Archive for February, 2012

Nation’s No. 1 Childcare Franchise Continues Growth with ‘Best in Class’ Social Media Interaction Program

Throughout 2011, Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), continued to establish itself as a “Best in Class” Social Media leader in the childcare industry by launching several integrated Social Media campaigns, including Goddard Community Games Virtual Tour 2011 and 2012, Goddard School Block Party Campaign and Application, The Goddard Cares Project, and Choose for Charity campaign. For its efforts, GSI was officially recognized with a Social Media Star Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

“We were thrilled to be recognized as a Social Media leader by the Philadelphia Business Journal,” said Ashley Betzendahl, Social Web Communications Manager of Goddard Systems, Inc. “This award recognizes us in our beginning stages. As our campaigns continue to mature, we hope to continue to build strong connections with our parents and fans.”

The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Social Media Stars Awards, created in 2011, celebrates the achievements of individuals and businesses in the greater Philadelphia area in the world of social networking.

The Philadelphia Business Journal notes that this award is not simply for having the most followers or likes. In contrast, this award is for the true stars, which are the ones that have built an engaged audience and can show results on their efforts.  All nominees must be based in the greater Philadelphia area (Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties), but national campaigns originating from the area can be included.

To visit Goddard Systems, Inc.’s Facebook Fan Page, visit facebook.com/goddardschool. To visit Goddard Systems, Inc.’s Twitter Page, visit twitter.com/goddardschool.

Public Relations: Practical and Effective

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Public relations (PR) is one of the most cost-effective methods of connecting with customers. Small businesses should follow the example of big companies with substantial marketing and advertising budgets by allocating significant resources to PR. Positive PR placement helps businesses by allowing them to attract customers without the expense of advertising. Companies can increase the demand for their product or service through PR while enhancing the brand’s credibility. Coverage can also create goodwill in your community, giving your business an edge over your competition.

PR is a valuable tool for creating interest, increasing sales and building brand awareness. It is often overlooked and is often an afterthought. PR can produce tremendous results, so your strategies for all your campaigns should incorporate clearly defined objectives and activities. To achieve the best results, coordinate your approach and communicate your key messages through marketing, advertising and public relations.

Nation’s No. 1 Childcare Franchise Continues Growth with ‘Best in Class’ Financing Program

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the nation’s No. 1 childcare franchise, refused to slow its growth in 2011. In fact, the 380-plus-school franchise opened 19 new schools while awarding another 28, completely bucking the trend of slow growth in other franchise systems.

The established franchisor was able to continue opening new schools in new territories through the creation of an aggressive, “best in class” financing program designed to help a wider-scope of would-be franchisees get into business for themselves while also aiding existing franchisees’ hopes of opening another school.

“This economy has taught us a lot of lessons,” said Tony Padulo, GSI’s Vice President of Franchise Development. “However, of those lessons, we know we need to think harder and smarter because slower growth is not an option when demand is present. To combat financing limitations, we needed to reinvent our process to be more productive toward more franchisees.”

Throughout 2011, GSI has secured 28 loan commitments, representing $48 million in loan dollars for its franchisees. The loan commitments have helped GSI franchisees secure 22 properties through purchase or lease agreements.

“We strongly feel that one of the best ways to stimulate the economy is through business development. If we didn’t find ways to keep helping would-be franchisees go into business for themselves, our progression would have been limited,” Padulo added, noting that each school employs an average of 20 employees.

GSI’s innovative in-house financing program includes the following:

  • In-house financing team that is dedicated to working with all new franchisees on securing financing. The team pre-screens candidates prior to signing an agreement with GSI. This ensures that GSI is comfortable that the candidates should be able to secure financing for their projects.
  • Relationships with eight preferred lenders. Typically, in this economy, borrowers are required to inject at least 20 percent cash, and in many cases, as much as 30 percent or more. Given GSI’s strong success numbers, its lenders require 15 percent cash injection on a lease, and 10 percent injection on a land purchase, allowing the candidate to keep additional cash for other uses.
  • These loans are most often, if not 100 percent, SBA loans.
  • GSI has strengthened influential relationships. In fact, GSI recently entered into a relationship with Franchise America Finance. Its program is by invitation only, and they will deal with only one franchisor in each segment, typically asking the leader in that segment. GSI was selected in the childcare segment.

“We are deeply protective of the clients we choose to work with,” said Ron Feldman, CEO of Franchise America Finance. “Goddard Systems Inc.’s track record with existing franchisees, business models, earnings and growth projects made them the perfect fit.”

In 2012, GSI fully expects to continue its strong growth projections, including plans to open 16 of schools alongside the awarding of 36 of future schools, Padulo said.

Nation’s No. 1 Childcare Franchise Earns Acknowledgment of High Quality Educational Programs

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the nation’s No. 1 childcare franchise, received Middle States Corporate Accreditation in recognition of its high quality early childhood educational programs. The Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools is one of three accreditation units of this regional accrediting body.

“This recognition is an additional acknowledgement of the work GSI does to ensure Goddard Schools maintain high quality early childhood education programs,” said Sue Adair, Director of Education of the 380-plus location school franchise. “We are proud of the work our franchisees and executive team have done to maintain best in class educational practices.”

The Middle States Association (MSA) of Colleges and Schools has been providing accreditation and school improvement to colleges, secondary schools and elementary schools for over 100 years.  Over the past few years, the accreditation standards have been extended to early childhood programs through the Early Age Education Accreditation.  The Middle States Commission of Elementary Schools reaches out to public and private schools throughout the country and across five continents.

GSI’s education and business philosophy is continuing to gain national traction; the company opened 19 new locations in 2011. By positioning locations in top-tier markets across the nation, GSI is now located in 35 states with over 380 schools in communities across the nation.