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How One IDEA Lab Kids Franchisee Grew Her Audience by 75% Despite the COVID-19 Crisis

The educational enrichment franchise has provided franchisees with a wealth of online resources to help owners like Jariwala stay top-of-mind with customers in their markets.

By Cristina Merrill1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 11:11AM 06/25/20

Educational enrichment franchise IDEA Lab Kids had to pivot operations and make some serious adjustments when COVID-19 hit. One franchisee who adapted well to the necessary changes was Nishita Jariwala. She opened the brand’s Aliana franchise in Richmond, Texas in November 2019.

Jariwala’s location was just starting to get popular within the community when COVID-19 hit and forced her to close for two months. She used that time to increase her campus’ social media presence, educate the community about IDEA Lab Kids and build her customer base. She did this, in part, by utilizing the online educational resources the brand provided franchisees to help them stay top-of-mind with customers in their markets. Jariwala’s franchise began to host daily educational challenges on social media and, as a result, her online audience grew by 75%. Her efforts have paid off, as she is now offering summer camps both in-person and online.

She acknowledged that the biggest challenge for her during COVID-19 has been staying positive, but she was also pumped to get creative and embrace the solutions presented by the leadership team.

“The local community knows me as a business owner, a teacher, and a parent,” she said. “As a business owner, I knew I had to keep going. I am proud to share that we have had full online and socially distance in-person summer sessions at our center.”

IDEA Lab Kids started franchising in 2017 with their first location in Austin, Texas. They have since grown to 106 assigned locations with 7 operating locations in the greater Houston area. The brand set itself apart from the competition by offering science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) educational opportunities.

Jariwala’s journey with the brand started in 2013 when the mother of two hosted her daughter’s second birthday party at their local IDEA Lab Kids location. Everyone loved the experience so much that Jariwala even sent her daughter to the brand’s summer camp a few years later.

“I’m always looking for something unique to do for my kids’ birthdays,” she said. “My family and I had just moved to the Houston area the year prior, and the friends we’d made so far all had older kids, so I needed to find an activity that would accommodate every age group. I had heard about IDEA Lab Kids, and it looked like they had a lot to offer elementary-age kids.”

Her campus’ summer camps have been a huge hit with parents and students. Of course, Jariwala and her staff make sure to follow best practices for in-person classes. Class sizes are kept to a maximum of six students. Staff members do a daily temperature check on teachers and children, and parents and other visitors are not allowed inside the facility. Every classroom has a sanitation station that contains wipes and hand disinfectant. Additionally, students are given their own individual supply pack of pens, pencils and crayons they can use during the weeklong summer camp so that they don’t have to share.

Not only does taking such measures follow best practices, but it has also helped Jariwala build trust with her community.

“I am confident that by keeping the kids engaged in any form when the parents are working from home is a plus,” she said. “Our classes combine education with activities that generate interactive skills, and kids and parents are in need of these types of classes more than ever.”

The IDEA Lab Kids leadership team lauded Jariwala for her business savvy during this challenging economic time and believes her success will bode well for further franchise growth in Texas, which is currently home to eight campuses.

“IDEA Lab Kids is working hard to help franchisees navigate the challenges brought on by COVID-19,” CEO Devina Bhojwani said. “We pivoted quickly to offering activities online and providing educational videos that help children with do-it-yourself experiments from home using common household objects, and franchisees have used these resources to great success and community reception. We are excited for Nishita to continue expanding her reach within her community and pave the way for further brand growth in Texas.”

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://www.franchise.idealabkids.com/.

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