Industry Qa With Tanya Mitchell Learningrxs Chief Research Development Officer
Provide an overview/ description of your industry. Include reasons why it’s a great industry to start a business in today.
LearningRx is part of the children’s education/enrichment industry. We have found that in both strong and struggling economies, parents are still spend money on their children. In that way, our business is somewhat recession-proof. Additionally, working with kids allows business owners an opportunity to find career fulfillment and make a real difference in their communities.
How has your industry changed in the last 10 years? 20 years?
The idea of training your brain is less then 20 years old. There is a large focus on brain training research going on right now. This a fast and growing industry and recently in the US was regulated using medical standards. Research for this business is key to our future and over the last two years, LearningRx programs have been published in 10 science journals….all articles showing significant change for those that go through training.
What trends do you see in your industry over the next 5 years? Next 10 years?
I think you will continue to see a focus on brain health and brain training as they way to help those that struggle with learning and performing.
What is the biggest concern about your industry that a franchisee candidate should be aware of and investigate? If they are going to the director of a center, they need to connect well with parents in the sales process. Even though we have the research that backs what we do, the results can be unbelievable for our clients and the director must be able to gain their trust.
Why do you think your company stands out in the industry?
LearningRx is in a unique position to help not only the struggling child, but adults as well. We often see parents of graduates complete a brain training program themselves in order to improve their own performance, focus, or ability to remember. The reality is that LearningRx brain training can help almost anyone think faster, remember more, and learn easier.
What makes your franchise / business opportunity more attractive than your competitor’s?
There isn’t another brain training franchise in the marketplace at this point, so we are really able to set the bar and direct the conversation. We have incredible research to support our programs and have helped over 100,000 individuals in the last 25 years. Compared to other education-based franchises in the market, LearningRx achieves significant results (an average IQ increase of 15 points) across all age levels—from age 4 to 94. We are not limited to the school-aged child, but are able to work with kids and adults who want to think faster, remember more, and learn easier. Also, most school aged kids that struggle in school, struggle because they lack center cognitive skills that make learning easier, compared to lack of knowledge, which is where tutoring is focused.
Describe the ideal candidate. Do you think your requirements are any different than your competitor’s?
Because brain training is still a fairly new concept, LearningRx franchisees have to do a fair amount of education within their communities. The ideal LearningRx franchisees are strong networkers who are comfortable discussing brain training with medical professionals, business owners, and parents. Our franchisees are driven, personable, and enjoy marketing, networking, and sales. They are looking for a full-time position that will allow them to spend time in their community spreading the word about this unique concept and meeting with families to discuss their concerns and goals for their loved ones.
What’s the strongest skill you require in a candidate?
Natural drive and motivation; personable and friendly.
Describe the working environment of your franchisees. Is your environment typical of other companies in your industry?
LearningRx franchisees operate from a physical location outside of their home. They are located in both office buildings and strip malls. We describe the center as a cross between a doctor’s office and a Starbucks—families spend a good deal of time in our centers, so we want them to be welcoming and comfortable environments. We don’t rely too heavily on foot traffic, but the center location must be easily accessible and provide adequate parking to busy families. In that way, we are probably rather similar to other children’s education franchises. However, our centers don’t require a great deal of build-out because the majority of our one-on-one brain training takes place in an open area. In fact, one of the skills we build in our training is attention; the distractions of our open training area are helping to improve our students’ focus!
Why has your company been successful?
I think one of the biggest reasons we’ve been successful is that the founder was a very successful business owner himself. Many of our business concepts and best practices come directly from him and the way he’s done business for years. In fact, he wrote a book on the topic! You can learn more about Dr. Ken Gibson’s business ideas in his book, The Purpose Directed Business. I think another reason we are able to remain successful is that we aren’t afraid to make changes when necessary. As the industry (and the world) continues to change, we continue to adapt and evolve our business to meet our clients’ and our franchisees’ needs.
What advice would you give someone interested in buying a franchise in your industry?
Do your research and speak to franchisees who are currently running a location. They will help you understand what your day-to-day will look like and can help identify any potential hiccups. If you can, visit a location to get a feel for the business and what your center may look like. This is a service-based business, so if you don’t have any experience with the product, it can be very helpful to check it out!
How much experience in this industry should a franchisee candidate have should they consider buying a franchise in your industry?
A number of our franchisees had no prior business experience and/or no child-related professional experience. They are marketers and CEOs and teachers and professionals. The great news about franchising is that we can help fill in any gaps in knowledge and experience! If you are interested in the concept and you have the drive and motivation to succeed, we would love to work with you.