Entrepreneur reported multiunit franchisees own 53 percent of the 450,000 franchise units in the U.S (from FranData). Regardless of the industry, these multi-unit franchisees have followed the proven business model (perhaps several times) which has led them to immense success. Two of Sylvan Learning’s California franchisees fall within this category and have each grown their respective businesses to five or more territories.
Todd Crabtree, originally from Southern California, owns five territories “all throughout LA County,” he explained in an interview with 1851 Franchise. He first became a franchisee in 2006 when he bought the West Covina territory, where he was not only the owner, but also the acting center director. After two years, he began to scale his business, purchasing the Gardena territory in 2008 with Torrance, San Marino and West Lake Village following.
Before Crabtree franchised with Sylvan Learning, he worked in education management for eight years. Ultimately, it was the brand’s position as a leading education franchise that inspired him to become a franchisee.
“I came to Sylvan because it was the top supplemental service provider available,” he said. “For me, it is about focusing on the long-term value for families.”
He explains that many other learning center brand run like fire stations. The centers are more reactive, not proactive. Instead of running like a fire station, Sylvan creates long-term value for students and families. Crabtree does this by developing relationships and offering long term membership plans that draw families back to Sylvan. His deep connection with families is what allows Crabtree to be successful through a strong client retention rate.
To the west of Crabtree’s five territories lie Carli Ganet’s ten territories. Ganet owns Sylvan Learning’s Inland Empire, stretching from Diamond Bar to Victorville and down to Hemet. Having such close territories, Ganet and Crabtree collaborate by offering similar specials, sharing advertising and connecting about best practices.
“If I have a student that lives closer to one of Todd’s locations, I will send them his way,” said Ganet, proving that these Sylvan franchisees put the student’s needs and convenience before anything else.
Ganet has grown up with the brand, and is now a second generation Sylvan franchisee, as her parents bought the Sylvan Learning Rancho-Cucamonga territory 31 years ago.
“I was a student at Sylvan for a good portion of my time in school, so I knew the programs worked first hand,” she said.
After high school, Ganet attended college in Colorado, receiving credentials to be a teacher’s assistant. After college, she returned home and began to slowly take over her parents’ centers in 2012. At that time, her family owned five territories and operated six centers. Since then, she has grown her family’s Sylvan business to nine territories with ten centers.
Ganet’s territories span a large area. Therefore, she hosts a wide range of students.
“Some of my centers focus on highly remedial clientele, whereas other centers focus on student enrichment,” said Ganet. “We see a large variety of children from different grade levels and with different needs.”
On top of the ten locations, she also has three off-site Native American contracts.
“We work with a population of students in the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program,” said Ganet. “Our staff has been teaming up with their staff to help the children continue to learn.”
Ganet’s work with students living on the reservation allows her to not only grow her clientele, but allows her to connect with a different community, ultimately serving even more students who are in need.
The system strength within Southern California is due to franchisees like Ganet and Crabtree. Their hard work, belief in the brand’s programs and most importantly, dedication to student excellence, is bar none.
“Having successful multi-unit franchisees in California has helped us to build a strong foundation across the state,” said Georgia Chasen, Vice President of Franchise Development at Sylvan Learning. “We’re always interested in meeting with like-minded and qualified franchise prospects who want to make a difference in their local communities.”
Sylvan is looking to add locations throughout California, including growth in Laguna Niguel, Manteca, La Mesa and Visalia. To learn more about franchising with Sylvan Learning, visit SylvanFranchise.com.