What is the difference between a License and a Franchise?

If you are looking to start a business in education and are contemplating investing in a franchise, you may wish to explore a licensing option first. There is often confusion between licensing a brand and franchising a business, so I will try my best to distinguish between the two.

A licensing agreement gives permission to a licensee to use a licensor’s brand and content that you would not otherwise be allowed to use due to trademark and copy-write infringement. A Franchise agreement allows you to use a franchisor’s brand but you will also adopt the franchiser’s business model with processes and procedures that must be strictly adhered.

Licensing fees are typically less expensive than a franchise and the agreement does not dictate the terms by which the licensee must run the business, whereas there is little flexibility within the franchise model around the operation of the business and franchise fees and royalties can be substantial.

In a licensing model, you are paying only for the ability to use the intellectual property. The agreement may detail how the intellectual property can be used, but it will not provide a business model to follow nor provide the type of broad support you would receive from a franchise. License agreements are often utilized between a professional and a brand when the professional already has the expertise to provide the service, but would benefit from the resources and experience that a licensor can provide.

Generally, a franchise is a business model that has a successful track record and a brand that has widespread recognition. The franchise agreement will allow the franchisee to leverage both the brand’s name and its processes that are already in use and have proven profitable. However, the franchise will have to be run as the franchisor determines since the franchisor has control over the intellectual property and crucial aspects of the business operations such as marketing and staffing. It will be your capital that starts the business, but the franchisor will supply the knowledge and operational processes needed to run the business. A Franchise is ideal for those with little to no experience in the industry.

In both cases, the business owner will need to be highly motivated, have a strong knowledge and understanding of his or her market, and possess an entrepreneurial spirit. It will be up to the business owner to determine whether the license or franchise approach is the best fit, or if in fact it is better to go it alone and start their business from scratch.

For those seeking a business opportunity in education, a StudySpot license is an excellent opportunity to create a rewarding, profitable service with little overhead and intrusion. Ideal for those with a background in education and experience working with students. For professionals who already provide educational or executive functioning support to children and adults, a StudySpot license will allow you to add Academic Coaching to your current services broadening the support you provide to your community. The StudySpot brand, content, and website will give you the tools you need to get up and running quickly so you can to deliver a consistent, scale-able, and much needed Academic Coaching service to your community.

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Why is Academic Coaching better than Tutoring?

When determining how you might wish to support the students in your community with your new business, you may not have considered Academic Coaching. Although there are many tutoring franchise options available in most markets, Academic Coaching is relatively new as a service which will allow you to differentiate from the others in this competitive sector. As will be demonstrated here, Academic Coaching is a far better form of support for the majority of struggling students and those with identified learning challenges because the focus is on skill development and positive mentoring.

Academic coaching is a personal and collaborative relationship between a coach and a student that is at times functional and at times inspirational. Although coaching is standard practice in most areas of human achievement, most notably in athletics, it has been relatively ignored in academics. Until recently, content tutoring has been the only significant option for parents to consider when looking for academic help for their children. In some circumstances, content tutoring in a specific subject area is an appropriate form of assistance. However, in many situations, the issues that hold students back from doing their best are not related to content at all, but are more connected with the approach students take toward their school work.

Academic Coaching is better support for most students, particularly those in middle school and high school, because it focuses on the underlying reasons why students struggle. Is the student organized and able to manage his or her time effectively? Is she reading effectively? Is he able to get his thoughts on to paper? Does she know how to study for tests and exams? These questions are at the root of the academic coaching relationship, where a coach or mentor ‘guides’ the student toward more effective and efficient skills and habits.

Academic Coaching differs from tutoring in many ways, but the most important distinction is one of focus. An Academic Coach focuses on developing core organization and study skills in the context of the student’s current workload. A Tutor typically focuses on the short term re-teaching of subject specific content. Here is a quick reference as to the differences between the two and when each might be most appropriate.

Academic Coaching

  • Teaches and practices executive and academic skills that can be applied across all subject areas.
  • Weekly sessions reinforce theses skills by incorporating them into their daily school-work.
  • Weekly monitoring creates routine and structure.
  • Ideal for students with identified learning challenges and/or attention deficits.

Academic Coaching is most appropriate when:

  • Student is disorganized and has difficulty managing his or her school life.
  • A student has been dependent on his or her natural abilities to succeed, and has not developed the basic study skills required as school becomes more difficult.
  • A student’s success is coming at the expense of stress or anxiety.
  • Declining results are affecting the student’s confidence and effort.


  • Re-teaches subject specific content that a student is struggling to understand.
  • Does not address the reasons why a student is struggling with content in the first place.
  • On-going tutoring can create a dependency as tutoring sessions can become a substitute for learning in the classroom.

Tutoring is most appropriate when:

  • Goals are short term and specific (eg. one coarse, a specific exam)
  • Catching up on missed content or gaps in knowledge base.
  • Going back to improve basic math skills

To have a successful business you must start with a great service; one that is distinguishable from the competition and best addresses the needs of your community. There is a growing awareness of the impact of weak executive functioning on academic success and parents recognize that their sons and daughters need to develop skills that are not often taught in the classroom. Academic Coaching addresses the underlying reasons why so many students struggle once they reach high school. StudySpot has been serving this community for over 20 years and have developed the content and resources you will need to successfully start and grow your own Academic Coaching business.

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