Fayzan Keshwani already knew he wanted to franchise with Sylvan Learning before he went to Discovery Day, but he was still floored by everything he saw and the people he met.
Keshwani is a Sylvan Learning franchisee in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. He operates two Sylvan centers with his cousin Nizar Bhulani, who already owned one Sylvan Learning center before Keshwani joined him as a business partner. Today, they are expanding across the Dallas-Fort Worth area and want to keep their momentum going.
“Discovery Day was excellent exposure to the brand itself,” Keshwani said. “For me, Discovery Day successfully managed to put a face to the brand by having me and others meet all Sylvan staff and employees at the corporate office. Now, after 10 months down with Sylvan, I can say that Discovery Day was a very successful beginning of the journey. The staff at Sylvan knows that this is going to be a long ride, hence, they made the Discovery Day very pleasant and gave a very positive vibe.”
Bhulani, who opened his first Sylvan Learning franchise in 2015, was also amazed by his Discovery Day experience.
“The approach to the educational policies was the most exciting thing about Discovery Day,” Bhulani said. “When I was thinking of getting into an education franchise, I looked into other brands that were offering after school services, but what really stood out was the use of technology, and the focus and attention on each child that Sylvan does is what interested me the most.”
Once a franchise candidate is serious about joining the Sylvan Learning brand, they’ve already spent hours speaking to corporate team members on the phone, completing their own due diligence and brand research, connecting with franchisees, and seriously considering a major life change to become a franchisee. With that in mind, Sylvan Learning’s Discovery Day has been designed to help franchise candidates to feel totally confident in deciding to move forward and commit with the brand.
There are many ways to conduct a Discovery Day, but Sylvan Learning believes the opportunity is too great to leave anything to chance. This is not a time to take risks, which is why the brand is very strategic on how the day is carried out, making sure to provide an immensely supportive environment.
“It is an opportunity for candidates to discover why Sylvan Learning would be the right fit and the next step in their career,” Sylvan Learning Vice President of Franchise Development Georgia Chasen said. “We give the prospects access and the ability to connect with the executive team. We want someone to come in and have the chance to meet with the people with whom they will be doing business with for the next 10 years. It’s important for us to really foster that connection.”
To that end, the Sylvan Learning Discovery Day ensures that franchise candidates are made to feel welcome in addition to receiving valuable and thorough information about the brand. This includes a stream of personal touch points throughout the day. Chasen greets candidates as soon as they step out of the elevator and they all have plenty of time to meet with CEO John McAuliffe and other members of the corporate team to learn every facet of the company and its vision.
“Throughout the day, prospective franchisees receive a crash course on the education beliefs of the company, as well as the marketing and finance efforts,” Chasen said. “There’s also a corporate office tour. The day ends with an extremely important question and answer panel that allows candidates to clear the air with any confusions or questions they have. It’s a jam-packed day.”
Keshwani described Sylvan Learning’s Discovery Day as “intensely interactive” and said it gave him a boost to work with the brand.
“I think it was just the whole experience, the whole package that sealed the deal,” Keshwani said. “Corporate staff was very helpful throughout, they received me on Discovery Day from the elevator. Yes, as I stepped out of the elevator, Georgia Chasen was waiting to welcome me and after it ended, she again came to drop me off to the door. I noticed this was not only the attention to me, but to all others who were there with me. It made me feel very welcome and special.”
Bhulani was also impressed with the thorough way the information was presented on Discovery Day. When Bhulani went to Discovery Day, he assumed he’d just watch one person give presentations.
That was not the case.
Instead, Bhulani found himself meeting various Sylvan Learning executives and directors, including McAuliffe.
“The best thing about Discovery Day was the number of people we met and the amount of information that came out of that conversation,” Bhulani said. “We knew it was not just a couple of people running the company. Meeting those people and having those conversations boosted my confidence in the brand and made me want to franchise.”
Discovery Day is also a good opportunity to make sure everyone’s values are aligned.
“Discovery Day allows us to see if the prospect has the right enthusiasm for the brand,” Chasen said. “It’s also great to be able to learn more about the candidates face to face. We are always struck by the impressive backgrounds candidates bring to the table. We have people coming in from many different professional careers.”
The most important part of Discovery Day is for prospective franchisees to make the connection with the corporate team.
“It’s so important to get to know the people behind the brand,” Chasen said. “It is definitely a brand strength, as well, since our entire corporate team, from the Chief Technology Officer to our CEO, are wonderful people. I had a candidate come up to me and say ‘The staff members I met on the tour of Discovery Day have the same smiling faces of the people on the pictures on your walls.’ It is a complete reflection of our brand.”
Bhulani and Keshwani were not only sold by Discovery Day, but they’ve found success growing with the brand as franchisees, planning to add more locations.
“I seriously believe in the brand,” Bhulani said. “It justifies the promise that it makes to its customers.”
The startup costs for a Sylvan Learning franchise range from $70,980 to $159,885. The initial franchise fee is $24,000. To learn more about franchising with Sylvan Learning, visit https://sylvanfranchise.com/.