Benefits of Having an Education Franchise
A basic definition of the term Franchise, minus all its technicalities, would be as following. The term franchise refers to a way of business where an already existing player in the market offers to extend his name & reputation to new players who are willing to extend financial support to the brand. They work under the umbrella of the brand as extensions of the brand, thus helping them to widen their network and reach out to a wider audience.
While the above definition gives us a basic idea of the term literally means, Franchise also refers to a model of business. People dolling out franchise and people buying a franchise are basically entrepreneurs who are out there in the market trying to make a name for themselves.
Rewinding the clock
Entrepreneurship is basically an open market phenomenon whereby private players have been given way by the government to invest in the market. It is a result of the concept of privatisation. Strictly limiting our focus to India, the market was largely the domain of the government & everything was covered by the public sector companies working in the name of the government. This model of economy was in sync with the socialist idea of India that Jawaharlal Nehru had perceived & subsequent governments had adopted. However, as globalisation & with it privatisation knocked on India’s door, India opened its door for them in the final decade of the 20th century.
Subsequently, as privatisation took hold of the market & government took a back seat a lot of new players arrived on the scene to do business. It included several small & big players with various ideas to do business. This whole shift from public to private gave rise to a lot of entrepreneurs and continues to do so as innovations & ideas form the bedrock of an open market.
Franchise: An idea in itself
Going by the introduction of the two terms given above i.e Franchise & entrepreneurship, a certain distinction becomes clear. An entrepreneur starts from scratch while a franchise owner builds on the reputation of an already existing brand. This is one of the crucial differences that demand the need of separate definitions for the two terms. There are however, two ways of looking at it. First is obviously by looking at the two terms differently and differentiating between the two models. The definition of the term entrepreneur provided on the web says that an entrepreneur is a person “who sets up a business taking on the financial risks in the hope of the profit”. Thus, a purist would argue that building from a scratch in essential to qualify as an entrepreneur.
However, another view of looking at it is the one which is much wider in application. There cannot be any distinction between the two terms as one falls under the ambit of the second, i.e. franchise is a way of business that an entrepreneur undertakes at their own cost. This side would argue that an existing reputation does not make any difference as at the crux of entrepreneurship is the appreciation of idea. Franchise in itself is an idea; a way of working evolved by someone. Thus, a franchise owner is as much an entrepreneur as anybody else is. Such a view harmonises the two terms & resolves any distinctions there might be.
With this general overview of Entrepreneurship & franchise business in the mind, we now look at how it has played out for the education sector in particular. As globalisation hit market, a natural consequence of it was felt by the education sector as well. Education, which was hitherto the domain of government, came to be privatised and various key players participated in it to raise standards of education throughout the country.
Advantages of owning a Franchise
With this privatisation of education, the concept of franchise business gained ground especially in the education sector. Various big names felt the need to reach out to a larger pool of society & thus the idea of franchise flourished. Credibility & quality are key factors in the field of education, and running a franchise certainly seemed to be a better option than beginning from scratch. There are various other benefits of opting for franchise which are as follows:
- The first big & obvious advantage of opting for a franchisee is the brand name that comes with it. As stated above the credibility of an educational institution is the most important factor while opting for it. Thus, a franchise school of a trusted franchisor certainly makes things easier to begin with.
- Quality of the teaching staff is another crucial factor in opting for any educational institution. An already existing credible institute is certainly bound to have a good pool of teachers & bound to attract the best talent, which a new institute might fail to achieve. This is not only because of the credibility of the institutions but also largely because of the financial prowess it has over any new institute.
- Another advantage is that the franchise owner does not carry the baggage of achieving a reputation. Although, in a competitive environment, every franchise makes efforts to stand out, it is very different from putting in years of hard work to earn a name for itself. The name of franchisor makes things way easier, ensuring almost guaranteed results for their investments.
- Financing & contacts are other benefits that a franchisee enjoys. Any new business usually requires bank’s support for financial purposes. With a well set educational institute backing your claim, your prospects become brighter & the process smoother.
- In today’s world, a lot of reliance is placed on technology & research in all the educational institutions. Technological advancements in the field of education have taken centre stage & constant improvements are being made through excessive research. Achieving such a standard might be difficult for any new institute, as a result of which it might lack behind others.
- Franchise business also offers purchasing efficiencies through economies of scale. The required products like books, uniforms etc. are provided either by franchisor or by trusted suppliers also enabling Franchisees to take advantage of bulk discounts.
For all these above mentioned & many more reasons, owning a franchise seems to be the best foot forward.