A meaningful career opportunity and a great source of income

Notes Section

The need for professional tutoring services continues to grow.
The tutoring industry shows no signs of slowing down. As the sheer number of students continues to grow, so too does the number of concerned parents seeking tutoring for their children. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, today the U.S. has a total of 55 million students in public and private elementary and secondary schools, and the total number of students is projected to reach over 57 million by 2018.
In this interview we talk with Huntington Learning Center to see how Boomers & Seniors can obtain a meaningful career opportunity and a great source of income

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Transcript

:00
this is boomer income ideas calm and
0:03
your host Dan Farnsworth I’m welcome to
0:07
this segment of boomer income ideas calm
0:09
you know if you’ve been looking for
0:10
something that will combine truly
0:12
meaningful Civic contribution with
0:15
profit this might just be for you today
0:18
we’re going to be talking with Eileen
0:19
Huntington the CEO and co-founder of
0:23
Huntington Learning Center along with
0:25
Darlene during her vice-president
0:27
themselves and I think you’re going to
0:29
want to stay tuned for this I was a
0:34
chemical and biomedical engineer my
0:36
background was in English and
0:38
communications and a minor in politics I
0:39
was really really burnt out from my
0:41
corporate job before I became a
0:43
franchisee I was a career educator and I
0:47
wanted to be something that would really
0:48
make me happy when I was in eighth grade
0:50
my math grade started to lower so my
0:53
parents looked in Huntington to help me
0:55
we were looking for answers we were
0:57
looking for any sort of help that we can
0:59
get after I went to Huntington I became
1:02
an honor student and itself off first of
1:05
all I do think of family because my
1:06
husband and I bought the business as a
1:09
family proven passionate and profitable
1:12
passion passion for students accessible
1:15
passion for me to continue to make the
1:17
service
1:18
possible center it can be this is really
1:20
a proven process or we’re changing life
1:23
there’s nothing better than that
1:28
so Darlene and Eileen thanks for joining
1:30
me today thanks for having us and you
1:33
know I think we’re going to have a great
1:34
conversation because I’m big fans of
1:36
yours it’s it’s rare to come across an
1:39
opportunity that can find a truly
1:42
meaningful environment with profit and
1:45
that’s exactly what you have at the
1:47
Huntington Learning Center so thanks for
1:49
joining me and Eileen let’s start off
1:51
with you I know that you started you
1:54
co-founded this this company in 1977 and
1:57
give us a little bit of philosophy about
2:00
how you went about doing that or why you
2:03
went about doing that well in looking at
2:06
why we started I was working on the high
2:08
school level master’s degree 30 credits
2:11
on tenure rein was working in business
2:15
research and we decided to take our
2:17
future into our own hands so we said
2:20
well what would we be good at and I
2:22
really still have students that I was
2:24
working with you know we’re struggling
2:26
in study skills and reading and said we
2:30
maybe maybe we should do a learning fair
2:33
because that there’s none around so we
2:37
opened the the first Center Huntington
2:39
Learning Center back in 1977 so it’s a
2:43
40th anniversary so it’s really pretty
2:44
exciting
2:45
that all of a sudden it’s 40 years where
2:48
the years ago is unbelievable and you
2:51
know today we are a leader in the
2:54
tutoring and test prep business and that
2:57
business we deal with students from
2:58
kindergarten through grade 12 in basic
3:01
skills reading writing math study skills
3:04
we also deal with exam prep high school
3:08
entrance as well as SAT and a CT and we
3:13
get tremendous results with the students
3:15
that we work with excellent
3:18
Eileen didn’t you just win an award for
3:20
being in the top 25 entrepreneurial
3:23
women career and I think your daughter
3:25
Ann just won an award is that right
3:28
yeah she does she’s not for an award
3:30
also so it’s very is
3:32
you know it’s very exciting to see the
3:33
you know the awards we’re getting in the
3:36
recognition we’re getting out in the
3:37
marketplace I mean we were number six
3:40
six Erie on in the franchise five
3:43
hundred so we were really really excited
3:46
about that to see how we make a
3:50
difference in in in franchisees life and
3:53
Aaron sighs it’s a win-win parole
3:56
excellent Eileen Ally Lee Huntington and
4:03
started Huntington Learning Center well
4:10
we have centers throughout communities
4:12
and wall of our all of our centers are
4:14
involved directly in the community with
4:15
local schools and local community
4:17
organizations we donate scholarships to
