Kiddie Academy: Case Study ~ Bill and Marina

Friday, March 23, 2012
We've all heard stories about corporate burn-out. Perhaps you've got one of your own to share. Grueling hours. Tedious work. Little personal time. It can get really old, really fast. I've been there. Bill and Marina Schmidt have been there as well. It was their time spent in corporate environments and their dissatisfaction with their respective corporate jobs that led them to open their own Kiddie Academy franchise. in 2008.

Bill and Marina Schmidt opened their Kiddie Academy franchise on March 31, 2008 at 4225 Concept Court, Bradenton, Florida, while in their mid-40's. The Schmidts have a passion for the business and believe whole-heartedly in “Community Begins Here.” With their dedication to superior customer service, commitment to education and focus on creating a warm, nurturing environment, the Schmidts have shown local families why Kiddie Academy stands apart from their competitors.

Background: With the birth of their daughter, Bill and Marina began looking for quality child care in their area, which turned out to be quite a challenge. As a Vice President of Human Resources for a Fortune 500 company, with a Master’s degree in early childhood education, Marina became dissatisfied with the corporate world and saw this as an opportunity to use her skills in an educational aspect. For Bill, a manufacturing engineer, opening a Kiddie Academy location meant bringing a much needed service to the area. The Schmidts were looking at child care franchise options for a little over a year before they decided upon Kiddie Academy. They found Kiddie Academy’s dedication to education and warm, welcoming approach to be the perfect combination.

Goals: Coming from the human resources field, having excellent customer service has always been a goal for Marina. Developing a staff that can provide the level of service the families deserve is important. They host new hire orientations, service trainings and monthly staff meetings, which include role playing. Both Marina and Bill continue to look for ways to go above and beyond for the families they serve, including help with resumes or locating jobs in the area.

Challenges: Like many new business owners, the Schmidts faced challenges. At the time of their opening, the economic market conditions were the worst in many years. Homes throughout Florida and the rest of the country were being foreclosed on and unemployment rates were at an all-time high. Nevertheless, the Schmidts persevered -- benefiting from an abundant work force, the fact that many previous stay-at-home moms were re-entering the workforce, and a supportive franchisor with a proven business model. Despite those issues, the Schmidts have become extremely successful.

Results: The couple’s passion and attention to customer service and community outreach has earned them a stellar reputation in the area, along with tremendous community and parent support. They have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback that has complimented their passion, service and programs. The Schmidts focus on grassroots marketing and initiatives, including events such as book readings, parent date nights and local partnerships have helped them achieve the success they are enjoying today.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed herein are mine and have not be influenced by Kiddie Academy.

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