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Plaque on building for Monal B Patel

We’re excited to announce that Dennis Maple is our new president and CEO! He’s going to be a great addition to the Goddard family. All of us at GSI want to thank Joe Schumacher for his years of service. He has led us through opening 500 Schools and has been a key driver for our continued growth of becoming one of the top childcare franchises in America.

As Joe transitions to chairman of the board, Dennis will no doubt continue Goddard’s upward momentum. He joins us from First Student, Inc., where for the last five and a half years, he served as President. Before First Student, Dennis was president of Aramark Education for 10 years.

In both of these roles, Dennis gained valuable insight into issues facing today’s educators and administrators, particularly around ensuring healthy and safe environments for children. Dennis also brings another 20-plus-years of leadership experience with consumer packaged goods leaders including The Quaker Oats Company, PepsiCo, Inc., Kraft General Foods, Inc., and Coors Brewing Company. His experience with these companies taught him to use data-driven insights to spark innovation in business models and product offerings and to help shape business strategies.

“I am absolutely delighted to join the Goddard team,” says Dennis. “For more than 30 years, The Goddard School has represented the industry’s gold standard for early childhood education, offering today’s children preparation that’s uniquely designed to enhance both their academic and social success in life. I am passionate about educating our nation’s young people. I come from a family of educators and have spent a significant portion of my career supporting the K-12 community. My first priority will be listening to franchisees, employees and other key stakeholders to determine how we can continue to drive franchisees’ success, education innovation and excellence and responsible growth for Goddard.”

Goddard School Franchise Owners - O'Brien and Straub

With the opening of the 500th Goddard School in Bala Cynwyd, PA, franchisee, Dave O’Brien tells of how his first School grew into a family business via Franchising Times.


New Goddard School in Carol Stream Now Open

Friday, February 1st, 2019

The Goddard School Carol Stream

After teaching in private and public schools for more than 10 years, Martin and Majlinda Gjini, franchisees of The Goddard School of Carol Stream, decided to open a school of their own.


The Pope Family


Establishing a legacy is important. Three generations of Goddard School franchisees, Don O’Brian, his daughter, Anne Pope, and her oldest son, Taylor Pope, know this all too well. This is why they have opened two Goddard Schools and are in the process of opening a third. Here are seven reasons why they believe The Goddard School is a terrific multigenerational business.


  1. It’s a high-quality preschool with a stellar reputation. When her youngest son was born, Anne had trouble finding childcare in her area that met her expectations. Upon visiting a Goddard School for the first time, though, it was a completely different story. “The first time I walked into a School, I was extremely impressed,” she said. “Very secure, very clean. Big, bright classrooms. The children were all engaged and happy. Beautiful playgrounds.” This experience led Anne to open a School of her own.
  2. It’s a business for families, by families. A big reason that Anne opened The Goddard School of Chesapeake, VA with Don is because it allowed her to spend time with her family and still earn a comfortable living. “The business is great if you want to raise a family,” she said. “I’ve been able to balance work and life very, very easily.”
  3. It gives your children an attractive career option. Anne and Don, Goddard franchisees since 2005, have had such a good experience that they are in the process of opening The Goddard School of Washington, D.C. with Taylor, who previously worked in property management after graduating from Marymount University with a bachelor’s degree in business. “You want the best for your kids, so a School seemed best for Taylor,” Anne said. She added that she wanted him to have the same opportunities and advantages she had.
  4. It’s a business model that works. When you invest in a Goddard School, you invest in a proven system. “When potential franchisees call us about our experience, we tell them that, at the end of the day, Goddard’s been doing this a very long time, and they’ve developed a recipe for success,” said Don. “The best advice we can give is follow the recipe and trust it.”
  5. It’s a sustainable business model. The Goddard School model has been implemented successfully hundreds of times over the course of 30 years. Goddard plans to open its 500th School later this year. Now that Taylor is becoming a franchisee, he sees no reason not to open more Schools as his career grows with the system. “I’d like to open more Schools,” he said. “Arlington [Virginia] is booming, it needs more childcare. The market is growing.”
  6. It has the feel of a family business but is backed by the resources of the leader in early childhood education. With 30 years of experience in franchising, education and business, The Goddard School is a recognized, successful brand with a system in place to support your various business needs, from marketing to IT and more. In other words, with Goddard, you go into business for yourself, not by yourself. “Our experience with Goddard has been outstanding,” Don said. “The support is phenomenal and immediate, and it’s been an excellent experience.”
  7. It’s supported by a handpicked team of leading experts who are on the cutting edge of the latest trends and research in early childhood education and development. The Goddard School’s Educational Advisory Board (EAB), comprised of acknowledged experts in various fields of early childhood education, contributes to the development of Goddard’s play-based learning program. “The EAB is a huge asset in keeping Goddard on the cutting edge,” said Don. “They make a presentation at each [franchisee] convention. Franchisees can talk to them, and it’s absolutely fascinating. It’s been such a revelation. The EAB constantly enhances programs and information available to parents. It’s extremely useful.”

Time is something that most leaders don’t seem to have enough of. It’s something leaders will confess to be chasing quite often. Despite all the time management tips and practices that can help you be more productive, you find it hard to make enough time to get things done. If it’s not the time spent traveling, then it’s the time you spend on calls with business associates. And worst of all, you end up spending a lot of time in meetings.

While meetings can take up a lot of your time it’s an evil that’s necessary, particularly for you as the leader of an organization. Meetings are essential to the work you do because of their ability to draw people closer and share information. Also, meetings can help you synergize and align your team with your vision and purpose. It’s a great way to mentor your talent and understand what drives their passion. Basically, even if you’re tired of all the meetings you can’t avoid them. You simply have to put up with them.

However, meetings don’t have to be such a drag. In the age of exponential growth and digital revolution, the business world is moving fast, and so should you. Getting trapped in hour-long meetings (if not longer) can seriously hamper your ability to get multiple things done. And believe me, the times today necessitate the need to get multiple things done in the least amount of time.

So how do you go about attending all necessary meetings in your busy day and find the time to strategize, brainstorm and do everything else that a leader needs to do to ensure their business succeeds? Here are some guidelines that can help your meetings be more brisk.

1. Drastically Shortened

Small talk and chatting can take up a lot of time. Sure they’re great tools to break the ice, connect with your team members and even as a warm up to the more serious conversations, however, they just take up too much time. This is the time you can save and instead spend on the more meaningful discussion that serves the meeting’s purpose. Limit all meetings that you attend to a maximum of 30 minutes. This’ll force you to address all the important, pressing matters first and get it off your plate. Restrict conversations to the agenda at hand and if you have time to spare, engage in some light talk to connect with your team.

2. Leave Other Matters Out

Have you noticed that sometimes discussions in meetings can take a dramatic turn into a completely different tangent that’s not related to the agenda? These can drag a perfectly well planned meeting into the realm of tiresome and often needless debate and argument. Avoid this trap by reminding everyone to stick to the topic of discussion. Losing focus is easy, however, maintaining it is pivotal to get the most of your meetings and the limited time you have. Sure, you’ll find plenty of meetings that identify other issues during discussions. Try to park them for now and address them in a later meeting.

3. Balance Your Time

Being a leader means you’re generally a busy person. Your team will constantly be on the lookout to grab your attention. You’re going to be pulled in every direction and it’s tough to balance everyone and everything you need to do. So how do you manage? Set a weekly schedule that covers everyone that’s directly and closely working with you. This way you’ll be able to allocate your time in a balanced way and ensure no one is left out. You’ll be able to give everyone your attention, mentor them when required and address several company matters during these sessions with your leadership team.

4. Be Prepared

If meetings were to commence with everyone being briefed on why they’re there and what the purpose of the meeting is, then you’ll waste precious time bringing everyone up to speed. Being prepared for every meeting is essential. Make sure everyone who is attending knows the agenda before they arrive. So all the reading materials, reports, documents, etc. that will be talked about is shared preemptively with the attendees. This way you’ll definitely get the most out of the meeting within the stipulated time.

