Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you’re a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sophia Wasu and her husband, Ranjit, wanted to open a business that helped their community. As parents of two small children, they wanted to give back. The perfect opportunity fell into their laps when an Ocoee, Fla. Sylvan Learning Center location went on the market. Here’s what Wasu has learned over the last year, since becoming a Sylvan franchisee.
Name: Sophia Wasu
Franchise owned (location): Sylvan Learning Center, in Ocoee, Fla.
How long have you owned a franchise?
About a year.
We feel that through franchising, we gain a familiar brand name, and we immediately inherit the honor and distinction in our community that they have built in the industry and across the country over the past 30 years. We also get a great amount of support from not only the franchisor, but through a network of all the other franchise owners.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
Before we became franchise owners, I was working in a bank and my husband was an IT manager for a firm in London.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
We feel that this franchise helps the overall wellness of our community. We have two small children and wanted to do something that we would be proud of sharing with them.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
We took over an existing center, so we did not have to build a location from scratch. Therefore, our investment was very different from many other Sylvan franchise owners.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
Most of our research and information came from talking to other Sylvan franchise owners. We also went to a discovery day in Baltimore, at the Sylvan headquarters.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
I think because we took over the franchise from another couple, it was challenging getting our clients that were already registered on board with having new owners.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Make sure you do all your homework and find out all pertinent brand information.
What’s next for you and your business?
We are opening a new location in Dr. Phillips and starting it all on our own.