The New Jersey based early education and child care franchise system, Lightbridge Academy, is gearing up for expansion in Pennsylvania. The franchise development team will be in attendance at The Franchise Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center from November 11th - 12th to meet with prospective franchisees.
The natural evolution for the brand to develop across the state border first happened in 2015 and the company hasn’t slowed down, now with ten centers open or in development across the Keystone State. The brand currently has operational child centers in Bethlehem and in Fort Washington, and is under development in Willow Grove, Allentown, Phoenixville, Garnet Valley and a second center in Bethlehem. The team is currently focusing on finding quality sites with franchise partners in Bucks, Montgomery and Chester Counties, and west to the neighboring Counties of Lancaster and Dauphin.
“Because of the increased awareness due to the existing centers in the region, we are anticipating heightened interest from prospects who are already familiar with the Lightbridge Academy brand and are interested in learning about the franchise opportunity at the expo,” said Mark Mele, the Senior Vice President of Franchise Sales at Lightbridge Academy. “We’ve been established in the area for 20 years so people in the region are already familiar with our brand as is evident with our referral rate. Coupled with Lightbridge Academy’s great reputation, Pennsylvania is a natural extension to develop out from our existing market.”
Mele elaborates that with franchise agreements already executed in the area, the Philadelphia Franchise Show has traditionally brought qualified candidates to the table who are familiar with the company’s Circle of Care philosophy. At Lightbridge Academy, the belief is that everyone who touches a child’s life is equally important, including his or her parents, the center’s staff, franchisees and surrounding community.
“People who live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York tend to know us because we have 29 centers open in the region. In many instances, they have friends and relatives actually familiar with the high quality of education and care being offered at our centers,” said Mele. “The strength of the system and the demand for child care services that care for the needs of parents too, have helped pushed us past New Jersey state lines and into our neighboring states, as further exemplified through additional signings being executed in New York and Pennsylvania.”
Lightbridge Academy is seeking franchise candidates that fit well within its culture. With plans to add seven to ten additional units across the state in the next three years, the company is eyeing development in the Philadelphia suburbs, as well as Center City. Mele would also like to speak with prospects from the center of the state, including Harrisburg and Lancaster.
“I’m looking forward to the show because nothing can replace a face to face meeting,” said Mele. “What I really like about franchise shows is that attendees can learn so much from the educational breakout sessions. It’s great that they can meet with franchisors to gain knowledge about the brand, the value of being part of the franchise industry and also receive information on how to best operate a business.”
As the brand eyes crossing the 100 unit mark for centers open, under construction or in development, the company has named Pennsylvania as one of its high priority states for immediate growth and franchise opportunities.