Veteran Franchisor Background – Sylvan Learning Center


Sylvan Learning Center  |  www.tutoring.sylvanlearning.com  |  An Education Franchise  |Free Veteran Franchise Consulting

Published in the March/April 2010 issue of print Search & Employ®  |

Educating children does not nearly need to be only a noble pursuit; it can also be a viable business that provides a stable living. Sometimes children need more than what their classroom can provide in order to succeed. There are also some students who want to get ahead, achieve great results, and gain acceptance into the college of their choice.

That’s where Sylvan Learning Center comes in. It is a leading provider of in-center and live, online tutoring for students of all ages, grades and skill levels. The organization has approximately 1,100 learning centers worldwide, helping more than two million students discover the joy of learning.

At its centers, Sylvan-trained and certified instructors provide highly personalized instruction in reading, math, writing, study skills, homework help, SAT/ACT assistance and state test preparation. Most of these centers are owned by franchisees who subscribe to the Sylvan plan, while also having the freedom to pursue many of their own initiatives.

Curt Hapward is the vice president of franchising for Sylvan Learning. He leads the development team, which had the organization’s two best sales years in 2008 and 2009. He also assists in various growth and strategic initiatives. His father served as a captain in the Army Reserve.

“Sylvan Learning has a long history of recruiting and employing veterans,” Hapward said. “In fact, Sylvan is proud to offer a financial incentive to military veterans, not only to help veterans enter franchising, but also to express our appreciation for their service. Sylvan Learning participates in the VetFran Program, and strongly believes in programs such as this to encourage and enable more veterans to pursue franchising as their next career. Owning a Sylvan Learning center offers personal and professional satisfaction that few other occupations can match.  We believe it is a perfect fit for our men and women of the military.”

Hapward noted that Sylvan Learning moved up to number 44 in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2010 “Franchise 500 Ranking.” The company has been ranked 25 times by the industry’s premier franchise ranking.

That’s great news for veterans who are thinking about this franchise – a partnership that Hapward thinks is a great fit. “Over the years, Sylvan has found that military veterans tend to be very successful as franchisees,” he said. “Typically, they bring years of operational and management experience. They usually are very disciplined, organized, and mission-oriented, as well as possess a strong work ethic. Overall, veterans have the necessary entrepreneurial spirit, skills and motivation to be successful franchisees.”

Hapward said this is a great time to join Sylvan Learning. The organization has experienced considerable franchise sales growth in many parts of the country and abroad in recent years.

“This year, Sylvan Learning will continue to expand in select U.S. and international markets,” he said. “To fuel this growth, Sylvan Learning seeks qualified franchisees that possess an entrepreneurial spirit, have a passion for the communities they serve, and are interested in helping children develop the skills, habits and attitudes that lead to lifelong success. As new centers open, new positions are available for center directors and directors of education, as well as full-time and part-time instructors.”

While teaching and serving as administrators would be good fits for many veterans, Hapward is especially interested in having vets join the organization as franchisees.

“We not only offer exceptional programs, but provide the support and training needed to run a successful center,” he said. “Sylvan is a good fit for veterans. Sylvan offers the opportunity to be your own boss, but with the support and proven processes of a mature, well-established company. Military veterans are well-suited for franchising, because they tend to be disciplined, organized, devoted, mission-oriented, and have the work ethic necessary to be successful.”

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers