Avoiding the school holiday lull: maximising summer opportunities for education franchisees 
Summertime can be a challenging time for franchisees in the children’s education trade. As fewer people are out and about and families go on holiday, footfall tends to decrease, website visits are less frequent and acquiring new leads becomes more difficult. Slow summer sales are common for many small businesses, but even though revenue may be down, there are ways you can still grow your business and maintain it while taking some time for yourself. Here, David Kim, CEO of the kids coding franchise Code Ninjas, offers his tips to help children's education franchisees stay on track and maintain a competitive edge in the market during the summer season. 
Partner with schools and educational institutions 
Collaborating with schools allows you to co-create joint programmes that align with the educational curriculum or create extracurricular activities. This way, you can showcase the value of your offerings to teachers, students and parents, gaining their trust and endorsement. Schools often seek ways to enhance their students' skill sets and experiences, making them receptive to promoting your education programmes during school holidays. Additionally, such partnerships can give you access to school events, parent-teacher conferences and other gatherings, providing valuable networking opportunities. Schools' recommendations add credibility to your business, boosting your reputation and attracting more potential customers. 
Utilise online platforms and resources 
By embracing digital tools, you can expand your reach beyond your physical location and extend your services to students worldwide. Consider offering online courses, webinars or video tutorials students can access during the holidays. Online courses enable students to learn at their own pace, empowering them to fit education into their summer holiday plans. Webinars and live sessions create interactive learning experiences, allowing students to ask questions and engage with instructors in real time. Video tutorials provide a platform of educational content accessible at any time, serving as a valuable resource beyond the confines of a classroom. Online offerings can also be a cost-effective alternative for both the business and students, eliminating the need for physical classroom space and reducing travel expenses. 
Host an intern 
Offering internships to students who have just finished school and want to gain in-demand skills for the future is a great way to tie your business to the local community. Hosting an intern or job shadowing programme gives you a chance to teach leadership skills and provide mentorship while they complete a project closely related to your business goals. Many students will continue to work through the school year if you allow them to work after school or on weekends. Even if you can only keep them on for the summer, it is a great way to get a lot of work done and still impact their lives simply by giving them a job! 
Create a summer camp 
Summer camps offer an ideal solution for parents seeking engaging activities to keep their children occupied during the extended six-week break. They provide entertainment and fun but also create valuable opportunities for personal and professional development. As a children’s education franchise like Code Ninjas, summer camps serve as a platform to showcase your expertise, innovative teaching approaches and distinctive curriculum. By implementing these immersive and stimulating camps, they leave a lasting and positive impression on parents as you instil trust and confidence in the quality of your services as they witness it first-hand along with your commitment to their child's learning. 
To compensate for potential income loss resulting from regular membership pauses, education businesses can generate additional revenue through participation fees. This extra income can also be reinvested in the business’s expansion or facility improvements, further enhancing its reputation and attracting more customers over time. By capitalising effectively on the demand for engaging and educational summer activities, education businesses can transform the holidays into a lucrative opportunity that benefits both their financial sustainability and their ability to provide high-quality educational experiences. 
In the past, summer camps had more of a one-size-fits-all approach. At Code Ninjas, we wanted to change that. As a result, we have built camps with a wide range of outcomes and skill requirements. Each camp presents unique activities that allow our Ninjas – the name we give to our students – to develop new skills and have a great time with friends. This means that as a franchisee, you will be attracting a wide range of Ninjas with different interests and have all the tools you need to keep them coming back for more. 
Of course, it is important as a franchisee to take some time for yourself. While getting ready to take time off will require initial planning, it is manageable for every franchisee. Time away will help you re-energise and return to work with a clear mindset and fresh ideas. By implementing these steps, you can confidently enjoy your well-deserved summer break, knowing that your business continues to thrive even during the school holidays. 
David Kim is acting CEO of kids coding specialists, Code Ninjas. At locations across the UK, Canada and the US, kids learn to code in a fun, safe and inspiring learning environment. With a game-based curriculum, kids love to learn and parents clearly see results. 
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