Introduction On the one hand there is an increasing number of parents who are searching for playschools which will help their little ones learn a few basic educational concepts, develop the ability to mix with other kids and be absorbed with fun activities. The main aim is to prepare the child for school, to be away from the parents. On the other hand there are individuals who love kids, have an aptitude for education and are eager to start their own ventures in the pre-primary sector. This is where reputed preschool/playschool brands come into the picture to create a bridge between the two. They offer wonderful franchisee opportunities to people who have a desire to get involved with the preschool teaching process.
Is it really wonderful? There are a few things you need to know before you begin your venture into becoming a franchisee of a reputed playschool / preschool.
You, the franchisee – skills criteria Even if you are not the one actually teaching kids, as a franchisee you will be one who needs to monitor the efficient management of the playschool. You must be strongly committed to quality services and have a genuine interest in ensuring that you are laying the solid foundations of educational development of kids. Hence, it goes without saying that you must be a hands-on franchisee, not just quietly sitting at home while a centre head manages the playschool for you. You are expected to visit the playschool on a regular basis to be aware of what's going on.
Being a franchisee thus means having good administrative and management skills to manage day to day schedules and having good interpersonal skills as well to deal with the staff. Interacting with the kids and their parents to establish trust will be good for your centre. So equip yourself with the requisite social and communication skills. Of course, love for kids is a must!
Basic computer skills will be a necessity as you would need to maintain computerized records of requirements and costs, as also be able to communicate with the franchise partner's support team via email or video conferences.
Above all else, you do need to have some business acumen to understand the logistics in the venture and be able to get a profit from your investment. What, for example, are the fees you need to charge for admission? Has the franchise partner put a mandatory limit on this? Will the fees you charge help you to get back what you have invested + provide some profit?
The premises A cramped room in an apartment building is not the space a playschool franchise team is looking for! You should ideally have at least 1,000sq.ft. to 1,500sq.ft. minimum to be able to set up a comfortable area for a small group of children. Most franchise partners also expect a separate outdoor play area which is enclosed with a boundary wall for safety. The premises itself should be on the ground floor of a building or an independent house.
The location is equally important, being easily accessible for to & fro commute and in a safe locality that is primarily residential so that it attracts enrolment. A largely commercial area of office complexes is unlikely to be suitable for a playschool. An area with polluting industrial units will definitely not be considered for setting up a franchise playschool centre.
The kids and time schedules You will need to know the age groups of the kids that the franchise partner expects you to take in for admission. While some playschools have toddlers as young as 1 ½ years, others may have kids between two and maximum four years of age. If it is expected that you have multiple age groups, then you will need to have a schedule for different batches. Generally, timings of a playschool are from 9a.m. to 12noon or 1p.m. with different batches, some for just one hour for the youngest kids and two hours or more for the older ones.
The costs The absolute minimum investment which you need to put into setting up a playschool could be as low as Rs. 6 lakhs to as high as Rs. 20 lakhs, as per the city, the site location of the playschool and the size. You will be investing this mainly in furniture and décor, games and toys, books and stationery. There will be additional expenses towards paying teachers, maids and security staff. Then there are costs towards promoting and marketing of your playschool, these costs not necessarily covered in totality by the franchise partner. Keep in mind that taxes will likely creep in as per government policies.
Don't forget, too, that you would need to pay a fee to the franchise partner for the brand name and possibly pay royalty of 15% to 20% on the collection fee. Some franchise partners also take annual fees for renewal of the franchise.
This and that - what is not in black & white Do not enter into the venture blindly. Look for hidden costs & expenditure which was not laid out clearly in black and white in the initial agreement. Before signing on the dotted line, meet the franchise partner one on one to understand every nitty-gritty aspect and not just go by fancy brochures and video CD presentations. You must especially understand the commitment you are making – is there, for example, a specified number of years that is mandatory to maintain the franchisee playschool?
Even in the case of the interiors, understand what is expected of you, what costs are incurred, since every franchise partner will have a mandatory laid out design plan, including fixtures and possibly modern technological smart learning aids. Find out what they mean when they talk about things like "additional expenses towards upgrading facilities."
Do not go by glitzy websites and brand names alone. Be aware, be sure - and prep properly before you step into the world of playschool franchisees.
Once you are sure, check out these opportunities:
1. How to become a Podar Jumbo Kids franchisee partner
2. How to become a Euro Kids preschool franchisee
3. How to become a Shemrock preschool franchisee partner
4. How to become a franchisee partner of top preschools in India
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.
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