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Why Buying an Existing Sylvan Learning Center is a Good Investment

Franchisees who purchase existing Sylvan Learning centers benefit from a built-in customer base and an established community presence.

Sylvan Learning franchisees receive a vast array of corporate support and resources when they opt to open a new center with the supplemental and enrichment education brand. That said, not every Sylvan Learning franchisee has to start completely from scratch. 

The brand works closely with prospective franchisees who are interested in purchasing existing centers. The company has seen interest from a variety of candidates, including existing Sylvan Learning employees who are interested in switching to the franchisee life and outside parties who want to purchase an existing business instead of starting one from scratch. 

“Sylvan Learning has processes and resources in place to help prospective franchisees who are interested in purchasing an existing center,” Vice President of Franchise Development Georgia Chasen said. “This helps ensure a smooth exit for the existing owner, who might be interested in retiring or simply making a life change, and a positive transition for the new franchisee. As long as prospective franchisees possess traits such as business acumen and experience and a community-focused mindset, the Sylvan Learning leadership team is willing to work with anyone who is interested in purchasing an existing center.” 

Amy Gardner is one Sylvan Learning franchisee who made the choice to purchase an existing center. Gardner worked in telecommunications for 23 years before she decided she wanted to purchase a business, preferably a franchise. She did online research and came across a Sylvan Learning resale opportunity. She connected with the Sylvan Learning agent in charge of the sale, who put her in touch with the corporate team. She purchased three existing South Carolina locations in 2013 in the cities of Columbia, Greenville and Irmo. 

“I couldn’t imagine starting from scratch,” Gardner said. “Purchasing existing locations that were already staffed with personnel who had the resources and knowledge of how to run a Sylvan Learning center was ideal for me. I wanted to be operating immediately.” 

Gardner’s footprint with the brand is about to get even bigger: She purchased a Sylvan Learning center in Asheville, North Carolina from an existing franchisee in December 2019. 

“That was another good choice for me,” Gardner said. “I opened two other Sylvan Learning locations in the upstate South Carolina region within two years of purchasing my first three. The experiences I’ve gained from the five locations in the past five years has granted me the knowledge and power to purchase another in an adjacent territory.”

Gardner has appreciated the stellar corporate support she’s received, especially when it comes to marketing

“The leadership team helps with search engine optimization (SEO), for one, which is a huge help,” Gardner said. “I came to Sylvan Learning from the telecommunications industry, and while I was familiar with SEO, I did not want to handle it on my own. That support really takes the weight off me.”  

Gardner also appreciates the support she receives from her brand-designated franchise business consultant. 

“Since day one of my time with Sylvan Learning, she and I have had a great relationship,” Gardner said. “If I have a problem, I can reach out to her by phone, text or email. She just spent a week visiting my centers and having her here was great. This is an awesome company.” 

Another franchisee who chose to purchase existing locations is Jessica Rollins. Rollins was employed with Sylvan Learning before she opted to become a franchisee. She started working at Sylvan Learning in 2002 as an instructor, and eventually purchased four centers, one of which she had been working as a director, in 2017. 

The timing was perfect, as Rollins wanted a more flexible schedule and the previous center owners were all ready to retire. Her centers serve more than 500 students and have a total of approximately 60 employees. 

“I loved the Sylvan Learning brand, but I wanted a little more flexibility with both decision-making and with my schedule,” Rollins said. “Switching to the franchisee role has allowed me all of this, but it also allows me to still be with a brand I’m really passionate about.” 

Rollins still attended franchisee training, but by purchasing existing locations, she was able to sidestep many of the concerns that come with opening a brand-new location. 

“I had positive cash flow my first month of business,” Rollins said. “The Sylvan Learning brand is already quite recognizable in your territory when you purchase an existing center. I’ve also really enjoyed the support of the corporate team. My fellow franchisees also really care about my success and will go out of their way to help me. We’re all very supportive of each other.” 

By working with a variety of prospective franchisees, whether they want to open a brand-new center or purchase an existing one, Sylvan Learning ensures that passionate franchise candidates are always in the pipeline. 

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

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