On this episode, I am honored to be joined by Early Education pioneer Carol Levins to the show. Carol created a school from nothing and ended up with a business that now has 14 locations, serving over 3,500 children. Carol talks about how a passion for learning sparked her path in education, how she crafted her teaching positions to elevate her teachers and keep them for 20‒35 years, how her door to door marketing led her to get to know the families on a personal level, and her advice for exiting a business. Her and I also talk about how to know when it’s time to walk away vs. when to hang on, overcoming challenges that arise during growth, and why consistency in branding matters.
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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:
- [10:16] Carol explains how she ended up diving into the ECE industry and how her passion and excitement has grown for it over the years.
- [14:56] Carol shares what her exit journey from the industry was like when she decided to in February 2017 and what she had learned from that experience.
- [17:21] Carol and Kris talk about the importance of branding.
- [20:01] Carol shares what she has done culturally and operationally to maintain consistency throughout her 14 different schools?
- [23:30] Carol talks about overcoming the challenges and adjusting to growth and expansion.
- [23:33] Carol shares how she gained the nickname of “the form master.”
- [25:48] Carol and Kris dive into how Carol remodeled her schools inside and out, and how was able to overcome the pushback that her staff gave her at first for it.
- [27:48] Carol and Kris share what they believe is the biggest difference between owners that can scale and be successful and those that stay small.
- [29:00] Carol shares what she looks for in a franchisee.
- [33:40] Carol explains why it’s so important for owners to create a strong mission statement, and what she believes that every mission statement of a quality program should touch on.
- [34:44] Kris and Carol discuss ways to build the culture in your program and how building up the loyalty in your program will help its success.
- [43:45] If you want loyal staff, you’ve got to be a loyal owner.
- [50:12] Every child matters, even if you are full. Carol reminds us that every single person that inquires about your school is just as important as the first child that enrolled in it.