Sylvan Learning met many major milestones in 2018 that helped attract new franchisees to the system and benefitted students and their families. From major domestic and international expansion to enhancing its program offerings, the leading supplemental and enrichment education brand accomplished many objectives throughout the year, helping set the brand up for success in 2019.
“2018 was a banner year for Sylvan Learning,” Sylvan Learning’s Vice President of Franchise Development Georgia Chasen said. “It was very exciting, with investments and developments on all fronts. Landing on this year’s rankings of the best franchise brands to invest in by Entrepreneur Magazine, the Franchise 500, further recognizes our efforts, and we are excited to see what’s in store for our growth this year.”
In terms of international franchise development, the brand opened its first center in Saudi Arabia in May and signed a 200 center deal with a prominent partner in China. Additional centers are also scheduled to open in Vietnam by the end of 2019.
“We’re very, very excited to continue to develop Sylvan Learning’s global footprint,” Sylvan Learning’s CEO John McAuliffe said. “We offer exceptional services that students and families in any market can appreciate and benefit from.”
Sylvan Learning sold 24 new North American territories and had 70 resale transactions in 2018, which Chasen said brought dozens of new franchisees into the system. Current franchisees are also expanding and opening new units in the United States and Canada. These new units include satellite locations and traditional brick and mortar centers.
Sylvan Learning also began celebrating a milestone that any company would want to achieve: its 40th anniversary. The brand held its annual conference in September, recognizing 40 years of achievements.
“We kicked off our anniversary by celebrating 40 years of delivering exceptional academic results to students. And, we are excited to launch a variety of anniversary celebrations and events across our system that are geared toward both our franchisees and customer families,” Chasen said.
At the conference, Sylvan Learning also celebrated the launch of its revamped contact center. The contact center helps franchisees by managing inbound inquiries from parents who want to learn more about Sylvan’s services. Parents can even book tutoring sessions for their children through the contact center.
“Our contact center has been very well-received in the franchise community,” McAuliffe said. “It gives our franchisees and center directors more time to focus on students while also allowing our brand to continue delivering premium customer service.”
In terms of technology, Sylvan Learning is in the process of rolling out their new operation management system. They’ve updated the back office infrastructure, which received major kudos from the franchise community. In addition, Sylvan Advisors, the internal community sharing platform, allows franchisees and center and education directors to network and collaborate with their peers at other locations during this implementation.
“We also created a consumer referral and rewards platform called Sylvan Nation which allows us to connect with more families with educational tips, resources and rewards.” Chasen said. “We also have SylvanSync, our digital teaching platform, which is what our teachers use for instructing students. This is an excellent example of how the Sylvan executive team has always been entrepreneurial and constantly looks for significant, long-term ways to stay innovative and make an impact for our franchisees.”
There have also been major strides on the marketing front.
“Our enterprise marketing management software continues to offer the strongest structure for marketing,” Chasen said. “We provide an outstanding marketing roadmap for our franchisees and are continuously identifying the best-in-class solutions to help our franchisees serve students in their local market.”
During the fourth quarter, Sylvan Learning also saw unbelievable success across the franchise system as a result of the large number of Black Friday and November sales held. After the corporate team gathered best practices, a benefit of a franchise system, Chief Franchisee Operations Officer, Susan Valverde, and her team worked to engage more franchisees in the process this year. There were numerous trainings, in which over 100 Centers participated, a playbook designed to walk centers through the process, and coordination with the marketing and sales engine teams. The efforts resulted in extraordinary results. For the four-day period from Black Friday through the following Monday, the system was up over 30 percent year over year.
This constant focus on enhancing marketing and sales support has not gone unnoticed.
“The executive team is firing on all cylinders in terms of brand strategy, which is helping to attract new franchisees to the Sylvan system,” McAuliffe said.
Sylvan Learning will never lose sight of its mission to help students.
“We have the widest breadth of services with 40 years of exceptional results,” McAuliffe said. “The average Sylvan student shows more than two times the academic growth of a student attending school alone.”
The brand’s solid infrastructure and top-notch support systems are exciting for anyone considering joining the Sylvan brand, Chasen said. She noted that Sylvan has the lowest startup costs in the industry for franchisors and the most advanced technology for students. This has helped make the brand a leader in the education industry.
“In 40 years, one of the reasons we’ve been a market leader is because we’re always driving for results and transforming when it comes to the needs of our franchisees,” Chasen said. “We have superior sales, operational and marketing tools in place for our franchisees, and we’re constantly seeking innovative ways to help everyone in our system.”
The startup costs for a Sylvan Learning center range from $70,980 to $159,885. The franchise fee is $24,000. To learn more about franchising with Sylvan, visit https://sylvanfranchise.com/.