4:20
the local schools we’re involved in
4:23
those organizations where we participate
4:25
in those organizations it’s really part
4:26
of the culture of Huntington Learning
4:28
Center is part of a culture of the
4:30
franchise organization to really be
4:32
involved in that community you know
4:38
we’re going to talk a little bit about
4:39
the business aspect of it but I want to
4:41
talk a little bit more about the
4:42
philosophy and I’ve got a personal story
4:44
that I’m going to share with you in a
4:46
couple of minutes but I love your your
4:48
motto proven passionate and profitable
4:51
again tell me a little bit about that
4:53
philosophy because you’ve been able to
4:55
kind of merge this idea of having
4:57
something that’s really meaningful and
4:58
when I say that when you’re when you’re
5:01
developing young minds to take them to
5:03
their fullest potential so that they can
5:05
actually compete in the future in a
5:07
global environment I think that’s just
5:10
as important as a strong military as far
5:12
as what we’re going to be needing in the
5:15
future for our future leaders in our
5:17
future generation so you’re you girls
5:20
are at the at the forefront of that and
5:22
I really respect that I couldn’t agree
5:25
with you more I think what we do we’re
5:28
very passionate about it I say to
5:30
franchisees and prospective franchisees
5:33
that I wouldn’t be doing this if I was
5:37
making a widget to see the the results
5:41
we get with students is unbelievable Dan
5:44
I’ll give you an example
5:45
I got an email yesterday from one of the
5:48
Centers and it’s the time right now for
5:51
college acceptances and this young man
5:54
got into five of the colleges that he
5:56
applied to he did get a 35 on the a CT
5:59
and he got a million dollars worth of
6:04
scholarships why his school gave him a
6:08
free ride well when you see that
6:12
happening you you just say look at the
6:15
difference we’re making in the child’s
6:17
life and in the family’s life and we get
6:20
hundreds of millions of dollars of
6:22
scholarships for kids each year on our
6:24
exam prep programs the results that we
6:27
get there are average essays SAT is over
6:31
200 points increase and our AC T is a
6:34
four point increase that’s average and
6:37
we’re to do a whole lot better than that
6:40
but that’s changing a child’s life a
6:42
family’s life and as you said it’s even
6:45
changing the nation’s life well I I can
6:47
attest then I’ll tell you a little bit
6:49
about my personal story I have two sons
6:51
one of them about the second grade had a
6:54
difficult time with both reading and
6:57
math and so we took him to a learning
7:01
center and that changed everything and
7:04
that young boy is now 40 incidentally he
7:08
has a very successful career as an
7:11
airline pilot captain with a major
7:13
airline and had it not been for that
7:16
chain you know in second grade rather
7:19
than announcing this is your captain
7:21
speaking he’d probably be saying would
7:23
you like fries with that meal I totally
7:26
get it
7:26
yeah that’s that to me is how important
7:29
this is we also feed in I gave an
7:31
example on the exam front side but to
7:33
your point second grade is critical if
7:37
you don’t solve the problem in second
7:39
grade when they’re learning to read and
7:41
giving them a good foundation life can
7:44
be really miserable for them in school
7:46
and in careers well I think let’s let’s
7:49
now talk about the business aspect of
7:51
this because this is really what we are
7:53
we’re a business show where we’re
7:55
dealing with spotlighting opportunity
7:59
for baby boomers people who are 50 to 70
8:01
we really want to make a change in their
8:04
career but also want to make a change in
8:06
how they impact people’s lives going
8:09
forward that’s really one of the number
8:10
one things that we come across with baby
8:13
boomers these days they typically don’t
8:15
just want a job anymore they’ve had that
8:17
for the last 40 years now they want
8:19
something that they can really sink
8:23
their teeth into enjoy doing and also
8:26
actually make money in it so darling can
8:29
you tell us a little bit about the
8:30
aspect of running one of these centers
8:34
or multiple centers and then actually
8:35
we’re going to talk about franchisees in
8:36
a minute but kind of give us an overall
8:39
outline of how a center operates can you
8:42
do that for me
8:43
sure so on a daily basis and the beauty
8:47
of this business is that we’re making a
8:49
difference in our franchisees see the
8:50
difference they’re making every day as
8:51
Eileen talked about but part of running
8:54
a business right and being that center
8:56
director is doing the marketing you have
8:59
to market the brand people need to know
9:00
who you are you have to be Huntington in
9:03
your community so franchise owners are
9:05
marketing and any part of that is going
9:08
to school and talking to teachers and
