In 2010, I was working as the Campus Administrator and Lead Instructor at Grade Learning – Kingston when the then franchise owner approached me with the opportunity to purchase the franchise from her. (She was ready to retire and be a full-time grandmother.) I was very excited about the opportunity. I knew the business and I loved my job at Grade Learning. It was also the perfect marriage of my interests; I have my Bachelors of Education and a Business Administration Diploma with a focus on marketing. I jumped at the chance to become a Grade Learning franchisee, and I am so happy that I did.
Being a member of the Grade Learning team is awesome! There is no way I could have opened an education business on my own, but with the support of the franchisor (Michael Bateman) and the support team at head office, I am now a registered Private Career College offering students the opportunity to start new careers.
One of the things that I like best about being a Grade Learning franchisee is that I have the freedom to offer and market the services that make sense in my market area. Grade Learning offers a “full service” approach to education, with different educational programming portfolios that each franchisee can choose to offer. I’ve chosen to focus on Tutoring and Private Career College. Those are the two portfolios that made the most sense in my market. I get to offer what makes sense for Kingston and I get the support of the head office team in doing it, but at the end of the day, I am still my own boss.
During the day, we offer diploma programs to adult students (18+) through our Private Career College. These are career programs that focus on getting students out into the workforce in a new career. Once of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing my students become employed and successful; there really is no better feeling than knowing that you helped change someone’s life for the better. In the afternoons and evenings, we have high school and elementary students coming in to get tutoring help. Our students, regardless of their age, all appreciate the intimate learning environment that we offer. It is a place where they can feel comfortable and part of a learning community – where everybody knows your name.
The key to success in this business is networking! You need to be active in your community and willing to put in the hours to make your company a household name in your local market. It’s a lot of work, but the benefits definitely make it all worthwhile. I’m living my dream every day with Grade Learning.