5. Focused Group

Ever been in a meeting where some of the attendees just huddle up in a corner listening and taking notes (if that even)? These people often don’t contribute much wisdom to the meetings and I find myself wondering why they’re there in the first place. As an exponential leader, you know you want to be surrounded by talented individuals, right? To curb this, make sure only those people attend meetings that are relevant, know what it’s all about and who will contribute to the discussions. This way, you’ll be locked in a meeting room with the true talent and brains in your company and be able to extract the most of their expertise during discussions.

6. Speak Last

Leaders often have the most to say in meetings. They steer it, drive it, and often feel their say is the most important out of everyone else that’s in the meeting. Sure, you have the most vested in the company, there’s no denying that. However, by speaking too much you’re alluding others to have a say. Plus, if you’re serious about building capacity in your company you need to ensure you have a talented group of individuals around you. Test them out. Hear what they have to say. Let them make mistakes, learn, grow in confidence, and be better future leaders. Your job as the leader isn’t to drive every meeting that takes place in the company, it’s to guide and coach your talent.

With these 6 guidelines, you’ll be able to get the most of your time from all the meetings you attend. This way you’ll guarantee yourself the ability to keep up with the rapidly changing business world around you and ensure your company moves forward at the same (if not faster) pace.

This article originally appeared in Paul Keijzer.

This article was written by Paul Keijzer from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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An increasing number of consumers are going online to try and find businesses who can provide a service that they need. They’ll use Google to find a local electrician or plumber, check out Facebook or Instagram when deciding on which restaurant to go to and take into account recommendations they read online.

It’s estimated that at least one in four Americans make at least one online purchase per week while the average smartphone users will pick up their phone 1,500 times a week. That is without taking into account all the time we spend on social media!

Our lives and the world are moving online at an increasing rate, and it means that, for your business to succeed in the current climate, you need to be able to take advantage of that.

Here are the best ways to market your business in an ever-growing online world.

Embrace social media

The big change in our lives over the past decade has been the growth of social media. Ten years ago, how many of us had heard of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, let alone had an account with them? Facebook now has 2.2 billion monthly users, Twitter 330 million and Instagram 800 million. That is a lot of potential clients to entice to your business with savvy marketing.

There are so many ways you can use social media to your advantage. Take Facebook for example. Setting up a page for your business means you can communicate directly with those people who ‘Like’ you. If those people who like you share your posts, then your business becomes visible to their friends on Facebook who may in turn like you, and this isn’t the only way to expand your reach either. You can advertise on the site for a pretty nominal fee compared to traditional media, or you can take out a Sponsored Post which inserts a post of your choice into the news feeds of the friends of people who already like you, all of which increase your visibility.

That’s just Facebook. On Twitter you can produce short, sharp comments to get your name out there on a range of issues going on in the world and use hashtags to get yourself found by potential clients who had never previously heard of you. Likewise, Instagram; take a photo of your work, upload it to the social networking site and watch it pick up likes from people around the world who, intrigued by what you do, will go through the rest of your feed and possibly head on over to your website.

With 30% of millennials saying that they engage with a brand at least once a month on social media, it is a form of new technology you can embrace cheaply and easily, but can be hugely beneficial to the prosperity of your business.

Build a professional network on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is slightly different from the other social media sites in that it is more of a professional network. It had nearly 467 million members and is a great way to advertise your skills and services as an individual.

One of the most helpful functions on LinkedIn is the groups. These are a great way for connecting with others within your industry or area which can help spread your message. You can promote content or services through these groups to other professionals who may have a need for your services while also picking up ideas from others in how you can improve your own business.

LinkedIn provides a great way of contacting those you might have a mutual connection with. You can message any other member in a group without being connected which can be a huge asset depending on the circumstances. Share updates often, stay in the spotlight and make yourself well known to those around you.

Use SEO to help customers find your business

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of rules and guidelines that can be followed by website owners to optimize their websites in order to improve their search rankings, making them more easily found by search engines.