9:12
guidance counselors and principals
9:13
letting them know the services we offer
9:15
for their students it’s also about being
9:18
a business owner in your community in
9:20
part of the Chamber of Commerce I’m
9:22
working with other business owners in
9:24
your in your community it’s going to
9:27
local community events so you’re meeting
9:30
parents and students out where they are
9:32
and part of the daily routine is I’m
9:35
meeting with my staff on preparing for
9:37
the time the students are going to come
9:39
into the center making sure that the
9:41
students are making the progress in
9:42
their programs and I have to be coaching
9:45
we have a coaching team here and again
9:47
that helps our franchisees to prepare
9:49
for those complexes with mom and dad
9:51
because as a business owner and the
9:53
center director it’s my job to sit down
9:56
with mom and dad and talk about the
9:58
program that’s in this custom design for
10:01
their student and to enroll them in the
10:02
program so we do have to sell a program
10:05
to mom and dad so with that in mind you
10:10
mentioned going out and doing these
10:13
community
10:13
the events and so forth how do you
10:16
actually attract your students I mean
10:19
what I know it’s a number of things and
10:23
it’s probably very comprehensive but
10:25
what one of the number one ways that you
10:28
actually get the phone ringing or you
10:29
get people coming through the door
10:31
saying I need to use your services sure
10:34
it’s really a surround sound approach to
10:35
our harkening and the marketing plan is
10:38
something that the franchisee just has
10:39
to actually follow the planner to
10:41
implement it I’m going to say it’s from
10:43
broadcast banned from TV commercials
10:46
that are ready to direct mail that were
10:49
mailing out as very specific targeted
10:51
time like the time when a child is going
10:53
to take an SAT or a CT we know and make
10:56
the recommendation of watched emails we
10:58
know when report cards are coming home
11:00
we know when to attract them put things
11:02
in parent’s mailboxes it’s also again
11:05
personal face-to-face meetings with
11:07
parents and students out in the
11:09
community and events and if teacher
11:11
resolve we get a lot of referrals from
11:14
the school on whether it be the teachers
11:16
the guidance counselor’s and it’s a big
11:19
referral business so then once um once
11:21
you’ve gotten great results with your
11:23
student you’re going to tell other
11:24
people we have a big referral business
11:26
here at Huntington on and a lot of
11:28
repeat business
11:29
so families they come to us just like
11:31
you went to a center with your son who’s
11:34
in second grade kids who come to us the
11:36
second third and fourth they come back
11:38
to us when their students may be needing
11:40
help in algebra or geometry and then
11:42
they come back to us again when the
11:44
student needs to prep for the SAT or the
11:46
ACP right so Eileen when you started
11:49
this four years some years ago is this
11:52
what you expected I mean did you expect
11:54
it to grow into this large institution
11:56
or did you think that you’re basically
11:59
going to be opening up one shop and
12:01
helping local people I mean is is this
12:04
what you plan for or did it just happen
12:06
it’s not what we planned for
12:08
we opened London Life Center on and when
12:12
we open we open the center is back in
12:14
1977 we we did not expect the response
12:20
we got from parents at the time I didn’t
12:23
resign from my position because I didn’t
12:25
know if it’s going to work
12:26
not going to work and I will tell you
12:29
Dan by August we knew that that I could
12:32
resign from my position and today we
12:35
have 300 locations in 39 states and no
12:39
that was that was not the plan
12:41
and when you look at it from a business
12:43
point of view we are the number one
12:45
revenue producing tutoring franchise
12:48
today earning 63% more than our closest
12:52
competitor that’s amazing what do you
12:54
attribute that to
12:55
I entreat needed to result Darlene I’m
12:58
speaking of franchise years I took a
13:02
look at a video that highlighted Brian
13:04
Redick one of your franchisees and I was
13:07
really impressed with the fact of his
13:09
background and he came from a very
13:12
successful environment and decided to go
13:15
in this operation and this opportunity
13:18
can you talk a little bit about that
13:20
sure I mean our franchisees come from
13:22
really a wide pasteurizer background but
13:26
we do see a lot of folks who are coming
13:28
out of corporate America they’ve been
13:29
very successful in their previous life
13:31
um we do have educators who come to us
13:34
and we need to sometimes teach them the
13:36
business side of this of being a
13:38
franchisee they come with that passion
13:41
for education and for folks who are not
13:44
