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How IDEA Lab Kids Supports Its Franchise Owners

Extensive curriculum training and custom-built software are just two ways in which the STEAM children’s education franchise sets franchisees up for success.

By Cristina Merrill1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 9:09AM 03/09/20

IDEA Lab Kids was founded as a way for kids to explore their love of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) subjects. The idea for the concept started in 2011 when CEO and Founder Ghazal Qureshi, herself the parent of three children, sought an educational extracurricular activity that would accommodate all of her children at once. As a parent of multiple children, she understood how hard it can be for parents to navigate the varied schedules of multiple family members. Moms and dads can only stretch themselves so far. 

Today, IDEA Lab Kids is a booming franchise opportunity and has awarded more than 80 locations since it started franchising in February of 2017. The brand has plans to award up to 700 locations in the U.S. over the next four years. Part of IDEA Lab Kids’ success is due to the support the brand provides franchisees. 

Marta Peralta Moska is the Director of Franchise Operations, and her team is responsible for helping franchisees at every stage and making sure they are equipped with the tools for maximum success—from signing to their campus grand opening and beyond.  

“We have franchisees from a lot of different backgrounds and ages and educational experiences,” Moska said. “Our franchisees have worked in engineering and marketing and more. Not everyone has the same experience and knowledge of what we are doing here—but everyone in the system is united by a commitment to children’s learning. As the franchisor, our job is to provide our franchisees with everything they need.” 

When a franchisee signs on with IDEA Lab Kids, it usually takes six to eight months to open their first location. During this time, they work closely with the brand.

“Our different departments stay in touch with the franchisee and support them every step of the way, including real estate selection and construction,” Moska said. 

In terms of training, franchisees attend the company’s corporate office in Houston for five to six days of hands-on training. This is typically done two months before the grand opening, and franchisees learn about the business and the different products their campus will offer students. They even learn how to conduct birthday parties that are just as engaging as they are educational.  

Furthermore, IDEA Lab Kids also trains franchisees on social media to ensure brand standards remain the same across the board and provides relevant social media support six to eight weeks before the grand opening. 

“We set up their social media accounts and provide monthly social media calendars with content marketing pictures and videos,” Moska said. “This ensures that franchisees will have an easier time marketing in their territories. We also share resources related to social media and email campaigns, giveaways and coupons; everything they’ll need to attract families and boost registration numbers.” 

Before their grand opening, franchisees are given the option to attend another franchisee’s grand opening so they can get a clear idea of what to expect. Once a location is up and running, Moska and her team set up weekly phone calls with franchisees. 

“The most important thing is that we offer ongoing support and make sure we keep our finger on the pulse of any issues,” Moska said. 

In terms of technology, IDEA Lab Kids provides franchisees with an array of solutions. This includes a franchisee portal and a custom-made registration system called Lexa Class that was built by the Houston-based company IT Vibes for the express purpose of franchisee use. Lexa Class allows parents to sign their children up for classes online, which allows franchisees to focus on the business instead of scheduling. 

The biggest support component the brand offers is the curriculum for the different classes the students take. IDEA Lab Kids franchisees are not required to have STEAM backgrounds, as they don’t even teach the classes, but they still need to be knowledgeable about their offerings. 

“Curriculum plays a big role in franchisee training,” Moska said. “Franchisees need to learn about the different lesson plans their teachers will deliver. The leadership team also trains franchisees on how to reach out to schools and speak confidently about programs and services.” 

As the brand is very much aligned with the traditional school season, franchisees need to always be prepared, hence the availability of regular marketing webinars. 

“We have different needs every season, so we have to prepare for that,” Moska said. “Every month or two we use the marketing webinars to go over the next season and give franchisees a preview of what they should be preparing for.” 

If any franchisees, new or established, experience any issues—anything from challenging customers to teachers who need additional curriculum support—IDEA Lab Kids is there to provide guidance. The corporate team also personally visits locations and sits with franchisees to observe how they are running the business and to identify any possible barriers to their success. 

“As the franchisor, IDEA Lab Kids cares very much about franchisee success,” Moska said. “We care about their revenue and sales. We give franchisees goals and we work with them to push those numbers and increase enrollment. We always want to make sure we give them the tools and goals for them to perform and provide.” 

The startup costs for an IDEA Lab Kids franchise range from $160,500 to $373,000. The franchise fee is $35,500. To learn more about franchising with IDEA Lab Kids, visit https://franchise.idealabkids.com/.

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