We recently sat down with Angela Sakell, VP of Marketing at Bach to Rock, to talk about her company's franchise opportunity and how they differentiate themselves from others in the market.
How was Bach to Rock originally conceived and started?
Founded in 2007, Bach to Rock (B2R) is the product of music teacher and school founder Jeff Levin's innovative teaching methods, and CEO/President Brian Gross' business branding expertise. Gross' company, Cambridge Information Group, acquired the music school in Bethesda, MD, from Levin, and the group worked together to build off the existing curriculum to create a professionally branded and commercialized business.
What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?
Bach to Rock is no ordinary music school. It is modeled off of learning to play a sport like soccer, baseball or football. Just like learning to play a sport combines individual skills practice with playing games as a team, we combine individual lessons with playing in a band or ensemble. We believe learning to play and sing music should be fun, not drudgery, and that students learn best when they join together to play the music they love. This philosophy has not changed.
What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?
Drive. A franchisee must be motivated to succeed. No music experience is necessary to own a Bach to Rock franchise, but must have a passion to succeed.
Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises?
B2R differs from other music schools in its aggressive programming, extensive genres and age of students. Most music schools cater to a particular niche or age group, however B2R's diversity means a broader revenue stream. Last year, B2R rolled out a movement "Mommy and Me" program for children between the ages of six months and three years called "Rock n Roll." B2R has also expanded by opening two schools dedicated to DJ instruction.
What makes the music education industry attractive?
Consumption of music is at an all-time high. From television shows like American Idol, The Voice and Glee, to iTunes, to video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, America's more addicted to music than ever before. And Bach to Rock is poised to meet this growing demand. In addition, reductions to public school arts budgets, coupled with kids' desire for musical instruction in popular genres, are driving the rapid adoption of new, innovative music education resources such as Bach to Rock. In fact, private lessons are now the number one way for students to learn to play an instrument, overtaking school lessons in the past few years.
What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?
We seek leaders with strong management or business backgrounds. Music experience or ability is NOT necessary. A desire to succeed and have fun while doing it is. You will hire musicians to be your "Subject matter experts."
What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?
Fees cover three multi-day training sessions preparing you for ownership, operations, staffing and management, extensive curriculum for ease in managing your workforce, a state-of-the art IT system to maximize your revenue and step-by-step support to get you open as quickly and efficiently as possible. Royalties cover ongoing program development, operational, marketing and IT support throughout the lifetime of the franchise to maximize your business.
How do territories work for your franchisees?
Territories are based on a particular area surrounding the school. The size of the territory will vary from franchise to franchise, but will typically include approximately 5,000 to 15,000 households with children and with a median family income of $75,000 or more within a three to five mile radius of the school and/or an approximate 15 minute drive from a customer's home to the school.
Why has your franchise model been successful?
We teach music instruction to children of all ages and based on a couple of very logical but innovative principles. These are summed up by our belief that students learn best when they join together to play the music they like the most. So the core of our method is to place students in small bands of four to six players, creating a powerful bonding based on social and musical interaction. This is coupled with an opportunity to play music that is meaningful today and for which kids get significant peer recognition and social credit
Where do you see Bach to Rock in 5 years and 10 years?
We expect to be a national brand with 500+ units in the next 5 to 10 years.
What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?
Be true to the Bach to Rock model and follow the recipe for success. Our team is totally dedicated to your success and will provide you with every tool necessary to help you achieve this goal.
What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?
We are in this together. Although it may sound clich our success as a franchisor solely depends on the success of our owners. What they are investing in among other things is our knowledge and experience which we have codified in a comprehensive operations manual and training program designed to share that knowledge with each owner.
Can you explain your financial assistance?
Bach to Rock is a SBA approved franchise. Third party financing is available to qualified candidates.
On average, how long does it take to open a new Bach to Rock location?
A franchise should expect to open a school within 4-6 months of signing the franchise agreement.
What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?
Founded in 2007, Bach to Rock is the product of music teacher and school founder Jeff Levin's innovative teaching methods, and CEO/President Brian Gross' business branding expertise. Gross' company, Cambridge Information Group, acquired the music school in Bethesda, MD, from Levin, and the group worked together to build off the existing curriculum to create a professionally branded and commercialized business.
Do you have any franchisee testimonials or success stories that you would like to share?
"Our first Bach to Rock school in Port Washington has experienced phenomenal success, exceeding our expectations. This is accelerating our expansion plans, so we're aiming to open two additional schools in 2014," said Glenn Fleischman, co-founder and Managing Partner of Amplified Capital Partners. "There's a strong demand for what we offer, especially as local school districts continue to cut their arts budgets and reduce or eliminate their music programs. We want to keep growing the chain in New York and Connecticut well beyond the six schools we initially plan to open", said Alan Goodstadt, co-founder and Managing Partner of Amplified Capital Partners.
"We love that Bach to Rock encourages people coming out of the armed services to become entrepreneurs through its veteran incentive program"
"Music brings us joy and we never had the opportunity to develop it into something full-time until now."