Penny Loome and her husband spread academic excellence from British Columbia to Miami.
Penny Loome’s story with Sylvan Learning began when she was a part-time employee of a franchise location in Victoria, B.C. Eight years later, she is a bi-continental franchisee, owning eight centers and one satellite location, with her ninth center set to open this month.
Both Loome and her husband had backgrounds as educators - they both worked at a Sylvan Learning center and felt that Sylvan was a business opportunity that met exactly what they were looking for because it matched their skillsets and passions. Loome went from a summer tutoring position to a management position before becoming a director. When the location Loome was working at became available, they leapt at the chance to become owners.
But what propelled the desire to own more?
“We had one center making good revenue, we got to a point where we didn’t have to run day-to-day operations, and we were working on the business as opposed to in the business,” said Loome. “Our initial center gave us the opportunity to expand because we had the time to dedicate to a new center.”
With space available in the market, they purchased a second location, which they built from scratch. As time went on, a third location nearby was up for sale, and the couple chose to buy it. They added a satellite location to the three Canadian locations so they could offer additional learning outside of their brick and mortar spaces with SylvanSync™ on iPads.
With two of the locations being resales, the couple realized their path to success within Sylvan was to take poorly-run or operationally-challenged locations in a market with incredible potential and apply Sylvan’s processes and their fine-tuned procedures to turn things around. This is where the five centers in Miami come into play.
Enjoying the lifestyle and activities available in Florida, the couple bought five additional locations to apply their magic and turn them around. They’ve done just that, looking forward to opening their brand new location this April.
Having locations at opposite ends of North America can be challenging, but Loome shared her secrets.
“We have really good staff in place in Canada; we couldn’t have done it without the staff we have,” she said. “We standardized our operations procedures and our training. Online tools, remote access, and video conferencing all help us continue to be in touch and monitor the centers from Florida.”
In response to what their end goal is, Penny chuckled, “I’m not really sure, but as long as we’re enjoying the challenge, making money and business is viable, we are going to keep growing.”