Bach to Rock (B2R), America’s music school for students of all ages, just announced it has signed its first-ever franchise agreement to open a chain of music schools in New York and Connecticut. The first location is slated to open in the fall of 2012.
This expansion comes at a time when a combined 26 million viewers are tuning in every week to watch American Idol and The Voice. There’s no doubt that Bach to Rock is one small business greatly benefiting from America’s addiction to music TV shows, as well as video games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
At Bach to Rock’s six current locations in Greater Washington, D.C., kids as young as elementary school start bands and practice in “jam sessions.” They get to name their bands, dress how they want, and rock out to the music they love most, whether it’s Foo Fighters or AC/DC. With interest in learning how to play an instrument at an all-time high and more schools cutting their arts programs, Bach to Rock is one company that is poised for success.
Brian Gross, President of Bach to Rock, is no stranger to loyal readers of Franchise Chatter — we’ve spoken to Brian twice before. To learn more about Brian, please check out our first interview here.
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Franchise Chatter (FC): Congratulations on signing your first franchise agreement for Bach to Rock? Can you share some details of the newly signed franchise agreement with Amplified Capital Partners, LLC?
Brian Gross (BG): We are excited to welcome Amplified Capital Partners, LLC to the Bach to Rock family and look forward to the chain of new Bach to Rock schools they will open in New York and Connecticut. The first location is slated to open in the fall of 2012.
FC: What made you choose Amplified Capital Partners, LLC as your first ever franchise partner?
BG: Amplified Capital Partners, LLC’s management team possesses a unique combination of entrepreneurial, investment banking, and operations expertise which brings both capital and value-added executive management resources to our high growth franchise. Since they focus on opportunities in early-stage education, technology, and telecommunications services, we felt the fit was perfect.
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BG: We seek franchisees with strong drive, ambition, and a desire to succeed. Exceptional leaders with the ability to create a team and build relationships are sought. A music background is not necessary as a franchisee’s contribution will be leadership, not providing music lessons. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to build a business that is dedicated to helping children, seniors, and adults learn to play the music they love.
FC: Can you describe your franchisee approval process? How long does the entire process usually take?
BG: Qualified candidates tour our corporate schools and meet headquarters personnel during a discovery day. A franchisee can expect to open a school within four to six months after the discovery day.
FC: What are the financing options available to prospective franchisees of Bach to Rock?
BG: Private funds, small business loans, and other bank financing are popular franchise financing options.
FC: Can you tell us about the corporate infrastructure that you have in place to support the growth of your franchise system?
BG: We have a team of marketing, operations, education, curriculum, sales, training, IT, finance, and human resource experts at our corporate offices in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition, we are backed by Cambridge Information Group (CIG), an investment firm primarily focused on
education, research, and information services companies. Founded in 1971, CIG continues under the same family stewardship today, with a focus on building companies for long-term success. Headquartered in New York, NY and Bethesda, Maryland, CIG’s operating companies employ
more than 2,100 people in offices around the world.
FC: What geographic areas are you targeting for franchise expansion? What are your franchise growth targets for 2012?
BG: We are currently seeking candidates to open franchise locations on the East Coast, from Connecticut to Florida, and plan to broaden our efforts into markets across the country. With our first franchise agreement, we have doubled our system. We hope to triple it by year end.
FC: What made you decide to invest in a Bach to Rock franchise?
Glenn Fleischman (GF): Our research led us to conclude that music education was a market worthy of long term investment. In addition, we believe the business model allows us to achieve the returns on capital that we require. Finally, as musicians ourselves, the Bach to Rock franchise combines our passions for music, teaching, and business. We are thrilled to bring Bach to Rock’s unique teaching methods to more families across the East Coast, building a real recreational music community in the markets we enter.
FC: How many schools are you planning to open, and where? What are your criteria for finding the right location for each school? What is your projected pace of expansion?
GF: We plan to open a chain of schools in the suburban New York and Connecticut areas but we are not ready to announce the number of units yet. The first school will open in the fall of 2012 with subsequent schools to be quickly added in the coming months. We seek vibrant, dense suburban communities that value music education.
FC: What was your due diligence process like? During that process, did you discover anything about Bach to Rock that surprised you?
GF: We conducted a thorough due diligence process that involved evaluating the Bach to Rock management and team, building a financial model that met our investment criteria, and analyzing both macro and local trends that support long term investment in the music education industry. During the process, we were pleased to learn that Bach to Rock has been growing despite the current economic environment and continues to invest in product development to enable future growth. It was named one of the fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine with a growth of 1000 percent (1000%) over the prior three years.