Home-based business Aug, 29 2011

House-full of home-based opportunities

Home based opportunities are best suited for entrepreneurs who aspire to work from the comfort of their homes. In home based businesses education is emerging as a most lucrative with lot of education brands expanding their businesses via home based franch

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
House-full of home-based opportunities

The trend of home-based businesses has been picking up since the last few years. As compared to a decade back, umpteenth opportunities have arisen in this sector. Working from home allows entrepreneurs, especially women, greater freedom and more comfort. It is a perfect choice for any home-based entrepreneur, who has a flair for teaching and a true entrepreneurial spirit.  Providing education from homes in free time is an age-old practice for women and even men. However it was not considered an apt career choice till recently. Now many franchisors and business owners have opened gates for aspirants to run their education business from comforts of home. Aspiring individuals with free space in residential areas can easily think of running day-care centre, crèche, tutorial centres or even a pre-school from homes.

Home-based, especially for the fairer sex

Many career oriented women have to leave their flourishing jobs for the sake of taking care of their kids and families(repeated so many times). These highly qualified as well as ambitious women can now make a career from the comfort of home without risking their kids happiness. Taking care of kids and teaching them is an innate tendency of women. Therefore running a pre-school, crèche or a training institute can easily come to them. Regarding women’s role in education, Amol Arora, MD, Shemrock & Shemford Group of School said: “Ours is women dominated sector and naturally 80 per cent of the franchisees are women. The enquiries are mostly made by men, who tend to shortlist and evaluate our business proposal. Once they have made up their mind, they ask women in the family to sign the agreement and take the front. After the agreement is signed men tend to take a back seat role and let the women take charge of the project. Overall the preschool sector always has been led by women and continues to be that way. Further by operating from their homes they feel that they are not ignoring their children and family as they are in the same building.” There are few other factors which are also accelerating the growth of education as home-based sector. 

Education: perfect home based business

Certain factors make education players a perfect choice for home-based opportunity. These factors are:

Operated from home: Establishments like pre-schools and other educational centres do not require a high-street location. These fare better in residential areas. As informed by Arora, MD, “This is not a retail activity with impulse purchases in which the potential ‘customers’ would notice a service offering while shopping and sign up. This sector works on word of mouth and so even if the location is the worst possible for any retail location it might be excellent for education.”

Parent’s preference for playschools near home: The present trend of both couples working makes it impossible for working women to take care of toddlers. They prefer to send them to near-by reputed crèche or play schools. Parents, especially of girls and younger children, prefer education offerings which are near their residence. In addition, locations in residential neighborhoods are also safer.

No monthly rentals and fast break-even: Running a pre-school, tutorial or a training centre from home also saves setting up and running cost. The expense of monthly rentals of having a retailed outlet at a mall or high-street is saved in case of a home- based centre.  Moreover lower rentals in residential properties make sense as the break-even is reached in a faster time thereby reducing risk of the project.

Less of legalities involved: Some countries have stringent laws of starting a business from home. However India has less of legalities and tough laws in this section. Authorities of India have not kept many legal boundaries in case of starting a educational institute from home.

Franchising benefits to players

Many established franchise players in education field, such as Shemrock Schools, Kindle Kare, Maxmind India, Eurokids, I Play I Learn etc provide entrepreneurs the comfort of working from home. Franchising has so far proved to be the best foot forward to expand education brands franchise through home based format. The benefits of taking an education franchise for a home based business are:

Brand recognition: Renowned brand name is offered by the established franchisor. The education sector is one sector in which ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing plays an important role. Parents of toddlers and small kids always prefer to send their kids to reputed organisations rather than new and unknown pre-schools.

Expertise of the franchisor: Moreover a franchised institute also provides all the guidelines and rules which have to be followed by franchisees. It leads to a more standardised curriculum for children of particular age-group.

Low cost: Another additional benefit is the small set-up. As shared by Arora: “The initial requirement of staff is one teacher and one maid for running our franchised pre-school.”

Speed breakers to break even

The challenges based by the home based education franchise owners are:

Brand visibility: First of all such locations are normally not on busy intersections hence the franchisees have to invest a bit more initially to get the brand visibility.

Hidden cost: Secondly franchisees may face an increase in property taxes and electricity charges due to the property being used commercially.

Manpower: Another shortcoming can be shortage of staff. Many people may not want to work in a home-based franchise due to lack of corporate culture and crowd.

Indiscipline or unprofessionalism: Family members, neighbours or relatives may feel that the business is more like a hobby and feel they have the liberty to drop in at any time. Therefore franchisees need to be professional at work time. Also, some neighbours may not like a school to be opened in their vicinity.

To end, it can be said that presently home-based franchises offers tremendous opportunities. Moreover with education benefits adding to this, it can be easily predicted that its scope is never-ending in the franchise arena.

Related: Franchise - The Thomas Cook way

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