- Lynn Ann Zazzali is a former public college teacher who purchased her first franchise location of The Learning Experience in 2006 with a mortgage from her household.
- After three years of enterprise, she repaid the mortgage and now owns eight TLE areas within the better New York metro space.
- Business Insider spoke with Zazzali about why she selected to companion with a franchisor, and the way she was in a position to translate that relationship into her present success.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for extra tales.
Lynn Ann Zazzali became an entrepreneur the best way many others have — she turned necessity into alternative.
After 12 years as a public college teacher on a profession observe to turning into a principal, Zazzali determined to take a totally different path and turn into a enterprise proprietor.
She had seen a lot as a teacher, from excessive faculties in tough communities to quieter elementary faculties, and he or she’d earned a pair of Masters levels.
The scales tipped when Zazzali was in search of childcare for her then-preschool-aged son and toddler daughter.
“It was just a difficult process,” she informed Business Insider. “I’ll admit, I actually started crying on some of the tours because the thought of leaving them with complete strangers was really daunting to me.”
That’s when her father steered beginning a enterprise.
A household affair
“We explored all different franchises, and we also explored opening our own [brand]. I have an education degree, I have knowledge of, the content, so it made sense,” Zazzali stated.
But when Zazzali and her father met The Learning Experience founder Michael Weissman and his son Richard, she was impressed by their ardour for constructing a neighborhood round childhood schooling.
“You can tell by meeting them that they’re vested in their company, and that it’s not just a business, but it’s a family,” she stated.
So in 2006, backed by a mortgage from her father, Zazzali signed on as a franchise proprietor of a new TLE location that opened a little over a 12 months later in Waldwick, New Jersey.
Developing confidence on the job
Having her household’s hard-earned money on the road proved to be vastly tense for Zazzali, who started to endure sleepless nights worrying about letting her family members down.
Things obtained so tough she requested the Weissmans about getting out, and so they referred to as her and her father into the workplace for a assembly with the company group.
Sitting across the a convention desk, Zazzali recollects Michael Weissman saying, “We believe in you, and we know that you can do this. People like you — who really do have everything to lose — fight even harder.”
“And he was right,” she added, saying that he gave her his private cellphone quantity to name if she suffered one other 2am disaster.
The pep-talk labored.
The following 12 months Zazzali was acknowledged because the TLE franchisee of the 12 months, and inside three years of working her enterprise, she managed to pay again her father.
The significance of location
In addition to its instructional curriculum, TLE boasts a proprietary actual property growth technique that guides the company workplace’s number of new websites.
That was a enormous benefit for Zazzali, who defined that industrial actual property and zoning permits are particularly tough to navigate in New Jersey, and have a important bearing on the success of a enterprise.
When she observed new TLE areas popping up close to hers, she requested Richard Wessman if there was a new alternative for her. There was, and shortly after these doorways opened in 2016 there have been much more.
In reality there have been many greater than that — TLE has added 62 models prior to now three years, in accordance with Entrepreneur — so Zazzali obtained a checklist of accessible areas within the better New York metro space and went exploring.
Now Zazzali is the proprietor of eight TLE areas, three of that are nonetheless below building, however all financed utilizing the returns from her authentic middle in Waldwick.
Using economies of scale to supply personalised service
More than actual property choice, Zazzali says a key benefit of working with a bigger firm is that it permits her to focus extra on serving her purchasers and fewer on maintaining with altering applied sciences and curricula.
“Something that a lot of families tell us is that when you walk in the doors, you feel like you’re part of a family,” she stated.
That’s made simpler because of sturdy instructional programming that Zazzali trusts, in addition to up-to-date classroom tech and buyer relationship administration instruments.
“We all have the same curriculum, and we hold each other to the same policies, procedures, and standards, but we’re all going to have that unique culture,” she stated.
After all, with actual limits on classroom capability, TLE’s enterprise will depend on getting the non-public contact good in order that households signal on and keep related all through their kid’s schooling.
“When we have conversations or staff meetings, we always say our field is very different because we really can’t make mistakes. You just can’t,” Zazzali stated.
In a enterprise like that, it is simple to see why you would not wish to go it alone.