Kevan Wright was nominated for a 2022 Rock Star Award by the Huntington Learning Center franchise leadership team under the Millennial Franchisee category. He was chosen by Franchise Business Review from among 200+ nominations for his outstanding achievements as Huntington Learning Center franchise owner in Miami, FL.
What advice do you have for someone considering investing in a franchise?
Choose something that you enjoy doing because you’ll be spending lots of hours making sure it’s successful. It requires 100% commitment. Also, do your due diligence beforehand to make sure that it’s a profitable franchise business.
If you could start all over again, which mistake(s) would you avoid? What were your best decisions?
If we could start all over again, we would put more emphasis on setting clear limits/policies with our clients upfront. From day one I would also prioritize all of my operations reports. To date our best decisions have been:
- Creating a clear division of responsibilities among staff
- Trusting but verifying that those responsibilities are fulfilled
- Setting up clear and ongoing communication to facilitate the verification process
- Listening to higher-ups at Huntington as well as fellow franchisees about how to be successful
- Avoiding hubris to the best of our abilities
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as a business owner?
Our biggest challenge has been learning how to create and maintain a strong, cohesive team that navigates the ups and downs together.
Is there a book or podcast that has helped you in starting or building your business?
My wife loves a podcast called Libros para Emprendedores (Books for Entrepreneurs), and before I bought the business I read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
What is your proudest achievement in your franchising career so far?
Creating both a positive learning environment and a positive work environment. For us, there’s nothing more thrilling than seeing a student get a scholarship because of a great SAT/ACT score or speaking with excited parents who tell us they’ve seen an incredibly positive transformation in their child! Also, hearing our tutors tell us how much they like working in our center.
What was your work history before you entered franchising? How did you apply prior skills to your franchise?
My wife used to work for her father on his shrimp farm in Ecuador. She said they hardly ever had a day off on that job, something new franchisees can anticipate in their first year too, if our experience has taught us anything! That work ethic made it an easy transition for her as she’s thrown her passion and dedication into our center. I had a decade of teaching experience under my belt before becoming part of the Huntington family. So I came in with a very good understanding of the importance of being prepared and direct when talking to a parent about their child’s education.
Did the pandemic and recession impact your business? If so, what were the lessons learned from the experience?
We bought a somewhat struggling center in June of 2021, and by that point things were starting to look up. The center had been affected by the pandemic and, to us, that emphasized the importance of having a virtual component to our services.
What do you like most about your franchise organization today?
Simply put, the support. I meet with my Franchise Business Consultant three times a week, a curriculum coach once a week, and use Huntington’s Virtual Conferencing services for the majority of my enrollment conferences among several other things
Why do you think franchising is a good option for Millennials?
Franchising has the potential to be a good fit for anyone. However, it’s especially good for Millennials in 2022 because of our current age. We’re entering into the early stages of our prime working years and franchising offers us a wonderful opportunity to set ourselves and our families up for success in the future.
How do you think the Millennial generation will change the future of franchising?
Millennials are flexible and open-minded. We’re accustomed to adapting to cultural and political changes throughout a couple of years’ time as opposed to every decade or so like previous generations. My wife and I hope this resilience and versatility allow Millennials to take franchising (and business in general) down a path that puts even greater importance on ethics and trust-building.