coming from the education background and
13:46
the majority of our franchisees don’t
13:48
come from that education my friend we
13:50
teach that so we give them all the all
13:52
they need to know in the education side
13:54
our programs are that strong that we
13:57
don’t need that education defensive line
13:59
is very typical of our franchisees he is
14:02
one of our multi unit operators here in
14:04
our system and I’m going to say this
14:06
about 25% of our system that are multi
14:08
no operators today I spent about 10
14:13
years working in corporate America prior
14:15
to opening onyx and Learning Center and
14:17
if you follow the system and work hard
14:20
which is the entrepreneurial part of it
14:21
then you can be successful if I had to
14:24
say three words for hunting
14:25
Center I would say profitability
14:26
innovation an impact I also notice that
14:39
Manhattan is your number one operator
14:42
they do about two million a year and
14:44
that didn’t surprise me at all because
14:46
obviously Manhattan is full of people
14:50
who are very prosperous and they want
14:53
their children to be very prosperous and
14:55
so they know that they need these types
14:58
of support services to get to that level
15:00
and that’s really I think one of the
15:02
biggest things that I want to get across
15:03
on this I personally think that anybody
15:05
who’s sending a child to public school
15:08
system and isn’t getting this kind of
15:10
supplemental education along with that
15:13
is doing their child a disservice
15:15
because it’s really really necessary
15:18
especially with large classrooms and
15:20
things like that these days but then
15:22
going back to even the comment about
15:24
Manhattan you know we see very very
15:28
successful centers and they could be in
15:32
a southern state they can be in New York
15:34
they can be in Texas they can be in
15:36
California the location itself doesn’t
15:39
really make a difference it’s about the
15:42
operator and it’s about them getting out
15:44
in that community getting the word out
15:46
and marketing so it’s not necessarily
15:49
demographic base for us on that New York
15:52
have a higher you know family income
15:53
then Nashville or Alabama Birmingham
15:57
Alabama it doesn’t matter about the
15:59
operator we see that on every community
16:03
has parents who are very concerned about
16:05
their children and they are willing to
16:08
make sure that child gets what they need
16:11
to be successful yep so can you give me
16:16
a profile of an ideal candidate as a
16:21
potential franchisee the first thing
16:25
that they need to well they need to have
16:28
the passion for this business right they
16:29
don’t need to be an educator but they
16:30
gotta they have to want to make the
16:32
difference all of our franchisees have
16:33
all I kind of call the do good bones
16:35
they want to get back okay so they want
16:38
to give that they’ve won
16:39
maybe differences that is the first
16:40
thing that all of our prospects Cyclops
16:41
and that’s for a single franchisee say
16:43
they love the business um then we look
16:47
at folks who have degrees all of our
16:49
franchisees are educated folks they all
16:51
have at least a bachelor’s degree or
16:52
higher they’ve been successful in the
16:54
prior life in fact we have many
16:57
franchisees I think this is a family
16:58
unit and we see very quite often we see
17:02
a parent-child relationship coming in
17:04
and doing this franchise together or we
17:07
see deep tear into it as a business and
17:10
then their children come into the
17:11
business after their children have grown
17:13
so we just see that we really are a
17:16
family friendly business or and its
17:20
really nice to see franchisees passing
17:23
it to the next generation and we’re very
17:25
very excited here on the same the same
17:28
way and this year we were recognized as
17:31
the top franchise for women by the
17:32
franchise Business Review so our
17:34
demographic of our franchisees has
17:36
changed 30 years to where we have a lot
17:38
more women running our centers and being
17:40
a risk business as well now you over the
17:43
years have encountered a lot of
17:46
franchise personalities we just talked
17:48
about the ideal candidate tell me who’s
17:51
not a good candidate give me a profile
17:53
of someone who would not really be a
17:55
good fit for this business first of all
17:58
I think in being a good fit to this
18:00
business and this is any franchise
18:02
organization at all you really have to
18:05
follow a system if you are the type of
18:06
person you can follow assistance don’t
18:09
do franchising right can’t be a maverick
18:11
and say you know I know more I’m going
18:13
to go do this I’m going to go do that
18:14
know if you follow the system it works
18:18
and that’s that’s the biggest thing you
18:21
know I say to franchisees who are
18:23
considering our business the cookie
18:26
