Training and support ensure franchisees succeed on opening day and beyond
Cathy Kitchens just celebrated her first 30 days as a Class 101 franchise owner in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has already laid the foundation for a strong first year. From our weeklong training at the home office to follow-ups during their launch month, new Class 101 franchisees are primed for success from day one.
“I hit the ground running. I got back from franchisee training on a Saturday and already had ten networking events scheduled on my calendar for the following week. I learned a lot in training but I felt like the best way to launch my business was just to get out there,” Cathy says.
Class 101 is a national college planning franchise that helps high school students get into better colleges and qualify for higher amounts of scholarships and financial aid. We address a common problem: the college application process is complicated, competitive and stressful, resulting in students who don’t get enough, or any, financial aid and often end up at the wrong school.
Franchisees go through a five-day training program at our headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. Our home office support team works with franchisees every step of the way as they build their businesses, and our network of franchisees have regularly scheduled weekly calls to discuss business success stories and provide input on any questions their fellow franchisees may have. From day one, Class 101 franchisees are provided with an organized pathway to success.
Ongoing training helps franchisees build their businesses
The foundation for your success as a Class 101 franchisee begins before your official training at our home office. Founder Tom Pabin, who still works with his own roster of clients, provides a list of “homework” items to complete prior to training, such as making lists of local high schools and preparing your 60-second elevator pitch to promote your Class 101 business.
“Don’t wait until training to start building your business. Do as much as you can before you even go to training,” Cathy says.
At Class 101, we don’t just hand you a manual. During her five-day training, Cathy observed Tom working with students as well as conducting a family consultation. “Tom would teach me things, and he would also let me observe how he handled students,” Cathy says. That one-on-one coaching didn’t stop when she returned to Charlotte to launch her business. “Anytime I have a question, Tom is always there to answer it and give advice, as well as input on how to handle different situations,” Cathy says.
Networking Is the Heart of Our Business
Class 101 is a relationship business and our franchisees have a heart for working closely with young people. Cathy, who homeschooled her daughter until her last two years of high school, was very active in leadership roles with home school groups, coached students to regional and national competition levels as a speech team co-leader and gained critical experience in working with youth through church, from Sunday school to youth groups.
Cathy spent her first full week with Class 101 networking through local business groups such as BNI and a women’s entrepreneur group, as well as setting up one-on-one appointments. “I’m getting out there and taking every opportunity to talk about my business and Class 101. For example, I stopped in our local library and saw that they regularly have guest speakers come in and speak on various topics and I’ve approached them about speaking. In between networking, I visit high schools and speak with counselors and have started scheduling college prep seminars,” Cathy says.
A new Class 101 franchisee has a target of 100 prospects a year, with a good customer base consisting of a very maintainable 40 to 50 students for consulting, so it is not a high numbers effort. Because parents typically pay a down payment of $800, then $100 per month for the remaining time, you’ll have the ability to plan income and expenses over time, making it easier to grow your business. We also offer a sibling discount rate, which is an attractive incentive for families seeking affordable options for college.
Class 101 Meets the Growing Need to Help Families Save Money on College Expenses
After using a college planner to help her daughter, Cathy saw a real need for college planning nationwide. A friend of Cathy’s met a college planner during a campus tour and told Cathy it was a business she should launch. Cathy Googled college planning franchise and discovered Class 101. “I had contemplated starting my own college planning business but I didn’t have all the pieces to the puzzle. With Class 101 everything was there — the training, the marketing support and the systems. The part that I did not know, the support and information to make it be what I needed it to be, was provided to franchisees by Class 101.”
Guidance counselors today simply don’t have the time or resources to adequately help high school students successfully apply for college, Cathy says. “Parents need someone to guide them through the whole process. I’m finding a lot of people wait until their senior year and panic. To me it’s obvious they are not getting everything they need, otherwise they would not be panicking. A lot of people try to pull it together at the end and miss so many opportunities to get their students ready. If they had someone work with their child early to tell them what they need to be working on, it would help. It’s very competitive and I don’t think people are prepared for that.”
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