Kumon’s Owner-Operator Franchise Model Offers Benefits

The allure of small business ownership centers around independence, flexibility and control. But the management styles of those operations can look vastly different. In the case of franchising, that ownership model will be dependent on the franchisor.

Education business owner-operatore standing opposite of a parent, consulting them on the best academic path for their child.

As a person who wants to get into franchising, do you know what type of owner you want to be?

Are you more hands-on? Do you want to manage from afar, or do you want input into daily tasks? Do you like having a career and being in control of everything? Do you like managing teams and taking a large overhead view of the business operation?

These are questions entrepreneurs need to ask themselves before investing in a franchise. Ultimately, it’s a partnership between you and the franchisor, which will have certain requirements of its franchisees.

In franchising, there are typically three types of franchisees: owner-operator, semi-absentee and absentee owner. While all offer control of the business function, the responsibilities of the daily operations can look different.

Kumon North America uses the owner-operator franchise model, which has many benefits for the owner. This type of ownership is ideal for those who want to maintain daily control over all facets of the business. It also works well for those who are first-time franchisees. It teaches them all functions of the business’s operations from the ground up.

That’s a style that works for many Kumon Instructors who transitioned from other careers in information technology, education and various professions to own their own business. With Kumon, they are able to maintain a career and make decisions as business owners on a daily basis. It’s the best of both worlds.

The owner-operator style appealed to Lydia Chan, the franchise owner of Kumon Center of Beacon, N.Y. She had worked for the New York City Department of Education for several years, focusing on special education, mainstreaming students and STEM programs.

She said a benefit of working in the franchise owner-operator model was that it combines the economic rewards of being an entrepreneur with her love of education. "I love to help kids learn that they can do anything and go anywhere," she says.

"Kumon gave me the opportunity to own my own business and not deal with so much bureaucracy," Chan adds.

Franchisees in the owner-operator model also benefit from a lower cost of entry into small business ownership. That’s because a lot of the costs associated with the opening of a new business fall on the franchisor. Kumon Instructors opening new centers in the U.S. are able to receive up to $37,100 in incentives that help with marketing, furniture, carpet, paint, signage and other items associated with starting a small business. As an owner, you also have the benefit of working with a team of people who want you to succeed and who you can rely on for advice.

And while Kumon’s Instructors are expected to serve dual roles as both business owner and Instructor, they also receive the necessary training. Whether they come from the corporate or education world, Kumon’s instruction for new owners is comprehensive for the owner-operator model.

“To me, it was an advantage to come in with a fresh set of eyes, as someone who has never done this or had a child who has done this,” Chan says. “I was able to put in processes that work for me.”

About Kumon Franchise

In business for over 60 years, Kumon is consistently ranked #1 in the education category by Entrepreneur magazine and this year, Kumon was ranked #6 in the Top Ten of the entire Franchise 500® list. Investment starts at less than $65,000 and Kumon offers up to $34,000 in incentives—veterans may qualify for an extra $10,000 bonus. Opening a Kumon Franchise is ideal for individuals with a passion for education and for helping kids. See if Kumon Franchise is right for you.

About Kumon Math & Reading Centers:

For kids from pre-K to high school, Kumon is a math and reading academic enrichment program that goes well beyond traditional tutoring, unlocking the potential of children to achieve more. Through daily practice, the individualized approach helps children develop strong math, reading, writing, and grammar skills. Students develop confidence, increase focus, and improve study habits. Kumon Instructors guide kids through their individual curriculums, helping them set and achieve goals.