Archive for the ‘Business Development’ Category

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, announces its latest school in Avon Lake, OH is open. Located at 430 Avon Belden Road, the new school is operated by franchisee Eric Baker.


Ten Steps to Starting a Franchise

Thursday, August 24th, 2017
  1. Read through the franchisor’s franchise disclosure document (FDD). The franchisor is required by law to supply this document to prospective franchisees. The FDD provides information about the franchise system, such has its history and corporate structure, as well as the information about the franchise relationship, such as fees, financing, obligations, intellectual property and financial performance. Be sure to study the FDD before making any decisions. Pay particular attention to the FDD’s Item 19, which details the franchise’s earnings data. A franchise that values transparency will include the grosses, expenses and EBITDAs of all its franchises for the previous year. In other words, it should provide information so you can make the most informed decision.
  2. Do your due diligence. Talk to other franchisees who have been in business a while. Ask them what they think of the business. What are the challenges? What are the rewards? What made them decide to open a franchise? Is the franchisor easy to work with? While this is obviously a great way to get information, it may also help to form working relationships with other franchisees if you decide to open a franchise.
  3. Experience a franchise in action. Visit a franchise during business hours, see how it works, see what the franchisee and the employees have to do on a day-to-day basis. This should give you a better idea of what being a franchisee is like. Also be sure to talk to customers. Are they happy with the service the franchise provides? Would they recommend it to others? Getting a feel for the customer base is just as important as seeing what a franchise does every day.
  4. Find a franchise that offers excellent support. The great thing about buying a franchise is that you go into business for yourself, not by yourself. But this concept only works when the franchisor offers the best support in all aspects of business operations, including, but not limited to, marketing, advertising, IT, finance, training and real estate. Visiting the corporate headquarters is highly recommended.
  5. Visit the corporate headquarters. Some franchisors host a “meet our team” day that allows prospective franchisees to tour the corporate office as well as meet the people who will be supporting their business needs. This is an excellent way to get a first-hand look at how the franchisor operates.
  6. Review the terms of your franchise agreement. If you decide to pursue a franchise, the franchisor will give you its franchise agreement, which lists your obligations and theirs. It is a good idea to hire a lawyer with franchise experience to review the agreement to make sure it meets your expectations.
  7. Obtain financing. When you sign the franchise agreement, you will need to pay the franchisor. These initial costs, which vary from business to business, can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many entrepreneurs need to secure a loan, such as a Small Business Administration loan or a bank loan, to pay those fees. A franchisor that offers excellent support will often have a franchise finance team that can help you navigate the loan process.
  8. Locate a suitable site for your business. Many franchises have specific site requirements that your business will need to meet. These may include things such as square footage, a minimum lot size and a minimum number of parking spaces. A high-quality franchise will staff real estate experts who will help you with the process of finding a suitable site.
  9. Receive training. You will need to complete a series of training courses, either at the franchise’s corporate headquarters and/or online, that will teach you what you need to know to operate a franchise.
  10. Prepare to open your business. If you have never opened a business before, which includes many different things that need to be done, this process can seem daunting. A franchise with best-in-class support will provide assistance with this process, usually in the form of an openings team who will work with you to ensure your business is ready to open.

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, announces its latest school in Newtown Square, PA is open. Located at 3810 West Chester Pike, the new school is operated by franchisee Kavita Ghai.

Goddard Systems’ VP of Marketing, Paul Koulogeorge shares three key insights along with actions to help business owners market to the Millennial generation.


Inspired by making a difference in the lives of Tampa-area families, Owner Dinesh Patel opens the Goddard School is Wesley Chapel, FL.

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The Goddard School, with 460 locations and counting, has been listed as one of twenty emerging brands exhibiting at the 2017 International Franchising Expo.


Joe Schumacher, CEO of The Goddard School Franchise, provides his advice for recent grads who are thinking about starting a business after college.


Jim DiRugeris, Vice President of Franchise Development at Goddard Systems, explains how he evaluates and applies customer data during the franchisee recruitment and development process.


  How Goddard Systems Is Using Data To Improve Franchise Development

I speak with many prospective Goddard School franchisees from a wide variety of professional backgrounds. Two of their common concerns are not knowing where in a preferred market a School will be located and not knowing how Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) will assist them in finding that location. Many people are uncomfortable with commercial real estate due to their limited experience in residential real estate and the more complex set of regulations in commercial real estate. Selecting a suitable site is both an art and a science.

