Nan Rikard, owner and founder of Big Blue Marble Academy, is an incredible powerhouse with an instinct for good business and a big, giving heart. She talks with Kris about her journey of over 30 years in the EEC industry, her passion on giving back in her own family, how she grew to 24 childcare locations in just a few years and assembled such a strong team with a bonded mission and vision in making a positive impact on the world. She shares the three things that are a must when looking for a new site and tips and tricks for making the deal of your dreams.
Key Takeaways From This Podcast:
In 2012, Nan founded Big Blue Marble Academy. Her curriculum, Passport to Learning, focuses on the importance of cultural awareness, language immersion and giving back through heart projects.
Nan always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and originally taught dance to upwards of 200 children at a time. She combined her love for dance and teaching children with her passion for business and first sought out a job in preschool. That burst the childcare concept for her of people just needing help in the morning for a few hours, and the rest was history.
Nan shares her journey of roles in going from Regional Director to a team leader, operations, CEO and COO.
Nan has four children. She recently adopted one of her daughters and is an advocate for adoption; her whole family has grown with love.
One of Nan’s inspirations when starting Big Blue Marble was to create a brand that appreciates diversity in language, religion, and upbringing.
Nan credits a lot of her success with having solid and trustworthy connections in the industry. When the opportunity came to grow, she got creative and thought about who she already had relationships with that could help be part of the team.
The three things Nan takes into account for when possibly pursuing an acquisition:
1. Is it good for the children?
2. Is it good for the company as a whole and our bottom line?
3. Is it going to make a difference with the staff?
Nan goes on a deep dive on what she looks for when making a deal and building out her team, enrollment, and infrastructure. She combines a solid business strategy that is tried and true, integrated with heart-centered leadership.
Nan’s target is a 15% to 20% profit margin in a year.
One of the biggest challenges Nan has overcome throughout her career was living and staying in front of the economic downturn in 2008. That shaped the versatility and flexibility of how she prepares for the future.
Nan defines a child care rockstar: a people person that puts others first.