SEO has become increasingly important as more and more people turn to search engines to find a business or company that can carry out the services they require, whether that’s an online shoe retailer or a local plumber. Take Google for example. Google processes 40,000 searches worldwide per second – that’s 3.5 billion searches per day or 1.2 trillion per year.

Research suggests that the majority of search engine users are likely to click one of the top five suggestions on their results page and very few ventures off the first page at all. It means that if you can get your website onto that front page for the search results of the services you offer in your area, you’ll have a much greater chance of picking up customers than if you are lagging behind on page four or five.

The basics of SEO are easy enough to implement to give your website a boost, and there are plenty of guides to get you started available online. The more seriously you take it, the more chance of rising through the search rankings you’ll have and for that reason, consulting a company that specializes in SEO such as 180fusion can he hugely beneficial.

Use listing services

It isn’t just SEO that can help give your business a boost on Google, but their listing services as well. Using Google My Business or one of the equivalent listing services offered by the likes of Yahoo! or Bing will allow your company to be found more easily, as it will then show up on map services for businesses nearby.

So, in the instance that a person’s car breaks down in a town they have never visited before and they desperately need to take it to a mechanic. If they Google a nearby mechanic, your business would be shown to them based on their location rather than just a generic search of the area. The listing includes your contact number, a rating and reviews of your business which will help drive a potential client or customer your way.

It’s free to get listed; all you have to do is register your business via a form and go through Google’s confirmation process that will verify you exist and do what you say you do. Google Maps passed the mark of 1 billion users in 2017, and as more and more people turn towards it as a navigation tool, it can drastically help drive more people towards your business.

Start a blog

A blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website as well as helping you engage with your customers. By writing fun and informative articles on the issues surrounding the industry you are in, you can get people visiting your site, and from your blog they may end up looking at your services, becoming new clients along the way! The best articles to write are topical ones as they will get people talking, as well as cementing you as an expert in your field.

Readers will be interested in what you have to say, and if you can position yourself as an expert, they will be impressed by your authority on the subject. They might even share the article if they agree or learn something from your position. If they do share it, this ,in turn, will increase traffic to your website and increase your visibility, which can only be good for business.

The other type of articles that people like is lists. If you run an interior design company, posting blogs such as “10 ways to improve your home on a budget” will not only get people onto your website but will also a publicize your products or services by subtly mentioning a couple that you can provide within the blog.

If you go down the blog route, just make sure to have a regular stream of posts that will keep people coming back. A dormant, abandoned blog is worth nothing. It’s key to post consistently, often on a set day or time, perhaps that’s twice a week, weekly or even monthly.

Use email marketing

Email marketing isn’t easy; how many of us see an email from a company we once bought a product from or ticked a box to receive details of offers from and instantly decide to delete it? In fact, very few people will even bother to open it. To succeed with email marketing, you need to give something away whether that is a discount code, a buy-one-get-one-free offer on the stock you need to be cleared or a special item only available to those on the mailing list.

If a consumer knows that every time an email drops into their inbox from your business, there is going to be something of value to them contained inside it, they’ll read it. Sending them mere details of products or updates is all very well and good, but the real way to turn those emails into sales is by ensuring that you are sending the client something worthwhile.


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You’ve successfully advertised for an open position (or hundreds), and you’ve gotten a strong response not just from job applicants but from qualified job applicants who can step into this role and make your organization shine.

There’s just one problem… Top quality applicants are always in high demand. So the perfect person for your job may be on the verge of getting an offer with another organization.

Is there anything you can do to sway them in your favor? Absolutely. As a recruiter or hiring manager, you have the power to make sure your top picks accept an offer with your organization over others they may be interviewing with, and it won’t always come down to paying more. Here’s where to start:

1. Put Your Best Offer On The Table

You won’t be a very successful hiring manager or recruiter if you consistently bring in candidates above and beyond the pay range you’re hiring for, so “pay more!” isn’t a strategy you can apply across the board. That said, it’s possible to mind your budget while coming right in with an aggressive offer from the start.

If you know you’ve found the right candidate for the job, consider how much it would cost to lose them: finding and replacing your second choice when they realize it’s not the right job in the long term, the lost opportunity from hiring someone with less experience or drive, and so on. You can avoid those expenses by bringing your best offer to the negotiating table from the start.