cutter is there we know what works we
18:29
know what works in curriculum so even an
18:32
educator who comes in you need to follow
18:34
our system don’t stay I think this piece
18:36
of curriculum would be great we have an
18:38
education development department that
18:40
evaluates the curriculum that we use so
18:43
we can get the results that we want with
18:45
children that’s that’s the key thing is
18:48
getting results so following the system
18:51
really is important
18:52
the other thing is this is an
18:54
owner/operator for the first year you
18:57
really have to learn this business if
18:58
you’re thinking of taking this business
19:01
and saying I just want an investment I
19:02
want to be passable in it
19:04
we don’t want you we don’t want you we
19:07
want people who are going to work at
19:09
this learn it that’s not to say that
19:12
after you get the business running and
19:14
you put staff in the air that you’re
19:17
working as hard as you work um that’s
19:20
not the case because we have franchisees
19:22
as Charlie mentioned this week we met
19:24
with franchisees here at Horry Dell and
19:26
the people we met with you know a lot of
19:29
them I’m working I’m going to say 15 20
19:32
hours a week on and they’re able to do
19:35
that because they have trained staff who
19:37
they manage but this is not you know let
19:41
me just have a pass today sure now these
19:44
this is the final questions that I
19:46
always like to ask because it gives you
19:48
an opportunity to really kind of focus
19:50
in on the pros and the cons okay can you
19:53
ladies give me three pros of actually
19:56
operating a Huntington Learning Center
19:58
and three cons that someone might want
20:00
to consider before they move forward
20:03
with this I think I think when we look
20:06
at new and cons when are they wanted
20:09
let’s look at pros one of the pros okay
20:12
and looking at this is first of all it’s
20:13
a great industry okay it’s a fabulous
20:16
industry there’s a great need for
20:18
tutoring that we just talked about it’s
20:21
a four point three billion dollar
20:22
industry also its financially and
20:25
personally rewarding for franchisees
20:28
franchisees will say to us okay this is
20:30
the best decision I made I think about
20:33
what I do I’m making money at what I’m
20:36
doing um and another pro would be we’ve
20:39
been doing it for 40 years we know what
20:41
we’re doing okay but exclude us a
20:44
seasons management team it’s a
20:45
family-owned business we put the
20:48
students first and when you put the
20:51
students first everything falls into
20:53
place and that’s the key thing because
20:56
you need to get results with the kids
20:58
you have in our program gets results so
21:01
that’s what I would say is is let’s say
21:02
3 3 3 crushed and I would ask that last
21:05
one
21:06
is that we operate 35 company units or
21:09
here in the metro area so it’s not that
21:11
we ran it in the past you want it every
21:14
day with the same sisters the same
21:16
procedures that are franchisees use so
21:18
we’re in their shoes every single day so
21:21
I guess that can be summed up with your
21:22
model of proven passionate and
21:24
profitable I mean those are the three
21:25
EPs so that’s very good
21:27
how about a couple of cons you don’t
21:29
have to do three just I just got a
21:34
balances out okay I think we mentioned
21:38
this I think franchising is not for
21:40
everyone you have to be able to follow a
21:41
system some people just can’t do that
21:44
and we’ve seen that um where you know
21:48
they come in and franchisees won’t want
21:50
to change things we get results and we
21:54
see that with our folks so I would say
21:56
that would would be one of the areas on
21:59
and you need to be a fit um you know a
22:03
business percentage is you mentioned one
22:05
of our franchisees Brian Riddick
22:07
a business person can come in here and
22:10
learn the education part of it um you
22:13
don’t know you don’t need to know how do
22:16
I design a program for a child you’ve
22:17
already done that
22:18
orgy we evaluate a child and we know the
22:22
results we come down a computer this is
22:25
how you design the program so we know
22:27
we’re going to get results on an
22:29
educator who’s coming in needs to it
22:31
needs to know the business type these
22:33
men and just saying I just want to be an
22:35
educator and not understand that this is
22:37
a business well ladies I think this has
22:39
been a great conversation as I mentioned
22:41
to you a big fan of yours and we’re
22:43
going to be putting your information in
22:45
our notes section so that our viewers
22:47
can contact you directly and I hope that
22:49
we’re sending you quite a few as a
22:51
matter of fact and I just want to thank
22:52
you again for being on the show thank
22:55
you
22:56
thanks for having us
22:57
[Music]
23:08
you
23:09
[Music]

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