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Franchisee Spotlight: Kal Patel of Lightbridge Academy
Kal Patel left India as a junior in high school to become a business owner in America. After opening convenience stores and hotels in New Jersey, Patel has decided to further his entrepreneurial dream and has become a Lightbridge Academy franchisee.

Kal Patel is working to bring a new childcare company to Bergenfield, New Jersey: Lightbridge Academy, opening this September. Patel noticed the need for this unique and specialized childcare in the community and knew it would be a great fit for his next center. Unlike many early-child care services, Lightbridge Academy strives to foster an early educational experience for the kids.

Since the Bergenfield community is filled with families, Patel hopes to provide an easy, affordable, and beneficial service to the many growing families who are looking for childcare.

What were you doing before partnering with Lightbridge?

I immigrated from India when I was a junior in high school. After a few years of college, I left to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams. I invested in hotels as well as opening convenient stores and a whole sale tobacco company.

How did you learn about Lightbridge and what made you ultimately decide to commit?

I wanted to pursue other businesses and I also wanted to stay in New Jersey. I noticed that there was a demand for childcare services in the area. I began researching franchises because I don’t have a background in childcare. I came across Lightbridge and liked that they were local and communicative. After speaking with them several times I realized that they were a brand I could grow with.

Why is the Bergenfield community the perfect market for your Lightbridge business?

The area is great for the industry. There are a lot of childcare facilities in the area, but the affordability wasn't there for parents. Lightbridge offers an affordable option with educational value that is important to growing families.

What kind of marketing initiatives have you done so far to promote your new business?

We recently did a groundbreaking ceremony at the new location. Every time I open a center I invest in billboards and mailers as well as putting up signs around town. In addition to that, we also make it a point to get involved in the community by sponsoring a local soccer of little league team.

What advice would you give someone who is looking to open a Lightbridge Academy?

I would tell them a few different things: If you are opening a child care center you must be willing to take the risk. You are dealing with people most prized and precious possession, their children, so you must remember to never break their trust. You have to love what you are doing.

From the franchise side, the brand is good and I have no complaints. You must learn your location and make sure it is a right fit for the business. But the good thing about Lightbridge is they always pick up the phone, which is different than other brands and in this business if they are communicating with you on a personal level that is great.

Visit the International Franchise Association’s @OurFranchise website for more stories of passionate local franchise owners, employees and their communities.

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