Choosing the Right Franchise, Educational Franchises

Niche Franchises

istock-specialistAre you a specialist or a generalist? When you think about which franchise business opportunity to pursue, you’ll find that there are plenty of options for specialists. If you have a specialized skill or devotion to a particular cause, it’s worth looking into some of these niche franchises.

Consider a highly specialized franchise like Brain Balance.

Brain Balance is a franchise geared directly towards families with children who have learning and neurological disabilities like ADHD, autism, or dyslexia. Founded by Dr. Robert Melillo, a researcher who studies childhood neurological development disorders like autism and ADHD, Brain Balance creates an individualized approach to solving the unique challenges of each individual child’s life. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows a 57% rise in autism between 2002 and 2006, meaning there is an increasing need for solutions to the problems families face when their children suffer from neurological disabilities like autism.

Brain Balance aims at improving academic performance, like other tutoring franchises, but also helps children improve social abilities, cognitive functions, sensory & motor skills, visual-spatial organizational skills, and immunity & nutritional health. These other areas are the biggest points of difference in the Brain Balance approach. Where other tutoring franchises stop at skills like math and reading, Brain Balance hopes to get to the root issues that affect children with neurological disorders. This approach, Brain Balance’s founder claims, is more effective than just old-fashioned tutoring, which doesn’t always work for children with neurological disorders. Brain Balance answers the needs of a niche community like no other business can.

Not only does a niche franchise often serve an underserved portion of the population, niche franchises typically face less competition than more general categories. For instance, there are many other franchises for tutoring, such as College Nannies & Tutors, Tutoring Club, Huntington Learning Centers, and Fastrackids. While each of these other franchises has a specific take on tutoring, they don’t serve a specific segment of the population the way Brain Balance does. What this means is that general interest tutors compete more heavily against other general interest tutors, whereas Brain Balance tutors have less competition for their specialized services.

Other franchise areas have similar situations. For example, there are a number of general IT support franchises, and then there’s Cartridge World which specializes in remanufactured cartridges for printers.

There are general maid and janitorial services, and then there is Puro-Clean, which focuses on restoration following disasters.

Highly specialized niche franchises can often charge more for their services, too. The perception is that a specialist is more highly trained and more, well, special than a generalist. While business owners sometimes hesitate, especially when they first open their shop, a franchise can benefit from the higher value perception of a specialist business from the beginning.

In nearly any field, there are both general and specialized options. Niche franchises can be the best choice for businesspeople who are passionate about a particular issue or have specific skills, but they can also be a good choice based on market size and competition in your neighborhood.

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