Backed by its strong presence across the Northeast, Lightbridge Academy aims to take its comprehensive solution for working parents south to Florida. And as the demand for high-quality child care continues to climb, the leading brand anticipates rapid growth.
Ongoing expansion is a top priority for Lightbridge Academy, which is why it plans to quadruple its size in the next few years. The brand recently identified Florida as a key target market to make those development goals a reality, and Lightbridge Academy is confident that its unique concept will catch on among business owners and consumers alike.
“Lightbridge Academy is in growth mode, and we’ve identified Florida as a market that perfectly fits our demographic and is prime for expansion opportunities,” says Mark Mele, the senior vice president of franchise sales at Lightbridge Academy. “I’ll be attending a show in Miami this June and am actively scouting out potential real estate and talking with franchise prospects.”
According to Mele, Florida boasts four target areas that fit Lightbridge Academy’s key demographics: Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and the Miami and West Palm Beach area. And Mele has already received many inbound inquiries from candidates in the state, highlighting the power behind its large referral network of franchisees in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
“We have interest from existing franchisees, which will help us launch in the Orlando market,” Mele says. “We are looking forward to getting our first Florida child care center operational. We feel confident that the demand will be high for the unique programs, services and support Lightbridge Academy offers busy working parents. Once franchise candidates learn more about our core values and Circle of Care philosophy, there’s no doubt our franchise family will begin to expand in Florida.”
The decision to expand in Florida is a strategic one. Using state-of-the-art real estate analytics tools, Lightbridge Academy was able to identify markets in the state that offer meet their specific demographic and psychographic profile matching markets where the brand has already proven itself to be successful. Dual income households, convenience to commuting routes, average household income and market demand were all taken into consideration and compared to areas where Lightbridge Academy is currently making a difference.
“Based on the success we’ve already experienced, I’m confident it will be a seamless move,” says Chris Weiss, Vice President of Real Estate and Construction. Weiss also notes that he sees positive indicators when reviewing opportunities in Florida. In addition to analytics tools, his team conducts site visits to ensure that the data supports what he sees in the market and exemplifies a prime location convenient for working parents with young children. Location is ultimately one of the main pillars of the brand’s success in a new market.
Lightbridge Academy’s Florida expansion plans include opening six to eight locations over the next two years. With the 2017 Franchise Expo taking place at the Miami Airport Convention Center between June 3 and 4, Mele sees an opportunity to jumpstart that timeline and meet potential Lightbridge Academy franchisees interested in opening a high demand educational child care business in a prime market.