Primrose Schools is growing in the Northeast and the Midwest. That’s why the Franchise Team and I were thrilled to spend some time recently in two of our growing markets – New York City and Chicago. Each year, the Team and I visit a number of tradeshows across the country to meet entrepreneurs interested in franchise opportunities and to share the story of Primrose Schools. But, beyond the bustling tradeshow booth, we are also meeting with industry leaders and attending sessions to keep mindful and always seek a better way for our Team and the support we provide to new and existing Franchise Owners.
This year in New York was no exception when we attended the International Franchise Expo (IFE), a tradeshow filled with hundreds of franchisors and thousands of potential franchisees. Our Team met with many passionate entrepreneurs on the floor and industry partners alike. We came back reinvigorated – full of new insights and relationships.
We found ourselves reminiscing about last year’s show when we connected with Raj Whadwa and his family of seasoned franchisees and entrepreneurs. Raj and his family, expressed interest in bringing Primrose schools to the Long Island-area. One conversation led to another and earlier this year, we were thrilled to announce our first multi-unit area development agreement. Multi-unit area development deals are typical among quick-service restaurants and food franchises, but not early education and care franchises. So, needless to say, we were proud to expand the brand into the New York market in this unique and innovative way. It’s opportunities like these – born out of a meeting at a tradeshow – that allow us to continue growing and building relationships that bring the Primrose experience to more children and families throughout the U.S. There are currently more than 300 Primrose schools across 25 states coast to coast.
After our successful trip to IFE, we were also fortunate to attend another tradeshow in Chicago called the Early Childhood Education Entrepreneurship Expo (ECE3). We were eager to spend more time in Chicago as it’s another growing market for Primrose. And, while IFE featured a variety of franchise industries ranging from restaurants to fitness centers, ECE3, hosted by the Women’s Business Development Center, was well attended by female entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds united in their passion for early education and quality daycare for young children.
While at our booth, I was blown away by the interest and need for quality care and early education within the Midwest market. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the education landscape in Chicago and connecting with many enthusiastic entrepreneurs looking to make a lasting impact on the lives of children in their community.
In addition to speaking with educators and prospective Franchise Owners at the booth, I also heard a presentation by Diana Rauner, first lady of Illinois, speaking about her involvement with the Ounce of Prevention Fund. This organization advocates and works to provide quality early education experiences for all children across the U.S., especially those born into poverty in Chicago. After her speech, I was thrilled to connect with her about Primrose and hear more about what the organization is doing to impact the lives of young children. It was incredibly inspiring to see others working toward the same mission we share.
As a Team, our franchising group highly values experiences like those that we had at ECE3. These interactions help us to fully understand the pulse of the communities where our Franchise Owners’ operate their schools. We gain insights into the challenges and opportunities of the market. Equipped with this knowledge, we are then better able to respond to the local needs, knowing the impact of Primrose always goes far beyond the doors of our schools.
We’re back in Georgia now and setting our sights on the West Coast Franchise Expo this November. At Primrose, we value the time we spend connecting and sharing ideas with industry partners and prospects at industry tradeshows. But, it’s always about much more than garnering new business. With each visit to a new community, our Franchise Team is better able to understand the local needs and to productively work with each new Franchise Owner to deliver brighter futures for all children.