Interview with Tracy Richardson of ScopeIT Education
An Australian Franchisor Interview
Franchisors name: Tracy Richardson
Name of franchise: ScopeIT Education
Overview on ScopeIT:
"ScopeIT is the leading national company in the education of IT, one of the fastest growing sectors in education. ScopeIT is focused on the delivery of course work that teaches coding and other technology based content to primary school children. We pride ourselves on providing educational courses developed to exceptionally high standards of quality in line with the Board of Education’s general standards. This ensures a level of trust and confidence with our clients to help their students develop an understanding and skill set of real value and where possible to correlate with the curriculum recommended by the Department of Education.
The franchise business itself is very rewarding and can be very profitable. As a ‘manage from home’ business, it allows franchisee’s outstanding opportunities in profit making, but also lifestyle and flexibility with excellent working hours and unprecedented holidays for a business owner. The franchise system marries perfectly with the business and we expect to be one of the fastest growing franchises in 2015/2016."
Tell us about how/when the business was started and the motivation behind establishing the company.
Having been involved in the Franchise sector for 10 years, a group of my colleagues and I knew we wanted to be involved in educating children. We have a passion for IT and technology and wanted to develop something that handed that ability onto children.
With several off us having children ourselves and understanding the amount of time they spend on digital devices, we knew we had to develop a product that encouraged them to learn how to make those apps or build those websites and not just consume them. ScopeIT has really been a labour of love as we developed our dream into a tangible solution that would cause parents and educations to believe that what we deliver needs to be passed to their children.
When and why did you decide to go down the franchise route?
"Early on as we developed the product, we knew we would not be able to build the resource to deliver this to as many Australian children as we wanted to. We firmly believe that every single child should have access to a comprehensive IT education and we knew that finding our teachers (or Scopers as we like to call them!) in every place there is a school was important."
The only road to achieve our reach was franchising. We have a strong history in franchising so we know the strengths and weaknesses of the business model but we can’t have kids missing out because we can’t reach them!
What have been ScopeIT Education's biggest achievements/successes to date so far?
By far the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received from school principals who we have consulted has been a huge achievement for us. Very early in the development phase we engaged the services of a PhD in Education with experience in writing curriculum to ensure we would be embraced by Australian professional educators and it appears we have nailed it!
What challenges have you had to overcome?
Deciding where to start in terms of courses has been quite the challenge. There are just so many places we can take this and we know that every day there are new developments in the IT and technology sector. We have decided to simply start at the basics and let each individual school decide which direction they want to take things depending on their current subjects. We’ve covered many different aspects and will continue with a strong focus on research and development as the years go by.
What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
We are going to take this to school principals and key decision makers in schools. We want them to see that we have the answer to the hottest topic in Education right now. There are websites, magazines and expo’s that we know Educators go to for answers and we plan to be there talking to them!
What differentiates ScopeIT from the competition?
We are not planning on a small operation that passes this knowledge on to kids who attend after-school care programs or holiday clubs (even though we can do this too). We know that every child will need this knowledge in some form in their future and we want to touch those kids who don’t even know they have an interest or natural ability in this area yet.
"We are going into schools; we want to reach every child regardless of socio-economic background or demographic. We are educators, not somebody with an interest willing to share the knowledge in our own way."
In your opinion, what makes a successful ScopeIT franchisee?
We believe that our most successful franchisees will have a passion for teaching children. They won’t necessarily have a particular skill set in the IT sector but they will love keeping up with the latest gadgets, apps and devices. The syllabus is written for children to learn so we know that if we find franchisees who love teaching kids and love IT and technology we will have our guy (or girl)!
What changes have you seen in your industry over recent year? And how have you adapted to them?
We have seen change since we started developing content and we will continue to see change every year as we move forward. Constant research and development is the core of our business and developing courses that meet the latest developments in the technology sector will be our focus. Of course, we also have an interest in the latest developments in the Education sector as well but we definitely have our fingers on the pulse!
What does the future hold for ScopeIT Education?
The future is bright! New kids every year to enlighten, new developments in teaching and IT and technology, the possibilities are endless. We don’t even know what the future holds for ourselves or our franchisees at this point, they haven’t developed it for us to teach yet! Maybe one day we will be teaching something one of our Scope kids has developed!
What expansion plans have you got nationally and internationally?
"We want to reach all Australian children. We want to give every single one of them the opportunity to leave school with this essential knowledge. We will start with a few key areas and the right franchisees until we see we have the system just right. Then our wings will spread everywhere and all going well, let’s see what we need to do to get this to the children across the world!"
What advice would you give to someone considering franchising their business?
If the intention is to franchise a business then there needs to be an understanding on both sides of the agreement. The Franchisor needs to understand that franchisees have paid money to access a system that you need to support and maintain.
Franchisees need to understand that their success depends on the strength of the brand they represent. Work together, acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses and know that you both ultimately want the same thing.
To request ScopeIT's FREE and non-obligatory franchise prospectus, click here.Request information on franchise ownership of ScopeIT Education franchise