For the past two decades, Lightbridge Academy has been setting a new standard for excellence in the child care industry. Between the brand’s unique Circle of Care philosophy that places equal weight on the needs of children, their families, teachers and local communities and its commitment to being an innovator in its segment, it’s easy to see why more and more families are turning to Lightbridge Academy. But the brand’s differentiators aren’t limited to consumers—Lightbridge Academy’s franchise development process stands out to both aspiring and experienced business owners.
According to Phil Harvey, Lightbridge Academy’s chief development officer, the brand’s approach to development and growth is one of a kind. That’s because Lightbridge Academy’s team isn’t only a franchisor. The brand also owns corporate units that it oversees and manages.
“One of the biggest things that makes us different is the fact that we walk the talk. There isn’t anything we ask our franchisees to do that we don’t do ourselves,” said Harvey. “By utilizing the same systems and experiencing the same day-to-day operations our franchisees are also experiencing, we’re able to stay connected to the front lines of our business. We know what it takes to open up a center and build a successful child care business. That’s not something that a lot of brands can say—our franchisees also benefit from our ability to test new programs and prove them out in our corporate centers first.”
In addition, Lightbridge Academy is also exceptionally thorough during the implementation of its development process. Franchisees aren’t handed a general handbook and told what to do—the brand guides its local owners providing a detailed roadmap of each step along the way.
“When you get into the specifics of the franchise development process, we have a very different outlook on real estate selection and approval. We look at every site ourselves and hold locations to the highest standards. We don’t approve locations for franchisees that we wouldn’t open ourselves,” Harvey said. “Ultimately that gives our owners a higher level of comfort and confidence as they begin to ramp up their businesses.”
Beyond support throughout the real estate selection process, the brand’s corporate team is comprised of experts in the areas essential for the success of this business. For this reason, franchisees receive the specific support and training they need to successfully overcome obstacles and launch their business.
“The resources that we have as a development team are truly second to none. From pre-opening support teams and a real estate site selection group to construction and leading child care experts, franchisees are able to make more informed decisions throughout the development process,” said Harvey.
As Lightbridge Academy moves into the second half of 2017, the brand continues to focus on its development process as more franchisees join its system. With 40 centers expected to be open for business by the end of the year, Lightbridge Academy is consistently adds tools and resources necessary to scale up and meet the needs of their franchisees.
“The team we’ve created is attracting best in class franchisees. And as we continue to expand the Lightbridge Academy Circle of Care, our development team is only going to get stronger,” Harvey said. “Each decision we make is rooted in our core values—we want to establish long-term relationships that lead to personal and professional success. That means every piece of advice we give throughout the development process is viewed from that unique lens. Building a network of top quality franchisees is key to our brands success.”