By Rossana Llenado
The other week, we had an orientation talk for potential franchisees of AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center. When we started offering review programs in 1995, we immediately got franchise inquiries. Even then, a lot of people saw the viability of our business concept. However, we didn’t want to get into franchising until we were ready for it. We wanted to make sure that all our operating systems were working perfectly and that we were giving our students the best possible service before we even opened up ourselves to the idea of franchising.
Besides, I never thought of AHEAD as merely a business concept. I see AHEAD as a vehicle for young people to achieve personal and academic success. By helping our students do better in school, I had hoped that it would make them feel good about themselves and give them the confidence to go after their dreams.
When we meet with potential franchisees, we are not actually looking for investors per se. We are looking for partners who share the same vision as we do: to give young people the opportunity to reach their full potential. By franchising, we hope to reach out to even more students across the country.
I’ve always believed that your work must follow your passion. And so, for potential franchisees, I always look at whether they would take pleasure in the same kind of things that I enjoy while running AHEAD.
For me, managing AHEAD fulfills many of my needs.
Physically, the hours are less taxing. This is very important for a mother of four like me. Most review classes run during the summer vacation, and so on weekdays, I am home by the time my children arrive from school. Besides, there is something absolutely energizing about working with young people. Being around them keeps me young.
Mentally, AHEAD gives me the opportunity to exchange concepts and ideas with the smartest teachers in the country. And because we deal with bright and competitive students, I am encouraged to learn more myself. That’s why I make it a point to attend seminars and workshops regularly. The process of educating one’s self must never stop.
Socially, I am constantly in touch with a pool of students, parents, teachers, and school administrators—some of whom have become my friends. And so, on social engagements, I sometimes get to mix business with pleasure.
Psychologically, I am always thrilled when a student tells me about doing well in his Algebra class or when a parent says thank you for helping his child become number one in his class. Nothing beats the kind of fulfillment that comes from helping others.
In the same manner, it warms my heart that in some way, I am helping shape the lives of our future leaders and consequently, the future of our country.
These, I tell our potential franchisees, are the kinds of benefits that they would get when they sign up for an AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center franchise.
To top all that, an AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center is a business with minimum risk. AHEAD’s proven approach to supplementary educational services guarantees financial dividends for intelligent investors. Besides, we want our franchisees to succeed. That’s why we’ll be there to guide them every step of the way.
At the orientation, there was an applicant for a center in one of the cities in Metro Manila. Immediately, I discouraged her. I communicated to her my doubts about the viability of putting up a Center in that area. I didn’t think there was a big enough market for one. I didn’t want to put up a franchise just for the sake of putting up a Center. I want every Center to succeed. I want every partner to succeed.
But she was very persistent and proceeded to explain to us why it can be done. While she was talking, I saw her passion, her zeal, and her wisdom. I realized as well the other reason why we needed partners: to discover new and untapped markets, share our vision with even more students, and share the joy of working with a purpose.
We are fortunate to have found franchisees who share this same vision and who are as passionate as we are about our work. Why else would they give me and my staff gifts every so often? And it is not a one way thing, because I love our franchisees with all my heart. We are a family working happily together because we know that we are doing something good every day.