In this exclusive Q&A, we get to know Meggie and Buck Bradberry, Franchise Owners of Primrose School of Simpsonville at Five Forks.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Tell us about your professional background. What drove you to franchise entrepreneurship?
Meggie Bradberry (MB): My husband Buck and I were raised by very entrepreneurial parents, and their creative spirit, passion, and work ethic certainly rubbed off on us. My parents were the original founders of Primrose Schools and Buck’s parents were also entrepreneurs. So, when we were choosing career paths, it felt natural for us to go the entrepreneurial route.
Prior to opening our Primrose school, we founded a health consulting business focused on providing healthy eating alternatives for individuals and local businesses. I think those first years in business together were vital to our success when opening up our Primrose school here in Simpsonville—we learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how to balance our marriage and this business we were running together!
FC: How did you get the idea to start your own Primrose school?
MB: I grew up around Primrose—watching it develop and grow from an idea my mother sketched out at our kitchen table to a premier company with more than 300 schools from coast to coast. While it’s always been a part of who I am, I never thought that I would own my own school.
Then, when I was a health consultant, I worked with several preschools, including Primrose. I remember being so happy to be back in the warm, nurturing environment Primrose offers, and I had just learned that we were expecting our first child.
This got us thinking about our impact in our community and how we could make it a better place for our children. That’s where the idea of opening a Primrose school came from—it just felt right.
FC: What key criteria do you look for when evaluating potential business opportunities?
Buck Bradberry (BB): We absolutely focus on industry growth and if the demand is high enough in our area to sustain steady revenue. According to last year’s Franchise Grade report, the children’s services sector is ranked as one of the fastest growing franchise sectors in the country, growing at more than three times the average of other sectors.
When we were weighing this opportunity, we had peace of mind knowing that the growth in the children’s services sector is not going away and that we can forecast our cash flow to pay our bills every month—and that’s not always possible for entrepreneurs!
Thanks to the Primrose proven business model, we can predict regular revenue based on the number of students and weeks they are enrolled in our school.
MB: We also make sure any new business opportunity is aligned with our passions. Our first health consulting business was fueled by our passion for nutrition and health for not only our bodies but also for children.
Now, we’re still able to integrate our passion for healthy living with Primrose’s focus on helping children develop healthy bodies and through the balanced menus we offer in our school.
FC: What sets Primrose Schools apart from other private early education and care providers in your community?
MB: Parents can tell from the moment they walk into a Primrose school that their children will always come first. We have a very welcoming, family environment that exemplifies the premier early education and care we provide children.
What’s incredible from my perspective is how this culture and devotion to nurturing a love of learning in children from a young age hasn’t changed since my parents founded the company in the 80s. Children are the most important part of everything we do at Primrose—parents recognize that immediately.
We also offer our Primrose Balanced Learning® curriculum. Through this exclusive, research-informed curriculum, children engage in fun and purposeful play, guided exploration, and teacher-directed discussion to help them develop a strong foundation. Balanced Learning not only prepares children for success in school, but also success in life.
FC: What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
BB: Get ready! It’s an intensive yet rewarding process, but it is vital that you do your due diligence beforehand. Anyone looking into franchise entrepreneurship should visit as many franchise locations as possible, talk to existing franchisees and ask questions.
When we were looking at opening our Primrose school, we found that after visiting several locations, there were no two markets alike, so it’s important to get as many perspectives as possible and hear how other areas are successful.
The more we spoke with existing Franchise Owners and heard about their experiences, the better prepared we were to succeed.
FC: What is your favorite part about being a Franchise Owner for Primrose Schools?
BB: Aside from being a fun environment to work in every day, we are so fortunate to have the ability to make a meaningful difference in our community through a rewarding career. There’s no greater investment than one that enriches the lives of children.
MB: There’s never a dull moment and there are always amazing things happening in Primrose classrooms. For example, I love walking by a classroom with our three-year olds and watching a child have a breakthrough in a lesson they’ve been learning over the last few weeks, or seeing the personalities develop of each baby in the infant room. It’s the children that truly drive this organization and make everyday fun and different.
It’s also incredible to see some of the same things I watched my parents create still in action today. For example, I remember when I was little my mother sketching out the very puppets that we still use in our classrooms today to nurture character development.
I remember when she created the life skills curriculum and the “adopt a grandparent” program, which have been strengthened over time and are still practiced in Primrose schools across the country.
Remembering these moments that were so foundational to Primrose is priceless; and, I consider myself privileged for the ability to share these traditions and programs with the children in our community.
FC: Tell us about the level of training and support your franchisor provides.
MB: Primrose provides everything we need to thrive and grow – from extensive training, to a proven, trusted business model and a proprietary, research-informed curriculum that is executed through their unique systems approach. They are there every step of the way to ensure our success.
BB: And what’s more, the network of Franchise Owners within Primrose is an amazing resource. In fact, we emailed another Franchise Owner today with a question on their process for following up with parents after a tour. We’re really grateful for such a great community of peers who are more than willing to share best practices.
FC: How do you plan to further grow your business?
MB: Our goal currently is to grow our business by hiring amazing teachers and staff who will nurture our students, our school, and our community. We believe that once you have a team who is willing to go above and beyond because they love and believe in the mission of Primrose Schools, growth will happen naturally.
Of course we would love to open a second or third Primrose school sometime in the future; but, in the meantime, we are focused on providing excellent early education and care to our students and families, and an environment of growth for our staff.