The Science
Step one is to use a specialized database of commercial real estate properties (we currently use CoStar, which is like Zillow for commercial real estate) to identify available land or existing buildings with a preferred square footage, the right amount of parking spaces, etc. The system will then find locations that are available for either lease or purchase. We also add all existing Goddard School locations to ensure that we don’t build Schools too close together. We can generate a rough list with broker contacts, the amount of time properties have been on the market, five-year market trends, etc. While this information is valuable at a high level, further investigation is required.

GSI’s real estate team then transfers these locations to SIMMS (Strategic Integrated Mapping and Modeling System), a customized program designed to incorporate more than 26 years of statistical data strategically. Analytics, the preferred method for evaluating potential locations, considers general information such as the population and market growth rate. However, to understand whether a proposed Goddard School location will provide an opportunity for success, it is crucial to take a deeper look and get into industry-specific and Goddard School-specific factors. SIMMS takes the science of site selection to the next level by providing a customized view of the market by identifying anomalies and measuring the proposed location against existing Goddard Schools throughout the country with similar characteristics. Once this step is complete, we can consider a clean list of locations.

The Art
Equipped with reliable data, the GSI team travels to the market and assesses the land, buildings and community. This provides us with the opportunity to identify critical Goddard School-specific details, such as the ingress and egress, the traffic patterns and the synergy of neighboring businesses. While we are in town, we scout the market to see where growth is happening and gather knowledge from local real estate brokers and the franchisee. We also visit the local municipality office, which provides us with an opportunity to speak with officials who know about future developments, such as residential communities and schools. The art of site selection continues as we collaborate with you to review and rank opportunities and formulate a plan to engage with the owners and landlords on one or more locations.

Site selection is an ever-evolving and complex process. GSI uses cutting-edge tools and the most current data to make it as straightforward as possible for franchisees.

Premier Preschool Now Open For Enrollment To The Elmwood Park Community

ELMWOOD PARK, NJ (February 26, 2015) — Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, announces its newest school is open for enrollment in Elmwood Park, NJ. Located at 301 Riverfront Blvd., Suite 1, Elmwood Park, NJ, the new school is owned and operated by franchisee Olga Dubinsky.

Prior to becoming a Goddard School franchisee, Dubinsky worked in various industries such as real estate and catering sales. After hearing about the success of The Goddard School brand, Dubinsky decided to open her own school in the area.

The Goddard School preschool system prides itself on its unique dual-management system, a distinguisher in the early childhood education industry. Franchise owners are onsite at each location and work alongside an educational director, whose main focus is to communicate and work with teachers, as well as to implement The Goddard School curriculum. This dual-management system ensures a hands-on, community-focused approach when it comes to early childhood education. With each school opening, The Goddard School also has a local economic impact, creating an average of 20 to 25 jobs within the community.

The Goddard School’s play-based approach, called Fun, Learning Experience (or F.L.EX.®), is grounded in research on how children learn best: children experience the deepest, most genuine learning when they are having fun. At The Goddard School, the focus is on building each child’s emotional, academic, social, creative and physical skills to provide a well-rounded experience and ensure each one becomes confident, joyful and fully prepared in school and in life. The Goddard School’s proprietary F.L.EX. curriculum has earned AdvancED and Middle States Corporate Accreditation by demonstrating excellence in early childhood education.

“With over 26 years of experience in early childhood education, The Goddard School’s unique dual-management system creates lasting community bonds as owners are on-site at the Schools to provide support to the communities they serve,” said Joe Schumacher, Chief Executive Officer of Goddard Systems, Inc. “One area that truly sets us apart from other childcare systems is our philosophy based on learning through play, designed to teach and reinforce 21st century skills, including social behaviors such as communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. This philosophy fosters a lifelong love of learning and creates meaningful connections at an early age.”

Jobs relating to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) are currently the fastest growing segment of the U.S. economy, and a focus on developing 21st century skills such as creativity and innovation as well as the abilities to collaborate, communicate and think critically, is expected to increase over time. By introducing 21st century skill concepts early on, children develop a strong foundation and a passion for STEAM at the very beginning of their education.

“I decided to franchise with The Goddard School because of its stellar brand recognition, prestigious program and highly rated franchise support system,” said franchisee, Olga Dubinsky. “I know Elmwood Park residents will embrace The Goddard School and all it has to offer to local families.”

Long recognized as the industry leader, The Goddard School preschool system has been consistently listed in Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500” ranking as the number one childcare franchise for 14 consecutive years (January 2015).

The Goddard School located in Elmwood Park, NJ is located at 301 Riverfront Blvd., Suite 1, Elmwood Park, NJ. To reach this location, please call (201) 468-9841 or email  For general information and franchising opportunities, please visit