Sue Bartman - CEO of Art Innovators

Author: rob@frantechmedia.com

Date: FEB 13th, 2012

Topic: Interview with a CEO

As an entrepreneur, I have created, owned, and operated a number of small businesses. My business experience, both as an independent and franchisee within three systems, has taught me to know and understand what our Art Innovators franchisees need. Also, as an administrator working within the corporate headquarters of several franchisors, I have attained a broad knowledge and appreciation of what the corporate office needs. To be certain, I truly believe if our franchisees succeed, the franchisor will succeed by default. At Art Innovators Corporate, we teach our franchisee partners how to run an efficient and profitable business. Our ongoing investment in creating proprietary software and tools that help automate otherwise repeated tasks, has enhanced our franchisees’ ability to focus on growing their business and maximizing their profit potential. As a result, the Art Innovators franchise support system combined, with our successful franchisees, have helped build the Art Innovators Brand to number one.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the Art Innovators concept.

Sue Bartman: Our programs are packed with extraordinary lessons that build life skills as well as creativity. We concentrate on building the “whole child.” Classes begin at age 2 and grow with students into their adult years. We began as an elementary afterschool art program and have grown to include art education for all ages. Our curriculum is entertaining, fun, educational, and never repeats. This keeps students coming back for years. Students succeed and create a masterpiece the first time using our simple methods. This success builds confidence. Students also learn techniques to relax, focus, and problem solve in each class, skills that aren’t usually taught.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Art Innovators?

SB: I found KidzArt by accident in 2005, their third year into franchising. I was hired as a business development and sales consultant. I attended a KidzArt class. I created a drawing that blew me away. I was stunned because I had never shown this level of skill before. I felt confident; I wanted to do this again. If this feeling of empowerment is how students felt, I wanted to be involved with helping this fantastic company grow.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Art Innovators?

SB: I owned three different franchises the 10 years prior to KidzArt. I worked in franchise development for 4 years. I learned how to build a solid business. That training helped me develop my own businesses. I made money on my terms and around a busy, growing family.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Art Innovators franchisee?

SB: I would say our advantages include:

  • Pay only $5000 and defer ½ of the franchise fee for 2-4 years (no interest & no payments)
  • Our “no repeat“ yearlong curriculum plans for ages 2 -18 are already completed
  • We have all the supporting material you will need
  • Varied revenue streams
  • Repeat customers, longevity and retention of revenue streams
  • Customized and individualized monthly 3 year business projection plans (help you see exactly where you are and what needs to be done to reach YOUR goals.
  • Best practices to success step by step manual
  • On-Boarding – a two (2) week preopening step by step stART up check off list and support gets you started on the right foot.
  • 4-5 days of training at corp. office covers business management, classrooms, mediums, marketing, etc.
  • Best practices step by step proven marketing program
  • Unlimited calls to expert support staff
  • Proprietary operation software’s save money and time in growing your business
  • Support software “it is like they are right in my office with me” allows support experts to see your computer and provide exact support or steps to use our software, computer set up, accounting, etc.
  • Eight (8) weeks follow up training support calls to keep you on target
  • Monthly webinars
  • Video training help you get up to speed quickly
  • Training conference, etc.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

SB: A positive individual or couple that will follow our proven steps to success. Just learn and grow the first year. No previous teaching, art or business experience necessary. We provide complete training.

BTB: Tell us a little about the after school art Market?

SB: Parents are willing to invest in an art edu-tainment (fun, education, and entertainment in one). Art classes that “WOWs” students and teach skills like problem solving, relaxation and focus that help children throughout their life. Families, Schools, and Communities need after school class to keep students from being home alone, unsupervised for hours. Promise America supported by Colin Powell indicates more than 60% of students in America are home alone after school. We have a large market for growth.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

SB: Our program transitions in every language and continent we have tried. I love reaching and helping students around the globe feel confident and successful. I enjoy helping and training people to make money. This is a great business and positive influence on students everywhere.

BTB: Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?

SB: No mentor. Experience has been my greatest teacher.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

SB: A franchise system gives you an advantage by educating you on the cost and steps to make it to profitability. Most businesses take 2-5 years to reach a Return On Investment or ROI. You are more likely to survive in a franchise system because the Franchisor (corporate office) will have a plan of what, when, and how to spend money to reach success. A Franchisor makes money if the franchisees in the system stay in business. But PLEASE, match yourself to the business, with its lifestyle limitations that are necessary to build the business you choose. You are looking at investing 2-5 years of your life and your family’s life. Base your purchase decision on the total investment you have to work with, life style, family support and understanding of the time you need to invest and eventual income potential you want. Talk to franchisees in the systems you consider. Know how long it took them to reach profitability or get a ROI. Make sure you follow the successful franchisees in the business you consider. Know the profit margins and the biggest mistake to ROI. You will discover that most business profit margins are smaller than you would think. In our business the quickest way to profit is to fill the seats in each class. A restaurant is the highest number of table turn overs at their peak time. Each business has a simple formula. Find it.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that Art Innovators would be a great opportunity for someone?

SB: We offer many revenue streams to earn profit from. We have high retention and longevity of students (your customers), the low cost of business startup, deferred payment options, flexible work hours, great demand for afterschool classes, no real estate or high rent fees to pay, bulk buying rates for marketing and products, our customized training, software that reduces hours of work, how to operate in easy to follow steps, unlimited support, all the artwork and teaching guides, all marketing and supporting materials are easy to find and use. High return potential for the hour you teach.