Kids&Us: International Expansion
Kids&Us is a successful family business founded by Nat lia Perarnau and Quim Serracanta. In Spain, the company has revolutionized methods used to teach children English from a very early age. The Kids&Us method is an innovative system that uses eye-catching materials with stories and characters that appeal to children, interactive classes in which songs play a key role, and CDs to facilitate repetition of content at home. The business model is based on a system of franchise schools, with which Kids&Us has a very close relationship. Schools are provided with strong support, but, at the same time, the level of quality is strictly and comprehensively controlled. This case describes the current operating model and the company?s relationship with its franchise schools in detail. Kids&Us has over 230 franchise schools in Spain and has started expanding into other European countries. As a result of this expansion, it is becoming more difficult for the company to exercise control over its franchisees, and problems have started to emerge. At this point, as they consider what model is likely to work best to manage expansion, the owners have been presented with an opportunity to introduce Kids&Us into the Chinese market. They debate whether or not to enter this market?one that is not without risks?but also whether they should continue using the master franchisee model or manage the company?s expansion directly.