Arcadia Academy of Music- Spotlight on a Franchisee, Darryl Hillock
BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about your background and experience?
Darryl Hillock: In 2003, I went to school for production and engineering. I used that education to pursue a career as a freelance studio musician and engineer. After freelancing for a while, I evolved my aspirations and opened my own studio, "Bluewater Studio". There, my role was that of general manager and chief engineer for about three to four years. Following that experience, I started teaching music at Arcadia for a couple of years where I was able to build a roster of approximately seventy students.
Since I was working there anyways, I then decided that it was time to use all of my experience and put it to better use by taking advantage of a franchise opportunity with Arcadia. An existing school in Newmarket, in much need of improvements in operations, became available. I made the decision to take on this challenge and converted a school with a mere 60 students to a growing entity of 200 students over a period of 2 years.
BTB: Why did you choose Arcadia Academy of Music?
DH: While teaching at Arcadia, I was impressed with the children's progress and felt that this would be an area I would like to capitalize on. The school offered a structured learning environment with a viable business model. I did have other options which I explored but Arcadia Academy of Music presented the best turnkey business option, and what would prove to be an excellent fit for me.
BTB: What did you like about Arcadia Academy of Music?
DH: I liked that the system had a recognized methodology to syllabuses and learning procedures.
BTB: How long have you been with Arcadia Academy of Music?
DH: I have now been with Arcadia Academy of Music for ten years, seven of those as a franchise owner at the same location in Newmarket. I have reached the point where I need to expand my facility either by adding space or moving, in order to add a performance area, more classrooms, and a recording studio.
BTB: Has it been a sound franchise investment?
DH: Owning an Arcadia Academy of Music franchise has given me the financial ability to acquire the things I need to build a family and a good life.
BTB: What satisfaction have you derived from running the school?
DH: Seeing young children grow and develop into well rounded young people gives me great satisfaction. I believe in the adage that "music can save young people's lives". Above all that, the business element of running a school is truly rewarding.
BTB: What are your thoughts on the franchise system?
DH: I have heard horror stories about other franchisors in other systems and concepts. I have known the franchisors for a very long time. Pat and Maurizio absolutely get it. Their vision is clear. They re-energize the franchisees time and time again. They are hands on and maintain an open door policy with their franchisees.
BTB: Would you recommend the franchise opportunity to others?
DH: To put it very simply, I would, I have, and I will.
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