriculum; designing one single handedly is challenging to say the least. On the other hand, with a franchise operation, you have access to a well researched and proven curriculum that can become a great enabler in hitting the ground running, as far as setting up the preschool is concerned.
  3. Quality teaching staff and training
    A major factor that can make or break a pre school, is the quality of its teaching staff. The other challenge being quality training that equips the teachers to deliver the curriculum to impressionable minds, effectively.  Left on its own, both these resources are hard to come by for an individual operator. Lack of trained staff coupled with a high attrition rate adds to the woes of an individual operator. The availability of a tried and tested, institutionalized training material provided by the parent organization goes a long way in creating strong quality benchmarks, which in turn reflect in the learning for pupils and commercial success of the organization.
  4. Fee structure
    With a single, stand alone center having an aggressive fee structure is a near impossible task. A low fee structure on the other hand impacts the revenue build up and the profit margins. With a proven track record, on the other hand, a franchisee operation can afford to charge a premium in its fee resulting in business viability and in turn, delivering greater value to its constituents.
  5. Support infrastructure
    As a franchisee, you have access to a centralized team of specialists assisting you with administrative processes right from helping you select the right location to setting up automated  HR, IT and accounts processes. This in turn, helps you can concentrate your energies on your core competence areas instead of dissipating your energies. Access to strong backend systems as well as robust data by way of parameters such as Conversion Rates, Child Attrition and more, helps you focus on critical areas and resolve them without delay. Needless to mention, all of this results in strong operational efficiencies that reflect on your P& L.In a competitive set up, it is therefore important that you leverage the advantages provided by a strong brand as well as the economies of scale of a large set up.

Post Author: Amita Bhardwaj

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