Greg Helwig is president of the Kiddie Academy franchise in Abingdon. With an interest in franchising dating back to his days in the optician retail business, Helwig says he immediately jumped at the opportunity to transition into the education franchise field when the opportunity presented itself.
Helwig holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Kean University where he minored in business. He also has taken course work in the Business Administration program at Fairleigh Dickenson University and is a licensed dispensing optician. He has 30 years of franchising experience and 16 years in education. He has been with Kiddie Academy for nearly 7 years now.
What are the responsibilities of your current role?
“I (generally) oversee all operational functions for Kiddie Academy and have direct reporting oversight for franchise development, real estate, construction, legal and marketing.”
What is your favorite part about your daily duties?
“In my role, I am able to provide (through our corporate staff and franchise system) an opportunity to enrich the lives of the families and children we serve through our comprehensive Life Essentials® curriculum. I truly enjoy supporting the efforts of our franchisees in opening and operating their academies and being part of their business success.”
How has your education and training prepared you for your current role?
“Franchising is about relationships. I believe that understanding the needs of those you do business with, and further understanding the means to achieve those needs, is what creates success. Studying psychology and business has raised my awareness to what motivates people and what drives them toward success.”
What do you do to continue your education and training?
“I (annually) attend the International Franchise Association (IFA) convention where I participate in seminars and workshops focused on industry topics. In addition, I frequently participate in online seminars, workshops, webinars, etc. I also rely on a Kiddie Academy process whereby each of our leadership team members are asked to provide a detailed summary report on any educational or industry-related event they have attended. This helps our senior staff to self-educate through the sharing of information, while benefiting from the efficiencies created by being able to consider more topics. We also hold ongoing quarterly professional development days for our entire corporate team. Topics range from excellence in customer service to presentation skills.”
Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?
“Understand that you’ll be in two industries—the educational childcare industry (or whatever industry the franchise operates within) and the franchise industry. I’ve known and worked alongside many very bright people in my career and learned a great deal from them. It’s all about the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee. Providing support, guidance, training, understanding and a proven business model will create the desired result—success for them, and success for the franchisor. Maintaining a positive relationship with all the franchisees in your system is critical to the success of the brand.”
Laura Catherine Hermoza has a lifelong love for writing. In addition to serving as a contributor to various media publications, she is also a published novelist of several books and works as a proofreader/editor. LC resides in Baltimore County.