Is a Kumon franchise for me?

A week in the life of a Kumon franchisee

Our franchisees develop each and every child to study advanced material using our Kumon worksheets. Kumon franchisees play a similar role to that of a coach or a mentor to children. They help students progress through the Kumon programmes at a rate that is just right for them, and assist students to become able to self-study by providing advice and guidance. Kumon franchisees also provide feedback to students and parents on their study goals and progress.

Here are some of our franchisees describing what a typical week consists of for them.

Tim — joined Kumon October 2011

Andrea — joined Kumon October 1997

Rovi — joined Kumon September 2010

Rovi

My Centre is open on four days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Tuesdays and Fridays are my busy days so we stay open until 7pm. On Mondays and Thursdays I close at 5pm. I tend to arrive at my Centre at midday and spend the first hour calling, texting and emailing parents who have had queries about their children, as well as making appointments to see parents and discuss their children’s progress. In the next hour, I do my paperwork and meet with my senior assistants. Usually we will discuss students that I need to see that day, as well as staffing matters. My Centre opens at 2:30pm for our preschool students.

During Centre time, I observe my students and spend time with students that I have decided I need to monitor that day. On Mondays and Thursdays after my Centre closes, I hold information sessions for new and prospective parents, conduct diagnostic assessments of my new students, and meet existing parents who have scheduled appointments.

I leave Wednesdays free to run errands and work on my business. Once a month on a Wednesday I attend our monthly professional development meeting, where I learn the latest information and equip myself with new techniques to instruct children. This is also a time to network with my franchise colleagues and learn from them.

It is important that I analyse my Centre and student cases to keep improving. I regularly do this together with my Franchise Development Consultant and I am also participating in voluntary professional development programs such as study groups and mentoring programs. These activities let me focus on the important parts of running a Centre and make my life easier on a day-to-day basis.

Occasionally, I will spend time out of hours promoting my business in the local community. Sometimes I hold a stall at local community events and share information about Kumon. I also go to the local library to continue to build the strong relationship I have with library staff.

I’m a father of four kids and my wife works full time, so we really need that flexibility in our daily lives. With this flexibility I can take my kids to school every day and participate in school activities such as sport and music. We leave weekends free for family time. We’re very active in our church so we give our weekend time to our church choir.

Being a Kumon franchisee is a full time job, as developing my students and my business takes time and effort. However, it is a job that gives me the flexibility I need for my family and the satisfaction of giving something to my local community as well.

Lucy — joined Kumon August 2012

Lucy

I run my Centre on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Once I have taken my children to school on Mondays and Thursdays, I organise student folders in preparation for the Centre that day. I then contact any parents I need to speak to and prepare notes to my staff for the day. Sometimes I will speak on the phone to my Franchise Development Consultant, Renita, to discuss any students that need particular attention. I will do these activities until I leave for my Centre around 2pm, squeezing in housework, meal preparation and errands in between. As my Centre days are very busy, I don’t usually do any work after I come home.

On the days when my Centre isn’t open, I will review students’ work, contact parents, organise my worksheet stock, plan my staff roster, prepare parent communication and promotional material, conduct parent orientation sessions for new parents and meet with existing parents to discuss their children’s progress. I am very lucky that I have my husband, Jimmy, to help me with administration and finance tasks.

Around once a month, I attend professional development sessions at the office. As well as our monthly meetings in our state branch, I attend workshops, study group meetings, mentoring meetings, and our annual conference because I want to take every opportunity I can to develop my skills. I also spend time on marketing activities for my Centre, such as preparing for our twice-yearly Free Trial campaigns.

What's great about Kumon is that my working hours are flexible. I can choose to work at night, which fits around my family commitments. I often work between 9pm and midnight, but I know that because I am not bound to be in the office from 9 to 5, I can choose to attend my kids' school events during the day without having to take time off or sneak out from the office. When my kids are sick, it is not a problem to me, as I can be at home with them and still get some work done too.

Wendy — joined Kumon August 2013

Joined Kumon: August 2013

Wendy

My Centre is open on two days each week, Monday and Thursday. On Mondays I run a preschool session at 10am. I drop my children off at school for 9am and head straight to my Centre to make sure everything is ready for when the preschoolers arrive. The preschoolers always put me in a good mood for the day! They finish at 11am and with my assistant, we correct their work and update their folders so we’re ready for their next session.

On Mondays and Thursdays I have a break for a couple of hours so I can come back fresh for the afternoon session. I go home, pick my children up from school and do all the usual running around. I normally arrive back at the centre around 3.20pm for any preparation that is needed, such as preparing worksheets for students who need to pick up work. Centre finishes at 7pm and we normally leave by 7.15pm.

On Tuesdays I normally spend the whole day at the Centre – I drop my children at school and go straight to Centre until around 3pm. During that time I follow up from the previous day, eg children who didn’t turn up. I might call any parents for follow-up on any questions or emails I’ve received. I check through the students’ folders to see if there was anything they might have been stuck on or anything I might need to address in the next class.

On Tuesday evenings I do testing and parent orientations once a fortnight. Sometimes on a Wednesday I will assess students (Diagnostic Test) before they start at Kumon. I like to keep Wednesdays free for meetings and professional development at the Kumon office. Thursday is the preschool class and the Centre day, so I do it all again on Thursday, and follow up on the Friday, similar to Tuesday.

I like to keep Saturdays free because, having four children who all do sport. I like to have time to support them. It works well for me to have weekends free.

I also try to schedule time each month for local area marketing activities in order to grow my business. When my Centre first opened, I was apprehensive about being able to recruit enough students so I put quite a lot of effort into promoting my Centre. This included making contact with local schools and letting them know of the services we offer. I participated in a few different community activities, including a craft event in the local shopping strip, and a reading event at a local shopping Centre. We promoted these events by handing out flyers at the local shopping strip and providing flyers to local schools. Now that we’ve been established for almost two years, I do feel it is important to continue with promoting my Centre. It’s just spreading the word and it’s been a major part of growing the business for me.

I’ve absolutely loved this last two years and I love that I’m able to run my own place and be my own boss. It’s also fantastic that there are only certain times I really need to be at the Centre and that’s during the class hours. For the rest of the time, I’m able to organise things such as parent meetings and new student testing around my family commitments, which is really nice to be able to do.