Posted on Jun 2nd 2017
When Michael and Babz Barnett founded Romp n’ Roll, they were looking to meet a need in the early education market. As parents of young children who wanted to find fun, varied early-education classes for their own kids, Michael and Babz were disappointed at the offerings in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia. So, they set out to create a place for kids and their parents that offered a wide variety of high-quality classes led by enthusiastic, well-trained instructors in a clean, safe, whimsical environment. Romp n’ Roll’s first location opened in October 2004. Today, Romp n’ Roll has more than 110 locations in multiple countries.
Over 10 years later, and Romp n’ Roll continues to grow. Our franchise is a welcome addition to any community, serving children and their families with the best in education and enrichment activities. We’re looking for business-savvy franchisees with a passion for early education to help us expand our network of franchises across the U.S.
“Our ideal franchisee is someone who has both head and heart,” CEO and co-founder Michael Barnett says. “We don’t want investors who don’t have a passion for young kids and early education entertainment, and we also don’t want folks who have early childhood experience but no entrepreneurial or business background. Our ideal candidate is one who understands the need to have a business-focused person working with a person with an education background.”
To get a perfect example of what we look for in Romp n’ Roll franchisee candidates, take a look at franchisees Stacey Centurelli and Meredith Myers. After working in special education for 13 years, Meredith noticed a need for a place that could help children develop their motor, social and language skills. Her education background matched perfectly with Stacey’s business background and desire to own a rewarding business that would let her spend time with her children. Watch the video below to learn more about Meredith and Stacey’s experience.
Besides a passion for early education and a strong business background, there are a few other characteristics that define a strong Romp n’ Roll franchise candidate.
Our ideal franchisee candidates should want an opportunity that provides independence, flexibility and leadership. Prior experience managing people and running a business are a huge plus. You should be driven to provide a quality lifestyle for yourself and your family and recognize that being a Romp n’ Roll franchisee represents a unique opportunity to provide such a lifestyle.
Take, for example, franchisee Marie Simmons. Marie, a single mother, was looking for a rewarding career that was also conducive to parenting her young son. Starting a Romp n’ Roll franchise was the perfect solution for her. Owning her business in Winter Garden, Florida, has exceeded her expectations, as she opened with 100 parents already signed on as members.
In an interview with the West Orange Times & Observer, Marie explained how rewarding running the business has already been. “We have been extremely busy from the minute that door opened,” Marie says. “It’s been great. The community has had a really good response to it and every person that has come in seems to love it, so we’re really happy at how things are going.”
Romp n’ Roll franchisees are comfortable multi-tasking
Our centers are busy and owners should be able to be comfortable switching hats frequently throughout the day and sometimes even wearing more than one hat at a time! This could be anything from taking a call from a potential client to jumping right in alongside your staff to provide inspiration and leadership. Successful Romp n’ Roll franchisees embrace and thrive on this dynamic aspect of our business.
Romp n’ Roll owners are good networkers and get the business involved in the community by partnering with other local businesses, moms clubs and charitable organizations. The ability to build these relationships is crucial for the overall success of your Romp n’ Roll franchise, especially in the early stages as you build your reputation and attract your first clients.
Romp n’ Roll is a “people” business. You must be able to hire, train and retain a top-notch staff to bring the Romp n’ Roll curriculum to life. You must also possess excellent customer service skills to delight parents and their children on each and every visit to your Romp n’ Roll center. Ensuring that your customers have a positive experience will be the lifeblood of your business, driving referrals and maximizing customer retention.
In most communities, there are young families eager to partake of the services Romp n’ Roll offers, and there’s no direct competitor.
Michael Barnett is the Co-Founder and CEO of Romp n' Roll. In addition to leading the Romp n' Roll management team, Michael is an active member of the International Franchise Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and serves on the Board of Directors for Connor's Heroes and Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He and his wife, Babz, were featured on the first season of ABC-TV's Shark Tank.