The average American spends 90,000 hours at work over the course of a lifetime, but many Americans have no job satisfaction, and work for the weekend. Some turn to franchising to forge their own path, but that doesn’t always equal immediate satisfaction, either. For franchisees of Lightbridge Academy, the emotional reward of working with children and supporting working parents is typically what sparked their interest in the brand, but many other factors convinced them to sign on the dotted line.
When asked what makes Lightbridge Academy stand out from other franchise brands, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development Mark Mele says it “offers the opportunity to increase the quality of your life and your family’s life. If a business doesn’t do that, I don’t know why you would want to start a business just to start it. We are in the trust business, and our efforts are focused on helping hardworking parents. Child care is about helping and caring for families, and what’s more rewarding and important than the welfare and wellbeing of children?”
Nish Patel, owner of Lightbridge Academy of Abington, pointed to the emotional rewards of early education and child care as factors that drove his decision to buy his franchise.
“In the area where I live, there is a great need to have a quality care center like Lightbridge Academy,” said Patel. “This isn’t about money for me, this is about providing quality education for the children that live in Abington Township.”
Brand Leadership and History
Lightbridge Academy was founded in 1997, and offers franchise owners more than 20 years of experience, best-in-class service and hands-on training and support from the corporate team, which owns and operates 13 centers of their own.
“There are people that have worked for this company for 20 years and know this business inside and out. They’ve influenced the programs that we’ve set up for our franchisees, and played a key role in evolving the business to stay ahead in the industry,” said Mele. “Because we own 13 corporate centers with more in development, our franchisees trust us because they are being trained and buying a franchise from a company with a proven track record.”
Patel pointed to the brand’s team and support as a key factor in his decision to buy, noting that “when it comes to being a franchisee, Lightbridge has great support. Anytime we need help, they are always there for us. They are there at any hour of the day to help is in any situation.”
Unmatched Customer Value Proposition
The corporate team has created a customer experience that is unlike any other brand, including its Circle of Care philosophy, which puts the child at the center, but treats every person or stakeholder in that child’s life as equally important elements, including parents, families, staff members, franchisees and the community.
“Lightbridge Academy was built upon a foundation of family values, and is driven by a core value based system and a high-care culture,” said Mele. “Our Circle of Care philosophy and core values are key points of differentiation for us, along with our beautiful centers that feature technology that no competitor has.”
Many of the brand’s key differentiators appealed to Patel, but BottleBridge®, an exclusive program designed to support nursing infants and mothers in particular stood out to him. Certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE), BottleBridge is designed to help infant caregivers support every mother’s individual decision about how to feed her child.
A Thriving Industry
Because the economy is doing well, with a high job growth rate, Mele notes that the need for trusted child care is on the rise.
“Employers are hiring more people, which creates more working parents that need a childcare solution,” said Mele. “The industry is growing incredibly fast, and now is the time for franchise owners to buy.”
Mele highlights Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando and Tampa, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; and Charlotte, Raleigh, Apex and Cary, North Carolina as key markets for future brand growth. For more information about Lightbridge Academy, please visit https://lightbridgeacademyfranchise.com/.