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Mar, 01 2009

Setting up an educational institute

Education as a business proposition is a very viable option, today. This is mainly because more and more schools at all levels are needed to increase the literacy ratio in our country. Setting up of any business not only involves a lot of research, but al

Education business is considered as very profitable and today more and more people are taking up this option. Starting your own venture can be a cumbersome task while it can be much easier if you take up a franchise. But a business can be difficult to run even if it is franchised.

The zeal to run an education business is the most important of all that is required to be successful. Spreading literacy and educating the youth of the country while also making profits out of it can give a certain amount of satisfaction to many people who have a passion for education. With the education and training segment thriving on the franchise industry one can leverage on the years of experience and brand equity developed by an education and training company by taking its franchise and partnering with its growth. However, setting up your institute is an equally good option depending upon the resources.

Planning & expertise

Setting up and running a successful and profitable educational institute is quite challenging as it has become very difficult for stand alone institutes to survive in today`s world. An institute is recognised by its name and people would definitely go by the name ignoring the relatively newer institute which may appear to be equally good. They would for sure send their children to the recognized school/ institute. It is very important to carve a niche for yourself in the market. Expressing his views on the subject Anuj Kacker, Senior Vice President Aptech Ltd and the Global Head of Aptech Computer Education & Arena Animation says, “The biggest advantage in associating with a known brand name is, it gives your business instant recognition and inflow. Recognition is one of the pathways to success. Expertise in the respective education sphere is also significantly important for any business to grow. Expertise can either come with experience or with the help and support of an expert. If you have a certain amount of knowledge and expertise in the education business then you should open up your own enterprise, else you should rely on a franchisor. The franchisee can benefit from the support given by the franchisor and reduce his burden of planning and strategising. Sachin Saraswat, Founder & MD, International Institute of Fashion and Arts (IIFA) says, “It is quite difficult to run own business without any brand and it takes so many years to establish own brand; taking a franchise is the best solution because the company not only gives a brand name but also trains you on how to run a profitable business which gives you very handsome returns on your investment.” Starting an education business on one`s own would involve developing the curriculum on one`s own, taking the trial and error route to see what works and what does not. While in a franchise you have a whole system to support in your ups and downs of every business move.

Risk factor

Running an institute involves a lot of daily hassles. It is true that taking a franchise for an educational institute makes the job much easier for the entrepreneur by reducing the risk factor to a great extent. Conversely, running your own business can help you understand the problems to a greater extent and help in finding possible solutions in a better way giving you a wide exposure.

Advertising & marketing

Advertising and marketing strengths of your institute can help in gaining the needed recognition. A considerable amount of expenditure needs to be made on that account. In case you have the funds in place, then there is a possibility to set up your own institute of a course, keeping in mind the expenditures involved. While in a franchise set up the advertising and marketing is partly shared by the franchisors. However, when partnering with a bigger brand name, the marketing is already taken care of and the brand is already a household name. The marketing required would only be at the regional level for people to know that the institute is now in their neighbourhood. Franchising has a lot to offer in all spheres. Whether it is preschool or high schools, training in aviation courses or IT, you name it and the franchise industry boasts of some of the leading brands offering franchise in each and every segment of education and training.

A budding entrepreneur can also fulfill both the business criteria for starting an educational institute by first taking up a franchise and gaining all the required expertise and training and then setting up his own institute. Dr Uma Ganesh, CEO, Global Talent Track (GTT) tells, “It is always advisable to run any franchise, before starting your own business. All business requires lot of back end support in terms of R&D, integration of new technologies and huge marketing teams for market intelligence and idea generation to meet the regular updates. All these activities are required on continuous basis for which any start-up company would not be geared up.” This kind of a decision will help in gaining better understanding of the business and making the best decisions for your business.

Wrap up

The best way to figure out what fits your requirement is to go through the pros and cons of both the options. If you wish to cash in on an existing name and business then franchising is the best for you but if you wish to start on your own then do not forget the fact that every big organisation did begin from a scratch.

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