As a mission-driven company, Sylvan Learning is an infinitely rewarding business. Every day, Sylvan owners and staff watch children achieve their goals through newfound confidence, knowledge and skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
And to top it all off, Sylvan Learning offers a proven, lucrative business model to franchisees.
With more than 750 retail locations worldwide, more than 5,000 school relationships and 40 years of proven results, Sylvan Learning is undergoing rapid expansion across the United States, Canada and international markets with dozens of new territories in the pipeline.
Now is clearly a great time to invest, but—how much can you make?
Sylvan Learning is a transparent company in communicating its financials: On its franchise development site, it lists 2018 total gross revenues from 359 reporting territories. With an average gross revenue of $692,531 among the top 25% of territories, Sylvan offers an opportunity as rewarding financially as it is emotionally.
- Top 25% average gross revenue: $692,531
- Mid-upper 25% average gross revenue: $364,841
- Mid-lower 25% average gross revenue: $262,104
- Bottom 25% average gross revenue: $149,079
With decades of experience fine-tuning its systems, processes and approach to technology, Sylvan Learning franchisees—even those with no previous experience in education—are set up for success.
Mike and Cindy Sullivan have been Sylvan franchisees since 2000. Their son, Matthew, recently joined as co-owner of their four Texas locations.
“There hasn’t been a year that we didn’t make more than the prior year,” said Mike. “When we look at the size of our investment versus the return, without a doubt, it was the best investment I have ever made.”
The Sullivans take a hands-on approach to their Sylvan businesses. “In that way, you’re investing in yourself and what you can produce,” said Matthew. “I have more confidence in investing in my Sylvan franchise than in the stock market, or real estate, or any other investment out there.”
As multi-unit owners, the Sullivan family is also able to financially benefit from sharing resources and knowledge across their teams. “If you have one center, the costs are absorbed totally by that one center,” said Mike. “But if you have multiple centers, you’re able to spread some of the costs and develop an economy of scale. We’re not reinventing the wheel—the knowledge we’ve developed over time also spreads to all the centers.”
While many franchisors charge owners numerous fees for marketing services and access to support resources, Sylvan offers a transparent, flat royalty fee of 16% of their monthly gross revenue. The all-in rate includes marketing funds, which includes guidance for building an online presence, social media, public relations, online directory management, creative development, and national and local websites; online and in-person startup and ongoing training resources; student assessments and full-time corporate support. This royalty structure is specifically designed to save franchisees money while increasing their profit margins.
“At Sylvan, we have shifted to a variable cost model for our franchisees. They’re really only paying us when they make revenue,” explained said John McAuliffe, CEO of Sylvan Learning. “We have the best business model in the industry when it comes to both upfront investment and fees that will be paid to the franchisor. “
The startup costs for a Sylvan location range from $68,680 to $159,085, which includes the initial franchise fee of $24,000. In limited circumstances, Sylvan lends up to $100,000 to get a new center up and running, plus 5% financing, an industry-leading rate. No payments are required for the first 12 months, and the following six months only require interest payments. The brand also offers a franchise fee discount for U.S. veterans.
Sylvan franchisees gain a competitive edge through the company’s commitment to developing new products, which then become additional revenue opportunities. Sylvan provides resources for an extensive range of academic disciplines, and the franchise system is the largest national branded provider of STEM service and college prep courses.
“Because we have such a breadth of content, you have the ability to service every child’s academic needs, as opposed to many brands that focus only on math,” said McAuliffe. “Now is a great time to buy because we are now seeing the benefits of our investments in technology. In my mind, we’ve leapfrogged the competition in terms of our ability to meet a wide variety of learning needs.”
The demand for Sylvan’s services is sustainable, as children will continue to benefit from one-on-one support they can’t get in the traditional classroom. Sylvan has stayed ahead of the industry curve for decades, perfecting personalized learning and providing a rare 3-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Sylvan students typically see two to three times more growth in math and reading than the national average. Further, Sylvan is the only tutoring company that measures academic achievement in a systematic manner, putting its programs through independent research to ensure they deliver results.
“We’re only successful when our franchisees are successful. We’ll only grow territories if people believe that our model is the best one out there,” said McAuliffe. “People choose Sylvan because our upfront investment is low and our average revenues are high. In addition to that, they become part of a passionate group of people who care deeply about providing academic success for children. We want mission-driven people to come into this system who have the same vision. After all, education is key to finding success in life.”
For more information about franchising with Sylvan Learning, please visit https://sylvanfranchise.com/.