Kevin & Leisha Baker are a fast-growing Club Z! franchise in Springfield, MO and our first Franchise Spotlight of 2019! Read more to learn about their insights into the industry, their territory and what excites them about the future.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of owning a franchise?
We love the support we get and the relationships we have built with the Club Z! corporate office. When we started our business, we could hit the ground running instead of figuring out every aspect of running a business.
Q: What were some of your biggest challenges in developing your franchise? How were you able to overcome or solve them?
As with any business, knowing where to spend our marketing dollars was one of the biggest challenges. We now have a better idea of what works best and certainly what does not work. We know our local market much better now! We also had to learn how to manage growth. We now are way more proactive than reactive when our business takes on a growth track. We have to stay ahead of hiring, marketing, and school visits!
Q: What is something you focus on to make your business thrive?
Relationships, relationships, relationships! We want referrals, so we constantly work on better and more consistent follow up with our clients. Our business also took a significant upturn when we hired EC’s to handle consultations. We also keep a keen eye on our financials. We create a detailed plan at the beginning of the year and we use this as our road map for success!
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment as a franchise owner?
The obvious one is student success! We LOVE when a parent calls to share what a difference we have made. We are also proud that we have been recognized twice by our local business journal in their Economic Impact Awards. In addition, we recently won the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Business Ethics.
Q: What makes you excited about the future?
We believe we have not yet hit our full potential. As we grow, and as additional features come along for Club Z!, we know our future is great!
No matter how you look at it, college is an expensive proposition these days. Both public and private colleges and universities have had to raise fees and tuition as costs have increased. As a result, college student debt has skyrocketed and many students end up with loan payments years, sometimes even decades, after graduation. But with some careful planning and creative thinking, there are lots of other ways to help pay for college and avoid being stuck with big loan payments after graduation. One final but important step in the college application process is to include an application for financial aid.
As parents, and grandparents for that matter, we consider it to be a bit of a rite of passage to tell our children just how easy they have it compared to what we went through at their age. File this under the “when I was your age, I had to walk 2 miles to school each day, uphill both ways” category.
For any parent of a college-bound student, SAT and ACT test scores are no doubt at the center of most dinner table discussions. While no one will argue that test scores alone are the deciding factor in college admissions, and many colleges are moving toward a test-optional admissions policy, strong scores on the SAT and or ACT can definitely help a student’s chance of gaining admission to his/her college of choice.