Sheri Allain has a dilemma: sell, scale or franchiseFeaturing
Sheri Allain, Founder, Codezilla | Bruce Croxon, Managing Partner, Round 13 Capital | Ken Wong, Professor, Smith School of Business at Queens University | Paul daSilva, National VP, Franchise Financing, RBCPlay Episode
As a mother, Sheri Allain wondered why there wasn’t more focus on STEM for children, especially girls and why her children’s school had nights devoted to drama, music, arts and crafts, but not one on technology.
So Sheri created CODEZILLA to provide hands-on coding classes, camps and parties, and lunch and after school programs for kids ages 4 – 14.
Sheri’s business takes off as she isn’t the only parent asking the questions.
And then COVID-19 hits and hands-on becomes virtual? Sheri transforms her business only to find parents all over the world knocking at her door!
Has the business become too big and complicated? Sheri asks our experts Bruce Croxon one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs, Ken Wong one of Canada’s leading business professors and Paul daSilva RBC’s leading franchise expert for help. Should she sell, scale or franchise? After listening to her story and their advice what would you do?
Presented by RBC.
The perfect mix (01:22)
Sheri’s has both educator and entrepreneurial DNA flowing through her blood, her one grandfather was a Prairie school teacher and the other a successful businessman. With this and her desire to provide more STEM activities for school kids, Sheri continues the family legacy and starts her business, Codezilla, a business teaching kids to code.
The beginning – Hello World (03:51)
Hiring her first instructors in 2017, Codezilla immediately takes off – forty kids in four hours – first testing the idea and then quickly transitioning to charging for it once she realizes the demand is real. Initially reluctant to be the face of the brand, Sheri realizes that her opinion and points of view are valued by many and makes the switch to be front and centre. Codezilla is now in over 40 schools across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Offline to online – a rapid response (07:04)
COVID-19 forces Codezilla to change their delivery model, what was once face to face has to become virtual. Sheri and team responded quickly and within two weeks changed the entire business to online learning, learning as the went and making changes to enhance the experience. Her business grew rapidly but she also has her own kids to look after. Now Sheri has some decisions to make: Sell, scale or franchise.
Sell, scale or franchise? Our experts dial-in (10:49)
Paul daSilva, National VP, Franchise Financing, RBC offers great advice on Sheri’s franchising opportunities, key steps to take and where she can get assistance. Ken Wong, Distinguished Professor, Smith School of Business at Queens University, shoots straight and advises Sheri to chose what business she is in; and if she was to franchise she needs to standardize her people, process and props. Bruce Croxon, Managing Partner, Round 13 Capital, believes Sheri should rather scale her business and find a partner to help her do so.
Tony’s parting thoughts (25:21)
Although Sheri has a tough choice to make, franchising is not for Sheri. With the DNA of entrepreneurship and teaching, she should scale the business instead and find a partner to compliment her, allowing her to run her business and achieve a balance between her business and family life.
Links and References
Sheri Allain, Founder, Codezilla – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheri-allain-6b49b01/
Website – https://codezillakids.com
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/codezillakids/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/codezillakids @codezillakids
Twitter – https://twitter.com/CodezillaKids @CodezillaKids
Bruce Croxon, Managing Partner, Round 13 Capital
Ken Wong, Distinguished Professor, Smith School of Business at Queens University
Paul daSilva, National VP, Franchise Financing, RBC
RBC Business page – https://www.rbcroyalbank.com/business/index.html
RBC COVID-19 Financial Relief page – https://www.rbc.com/covid-19/business.html
To get specialized support for your business, visit – https://www.rbcroyalbank.com/business/advice/industry-expertise.html
Canada United – https://www.gocanadaunited.ca/
Follow Tony Chapman
Website – https://chatterthatmatters.ca
Twitter – https://twitter.com/TonyChapman
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonychapmanreactions/
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Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcGvzmw9MFkUcGylrFA2xCQ
By personalizing the stories of small business owners, we take their challenges personally. In each episode, thought leaders provide much needed inspiration, insights, and ideas, to help these heroes get to where they need to go. To learn how RBC is supporting small business, click here.