Sonja, CEO of Seriously Addictive Maths WA

Date: JUL 21st, 2016

Topic: Franchisor Reviews

 Sonja Oosthuizen is the CEO of Seriously Addictive Maths WA – Pty Ltd.  She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2004, and gained extensive accounting and finance management experience across a wide range of industries, including FMCG, manufacturing, construction, retail and professional services.  

Throughout her career, she focused on the profitability and financial health of small and medium sized businesses. She trained and supported business owners, sourced and implemented financial and operational software, developed and improved systems and procedures, for both new and existing entities.

Recognising the need to empower our children with problem solving and “life-relevant” skills, she sourced an international mathematics enrichment program (SAM), which uses maths to achieve these exact results.  She currently dedicates her time to roll-out this world class program across Western and Southern Australia, through a proven franchise model.

1.     What’s the story behind Seriously Addictive Mathematics (SAM)?

Seriously Addictive Mathematics (SAM) originated in Singapore.  This is an extract of an interview with the founders:

“You can say that Mr Samuel Chia and Mr Lau Chin Loong form the dream team for Seriously Addictive Mathematics (SAM) with Mr Lau setting the curriculum for SAM, having extensive experience as a teacher, and Mr Chia undertaking the role of a businessman, conceptualizing the business, making it a scalable entity.

They have prepared extensively for about three years prior to launching their operational centres, performing many test runs, experimenting with the administrative process and developing and testing out worksheets that would work best for the children. Eventually, they even developed an IT solution to be complement the business.

When they started this business, they started on a clean slate, brainstorming ideas that would maximize the learning potential of children. They came up with a two-pronged approach: One, to instill discipline and instigate self-learning through worksheets, two, to provide a holistic classroom experience with the provision of mentorship and guidance through human interaction.

While SAM is an enrichment programme, it is also about empowering would-be entrepreneurs who are passionate about owning and operating SAM centres. Mr Lau and Mr Chia think of SAM as the backbone of the SAM Franchise programme, providing content, systems, expertise, branding and R&D.”

SAM is offered in Australia under a Master Franchisee, who is extensively trained to offer local support and training to Australian Franchises.  We have adapted the business model to suit local requirements and climate, and to ensure that Franchises have all the resources available to set-up and operate a profitable training center.

2.     What made you decide to franchise?

SAM is an International business, originating in Singapore and currently established in 10 countries.  We are equipped with a proven Franchise model that will enable us to offer a high quality enrichment program to more students across Australia.

3.     Tell us a little about the Seriously Addictive Mathematics market?

SAM is designed for children aged 4 – 12 years old.  The program benefits the full spectrum of students, whether they struggle with Maths, or if they are the perceived “Maths Genius”. 

The program is designed to focus on abilities, problem areas and strengths of each student, using an entry assessment, and continuous monitoring by our specially trained SAM trainers.

Classroom training, using a unique pedagogy, combined with over 30,000 pages of meticulously designed self-learning worksheets, ensures a holistic approach to empower students with increased confidence.

Our content is completely proprietary and meticulously designed to stimulate self-learning and independent thinking, running parallel to the Australian curriculum to ensure that students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge both inside the school class-room and in real life..

4.     What have some of the challenges been in growing your franchise?

Our biggest challenge is to convey all of the advantages and differences of the SAM program and teaching method to Australian parents.  This is a new concept and can’t be compared to a Tutor or a ROTE learning center, because it combines the advantages of individualised training, completely innovative way of learning and the backing of 9 years’ worth of content to ensure that each child has the opportunity to reach his full potential.

5.     Who has been your greatest inspiration and why?

The students are my greatest inspiration.  Their innocence, resilience and capability to learn astonishes me every day.  As adults, we can learn so much, by looking at children and their view on life.

6.     What are some of the advantages in being a Seriously Addictive Mathematics franchisee?

On a personal level it is extremely rewarding to make a difference in children’s lives.  To help a student grasp a new concept or to understand a principle, and how that affects their confidence, is by far the most rewarding.

As a business, a S.A.M franchise has several unique advantages, the most important advantages for me was:

·       Proven International content, systems and support.

·       Very low initial capital investment required.

·       Cash-flow break-even is possible within 12 months.

·       Flexibility to determine your own hours – part-time or full-time.

·       The possibility to expand and own more than one training centre.

7.     What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

If you have already decided that the Franchise model suits your personality and requirements, make sure that the Franchise you choose offers a high quality product or service, backed by on-going professional support and systems.

8.     What’s one important lesson you have learnt from being in Business?

Honestly, integrity and sincerity is crucial to build a successful business. 

9.     Where do you see Seriously Addictive Mathematics in 10 years time?

We hope to see Seriously Addictive Mathematics as the benchmark mathematics enrichment program in Australia.  More importantly, we hope to provide every child with an opportunity to enrich their lives through education.

10.  In your opinion, why do you think that Seriously Addictive Mathematics would be a great opportunity for someone?

If you have a passion to make a difference in children’s lives, this is the opportunity for you.  You will reap great financial rewards, while doing what you enjoy.  My favourite quote is:  “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” – S.A.M has given me this opportunity.

There is more franchise information available and the ability to connect with Sonja on the Seriously Addictive Mathematics franchise for sale page.