Can’t budge on salary? Think through other ways you can be flexible in advance, such as a one-time starting bonus, relocation costs, extra benefits such as time off, or partial-salary advance as a one-time bonus–anything you can do to show your ideal candidate that you want to make this work.

2. Pay Attention To The Tiny Details

As you vet candidates, your internal radar is reviewing all of the tiny details for fit, including commuting time, career growth, and values. But don’t stop at evaluating whether or not the candidate is a good fit for you–return the favor and help the candidate think through whether or not it’s a good fit for them by paying attention to and addressing all the tiny details that come up throughout the interview process.

For example, if the candidate comments on a lack of teamwork at their current job, emphasize how your company facilitates and rewards employees who help each other succeed. If the candidate is trying to avoid management responsibilities in favor of staying within a specialized career track (it happens–trust us!), speak to how you encourage and develop employees within their specialties when they choose not to advance into management positions. Every little detail helps the candidate form an attachment that can help them see themselves working for you.

3. Own Up To The Challenges

Whether you’re hiring for one of the Best Places to Work or a five-member startup, every workplace has its unique opportunities and challenges. By all means, entice candidates with what’s great about your company in the initial stages of the interview process, but toward the end of it you need to own up to the challenges, too. Not only will this transparency help a candidate make a decision that will be the best long-term fit, but being the recruiter or hiring manager who was honest and vulnerable will reflect well on your organization.

Here are several phrases that–when customized to your company’s situation–will show candidates you understand where they’re coming from:

  • “Working here can be intense, but here’s what our associates have accomplished in the past…”
  • “We know it will be a commute, but here are the perks we offer that will compensate for that…”
  • “We aren’t paying what Google pays, but here’s why our employees think it’s worth it…”.

4. Don’t Get Clingy (And Other Soft Skills No-Nos)

You wouldn’t go on a second date with a person who called and emailed you to check in on how much you like them every few days, would you? So don’t make that mistake with an in-demand candidate, either. Follow up when you say you will and keep the conversation warm and energetic–not smothering and frantic.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, don’t play it too cool or try to pressure a candidate into accepting an offer as is. Aloofness will only encourage a candidate to assume they’re not your first choice, and aggressive phrases like, “This is a very competitive offer, and it’s only available for seven days before we rescind it,” will have any candidate worth their salt rethinking the job.

Ready to make an offer? Keep these tips in mind, and the best candidate for the job is sure to say, “Yes!”

This article originally appeared on Glassdoor and is reprinted with permission. 


This article was written by Anisa Purbasari Horton from Co. Create and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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If the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl, Joe will wear a Patriots shirt to the office all day on Monday.  He will also need to take a picture wearing the Patriots shirt and eating a Boston cream pie donut. If the Philadelphia Eagles win, the owners of The Goddard School in Wayland, Amal and Reem, will wear Eagles shirts all day at work and take a picture eating a Philly cheesesteak. Wayland, MA and Joe Schumacher Super Bowl Challenge Post wayland-2

Goddard Systems’ VP of Marketing, Paul Koulogeorge shares digital thought starters for 2018 with Forbes Magazine.


Teaching Your Children About Money

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Boy with glasses smilingDo you remember being in your teens and your early twenties? Were you low on funds due to unnecessary spending? Help your children learn the value of a dollar in their younger years to help them save later in life. By setting up an allowance, you can teach your children to budget, save and learn the difference between needs and wants.

Offer your children an allowance and let them buy anything they choose with that money for a limited time. Afterwards, talk with your children about what they could have gone without to save money and what was right for them to purchase.

Make a budget with your children. Talk with them about how much they’d like to put in their savings accounts from each allowance and how much they want for personal use. Since young children don’t need to spend money on necessary items, such as food and clothing, be sure to explain that as they get older, they may have to spend their money on many other things that they need. That’s why this is a wonderful time to start saving.

Help your children stick to their budgets, and keep emphasizing how important it is to save money for what they need rather than what they want.