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How Sylvan Learning Provides Flexibility and Scalability in Franchise Ownership

Texas-based franchisee Nizar Bhulani has grown with Sylvan Learning thanks to the brand’s in-depth support infrastructure, customizable business model and more.

Sylvan Learning, the supplemental and enrichment education brand, has set itself apart in the segment through a four-decade legacy of brand awareness, 750-plus points of presence and a proven business model. Competitors in the space don’t come close to approaching Sylvan’s educational program variety or ongoing investment in industry-leading technology, such as the brand’s personalized learning platform SylvanSync™. These differentiators, along with a flexible and attractive ownership opportunity, attract many franchise candidates interested in the education space to Sylvan Learning

The multi-unit, Dallas-based Sylvan Learning franchisee Nizar Bhulani comes from a family of educators and entrepreneurs and has been involved professionally with managing skill development and technical and tertiary-level professional education for the past decade. In 2015 Bhulani’s passion for and commitment to furthering education propelled him to join Sylvan Learning as a franchise owner in Dallas.

“Throughout my life, education was always featured as top priority with my family, as they have been involved with imparting education for over 40 years,” said Bhulani. “Over the past five years, Sylvan Learning has offered the perfect, flexible ownership opportunity to grow my business while educating my community.”  

After opening their first location, Bhulani quickly realized that the center was catching on and wanted to grow as soon as possible. “The Sylvan Learning team helped us identify people who were selling and taught us how to expand and how to work in those areas,” he said. “The franchise development team has been amazing throughout the process and has always been one phone call away. Plus, Sylvan’s scalable and flexible business model has allowed us to build on the momentum of continued success.” 

Bhulani soon purchased an existing center in January 2018, followed by another in July 2018 and one more in June 2019. Today, Bhulani owns and operates four centers in the Dallas market with his cousin Fayzan Keshwani. 

“When we started with Sylvan Learning, we were running the center ourselves,” said Bhulani. “Now, we don’t run the center—we run the business. Each of our centers has two directors responsible for the day-to-day operations. We are able to spend our full-time days focused on growing each center, whether that be through marketing or engaging locally with the community. The beauty of the Sylvan Learning business model is that we are able to work from home with flexible hours, which has been an incredible advantage for us.”

One of the hallmarks of working with Sylvan is the brand’s strong professional development path, which allows entrepreneurs like Bhulani to easily scale their business and find help for running each center. “Sylvan has a professional development path regardless of which role you begin in,” said Georgia Chasen, Sylvan’s vice president of franchise development. “We have seen center directors, teachers and even Sylvan parents choose to embrace small business ownership as a Sylvan franchisee, and one of our leading initiatives for 2020 is to continue to grow our franchisee support.”

Sylvan Learning ensures that franchisees receive multi-layered support from a variety of departments, including real estate selection, training, education, operations and the contact center.

With the overall support of the national brand, Sylvan franchisees have the autonomy to customize their businesses to meet local needs and interests. In addition, the brand’s marketing team gives each franchisee individual attention and supplies owners with all of the tools they need to run local campaigns on their own, including the innovative tech platform, MARC.

Each center has a local feel based on the owner and what they’re bringing to their community,” Chasen said. “They are given guidelines and best practices, but they’re really allowed to run their businesses the way they think is best. Within the frame of the franchise agreement, franchisees are able to localize their brands by engaging with the community.”

Finally, when it comes to business model offerings, Sylvan provides optimum flexibility to the franchisees. Sylvan Learning offers three different licenses: the Core License, which is the brand’s main product offering, which comes with a protected territory; the STEM “Edge” License, which includes coding, robotics, engineering, science and math; and the “Ace It!” License, which provides franchisees with the necessary resources to offer institutional or contract services to local schools. 

“A Sylvan Learning franchise is less expensive to open than other children’s supplemental education brands,” Bhulani said. “Also, the opportunity to recoup money is slower at other brands. With Sylvan Learning, the opportunity is much bigger. You have a better ROI compared to other franchise brands out there.” 

With this customizable business model, industry-leading support infrastructure and strong unit-level economics, Bhulani is excited to continue growing with the brand and helping educate kids in the Dallas community. “I seriously believe in the brand,” he said. “It justifies the promise that it makes to its customers as well as to its franchise owners.”

The startup costs for a Sylvan Learning franchise range from $68,680 to $159,085. The franchise fee is $24,000. To learn more about franchising with Sylvan Learning, visit https://sylvanfranchise.com/.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.

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