Small Business Spotlight: The Learning Experience

Who: Richard Weissman, @TheLearningExp

When: 2002

Where: Boca Raton, FL

What: A preschool franchise

How: The Learning Experience CEO Richard Weissman says his father started the original Learning Experience preschool in 1980, selling it in 1987.

“I was in high school and worked as the janitor, cleaning the building after football practice,” says Weissman.

After going to college and working in investment banking, Weissman decided to restart the company in 2002.

Today, there are 134 operating units, 70% of which are franchise-owned. Weissman says the company adds between two and four centers a month.

Biggest challenge: Weissman says the preschool industry is slow to adapt new technologies; to remedy that, he recently invested $1 million in technology for both franchises and internal use.

One moment in time: Weissman says he’s proudest of the team he’s put together, many of whom have been working with his family for decades.

Best business advice: “I take everything under advisement, but I make the decision … Don’t let individual franchisees dictate what they want to do. You need to maintain the quality of the system,” says Weissman.

Follow Gabrielle Karol on Twitter @GabrielleKarol