In today’s educational landscape, there’s one trend that’s picking up speed at an unprecedented pace: coding. From after school tutoring programs to themed summer camps, there’s a new push to teach kids across the country to code. That’s why Hansel Lynn and Wayne Teng decided to franchise their concept, theCoderSchool.
Since launching their business ownership opportunity, Lynn and Teng have experienced rapid growth. And it’s not all due to the spike in demand for coding programs—the entrepreneurs have taken a different approach to teaching kids to code. For starters, theCoderSchool actively tries not to mimic traditional educational structures. The brand instead focuses on creating an individualized program for each student, and boasts a small student to teacher ratio. In fact, its ideal classes include two students and one teacher. theCoderSchool also asks its students to make a presentation to demonstrate what they’ve learned when they’ve completed their classes, which encourages students to incorporate their passions into their coding projects.
It’s that unique approach to coding education that has helped theCoderSchool catch on quickly among both business owners and consumers alike. However, as Lynn and Teng have grown their business, they’ve found that they’ve had to adjust their expectations when it comes to determining what marks success.
“I expected that I would be doing more quota and quantifiable goal setting. Instead, what I’ve found is that a large part of building a business—especially a young business—is pushing for evolution of your product. Being successful all comes down to constantly improving and learning,” said Lynn. “I’ve found that goals and quotas just for the sake of hitting bigger and bigger numbers don’t always make as much sense as ensuring that the process and quality behind your brand are getting better.”
That doesn’t mean that Lynn doesn’t have goals and quotas on his mind—theCoderSchool is positioned to continue opening up its doors in new communities throughout the rest of 2017. And it’s those new franchises that are ultimately enabling the brand to build on its strong momentum and capitalize on the increasingly popular coding trend.
According to Lynn, seeing those franchise locations come to life is what ultimately keeps him moving forward as a franchisor.
“As a founder, one of the proudest moments that I’ve experienced with theCoderSchool is seeing our first franchises be successful. It’s surreal getting to see the same logo and sign that I drew up in my kitchen going up on a new center that’s going to help teach kids to code using our same game plan. Not only has it validated that what we’re doing works, but it also shows that it’s a replicable business model that can work just as well when someone else does it,” said Lynn. “As a leader, on the other hand, the most rewarding moments are those when staff members tell me how much they love the kids and the way that we’re teaching them. That validates that our style of teaching is working in the long run, and that the members of our team are driven by passion.”
Passion is the driving force for everyone at theCoderSchool—from the founders and franchisees to staff members and employees, everyone is a part of the brand’s team because they genuinely want to help kids master the coding process. And Lynn says that in order for any franchise concept to be successful, that passion has to be present across all levels of an organization.
“It’s really important not to chase the short money. Stay focused on your long-term goals. That means making sure that every franchisee you bring on board shares your philosophy and has the capability to be successful,” said Lynn. “I always like to say that I’m not trying to sell a franchise. I’m looking for a partner to help expand.”
Beyond having a passion for what you’re doing on a day to day basis, Lynn says that leading a successful brand comes down to being open to improvements. Unless leaders are willing to learn from prior experiences and see the evolution of their concepts through, brands will never be able to keep up with the competition in the long run.
“Always evolve. For every meeting, lesson or presentation, rethink if there’s something that can be better for the next time. What keeps me up at night is what I can do to make theCoderSchool better for the future. And that’s ultimately what will keep us moving forward,” Lynn said.