Using Adaptation as an Opportunity
With Anne Huntington Sharma
Meet Anne Huntington Sharma
If you’re running an established, enduring and successful company, the past few years have presented some challenges…and some fresh, exciting opportunities for growth.
Huntington Learning Center is a prime example of blending tradition and innovation to support a company’s mission.
Anne Huntington Sharma’s parents founded Huntington Learning Center in the 1970’s with the intention of providing excellent education to students across the nation. Since then, it has developed into a franchise company with 300 locations in 42+ states.
Anne Huntington Sharma is the President and a Board Member of Huntington, which has become the nation’s leading tutoring and test prep provider. Anne oversees business strategy and growth initiatives, including partnerships, marketing, digital transformation, and franchise expansion.
Anne is also involved in the arts as a collector, producer, philanthropist, curator, and founder of AMH Industries, a creative agency for contemporary art and culture. She is an associate producer on the Emmy nominated HBO documentary, ‘The Price of Everything’ and an associate producer on the documentary ‘The Art of Making It’. To date, Anne has curated more than 30 exhibits across the country and raised over $30 million dollars for various philanthropic causes.
How are we evolving to support our mission?
Anne has used the challenges of the global pandemic and societal change as a golden opportunity to ask, “How do we make this business as strong and focused as possible?”
When looking ahead to the future of our brands, we can use Anne’s example to consider what’s working, and what could be developed further. As a mission-based company, Huntington has found solutions to better support students including remote learning, tailored lessons if they need to catch up academically, and methods of involving parents in their education so that they get an amazing schooling experience.
What does scaling your business look like for the future?
Huntington decided to pursue the franchise model and has found tremendous success. With the goal of supporting as many students as possible, franchise locations of Huntington Learning Center are overseen for quality control by an assigned Huntington consultant.
When looking ahead, what type of expansion makes sense for your business?
What quality standards do you have for your company? Over time, how could you delegate so that you can share the signature services or products you’re providing with more people? If your goal is to change as many lives as you can, how can you scale your business to fit your mission? These are all important questions for us as entrepreneurs!
Can you use remote work for maximum collaboration?
Once a primarily in-person company, Huntington Learning Center had to transform their entire business model literally overnight. Instead of focusing on the difficulties, Anne shares some lessons she learned from this experience!
After surveying their educators and administrative employees and franchisees, Anne Huntington Sharma received the message loud and clear: Most workers loved remote work, and wanted to make it a permanent change. Anne also found that remote work enabled Huntington to attract talent across the nation and find the most qualified educators. A collaborative structure also provided ways to give feedback, connect and serve students more effectively.
“Retail is not just sales. It’s storytelling. It’s history. It’s community, it’s people. And it’s so much bigger than the average perception of this industry.”
“Every part of this business is so exciting and interesting to me. The careers that people have are under-celebrated! It’s an industry full of proud, hardworking people!”
“1 out of 4 people in this country work in retail. But it’s almost invisible in some ways.”
“The more kind that we can be to each other about the work we do, the more positive impact that has on why this is an important career choice.”
“I want to accomplish the momentum behind…new generations of people joining the retail industry. That this can be an industry where no matter how you present yourself, all are welcome here.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Visit the Huntington Learning Center https://huntingtonhelps.com/
To explore Huntington Learning Center as a franchise, check out their website https://huntingtonfranchise.com/
Connect with Anne Huntington Sharma on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-huntington-sharma-8720606
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