New Academies and Multi-Unit Childcare Franchises
Q&A with Greg Helwig, President
Averaging more than one new academy opening each month in 2012, Kiddie Academy® is on a steady path of expansion. We sat down with Greg Helwig, President of Kiddie Academy, to discuss what’s new and what’s coming up for Kiddie Academy and for its franchisees.
Q: This has been a great year so far for Kiddie Academy. Are there any recent grand openings that are particularly note-worthy?
Greg Helwig: The recent openings in Bothel, Washington, LaVerne, California and Charlotte-Blakeney, North Carolina all stand out. Those three had very successful grand opening events, and enrollment ramped up very quickly. Bothel now has the first Kiddie Academy in the state of Washington, and Charlotte was a new market for us, as well. We are extremely pleased to see the businesses doing so well in markets that are new to us. This demonstrates the extent of our Brand Awareness.
Q: Are there any upcoming academy openings of particular note?
Greg Helwig: There is a new academy opening soon in Secaucus (NJ) that we’re excited about because it’s a different demographic for us – more urban than suburban. They haven’t opened yet, but so far they’ve had a very favorable response from the community, so it appears as if their enrollment is going to ramp up quickly.
Also, the franchisees opening the Secaucus location are aggressive in their growth plans. They have a second location already under construction in New Jersey, and their family members are working on yet another new location in Maryland. They envision opening additional academies at a rate of 1-2 per year for the next several years.
Q: Is multi-unit ownership a focus for Kiddie Academy as you grow?
Greg Helwig: In the past, our focus was making sure that both single-unit and multi-unit franchisees could be successful operating with our model, resulting in a strong, healthy and growing system.
Now we want to communicate more about the opportunities for franchisees of other franchise brands to franchise with us. Owning a Kiddie Academy does not require being an educator, it’s about knowing how to run a successful service business. We’ve found that there are other franchise concepts out there – health club franchises or hotel franchises, to name a few – whose current franchisees could successfully balance their portfolio with a multi-unit child care franchise.
A franchisee comfortable in a brick-and-mortar, customer service-based business can adapt easily to the Kiddie Academy business model, and the constant market demand for child care makes the investment opportunity attractive.
Look out for more Q&A with Greg Helwig as the year goes on. Please post your ideas, questions, and comments below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.