Welcome Statement

Welcome to the world of Big Ideas where we are proud to share our respect for skilled tradesmen and women who keep our world humming!

Our mission is to provide the opportunities for students aged 13 – 113 to discover, explore, and learn real-world trade skills such as carpentry, electrical, commercial cooking, welding commercial sewing, plumbing, and masonry. Teaming with existing community education systems, school shops, local industry, and professional tradesmen/women (as instructors), we provide the model and structure for courses that provide introduction to both the hands-on technical skills and the soft skills needed to succeed in a trade.

As is often true with “plans”, our original business model has, by demand, morphed to include other like-minded promotors of skilled trades.  We provide access to the model that we developed and tested so that you can more easily create a Big Ideas’ franchise in your area. In addition, funding may be provided in order to facilitate your start-up.

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Criteria for Acceptance

Although we thoroughly vet our potential franchise partners, following are a short list of criteria [Link1] we require when considering a new location. The self-survey titled “Franchise Compatibility Check” [Link2] will help you determine the feasibility of your organization as a Big Ideas’ partner.  Low scores for any one question will not eliminate you from consideration but will give insight into areas for review of your program in the context of your system.

We look forward to hearing from you! [Link3] We will confirm the receipt of your inquiry within one business day and route your questions to the appropriate member of our staff. [Linked3] Contact Us webpage



  • Tax-exempt, non-profit entity, including but not limited to 501©(3) organizations and public or private schools.
  • A statement referencing relationship with local industry
  • Commitment to Skilled Trades: the desire to improve the skilled trades gap by working collectively to bring workers back to the trades. Through examples and education, show that the skilled trades are a viable alternative to a four-year college.
  • Fiscal responsibility: Franchisee must create, optimize, and maintain a balance budget to drive the success of the franchise
  • System Commitment: Make the decision to hold nothing back (!), know your goal, focus on what is important, hold yourself accountable, accept change and feedback, and support others in the system


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Franchisee Compatibility Check

This self-survey will allow you to determine the feasibility of your organization as a                                                         Big Ideas, Inc. franchisee.  For each question, assign a rating from 1-5, with                                                       5 being the strongest. When you are finished, total your scores.  The higher your

score, the more likely your organization is a good fit for the Big Ideas franchise model.

Items with lower scores provide insight into areas for program review.


How long has your organization been in its current location?                                              _____


How long has your management team been in place?                                                          _____


For the remaining questions, rate your organization per the following scale:

0= Definitely No     1     2     3     4     5= Definitely Yes


Does your organization identify skilled trades as part of your mission statement?             _____


Does your organization have an annual business plan including quarterly

SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals?                                 _____


Does your organization have oversight and input from a Board of Directors or

Advisors who meet at least quarterly?                                                                                   _____


Does your organization adhere to G.A.A.P. protocol?                                                           _____


Does your organization have supplemental funds to ensure long term sustainability

of the classes that are implemented through Big Ideas, Inc.?                                               _____


Does your organization have a proven method to reach target populations for

specific classes?                                                                                                                      _____


Does your organization generate repeat customers on a frequency of greater than

two classes per year?                                                                                                             _____


Does your organization attract customers from a 25-mile radius or greater?                      _____


Does your organization have a published safety protocol with a documented

history for all workshops, classrooms, and kitchens?                                                            _____


Does your organization have a published cleaning/sanitation protocol with a

documented history for all workshops and kitchens?                                                           _____



Does your organization have a published equipment and facility maintenance

protocol with a documented history for all workshops and kitchens?                                  _____


Do your facilities have video surveillance:

In all shops and classrooms?                                                                                      _____

In all hallways and access points?                                                                              _____


Do your facilities have audio surveillance:

In all shops and classrooms?                                                                                      _____

In all hallways and access points?                                                                              _____


Are training opportunities available for first-time or inexperienced instructors?                 _____


Do you have bilingual instructor capabilities?                                                                       _____


Does your organization conduct instructor background checks?                                          _____


Does your organization actively solicit participant feedback?                                               _____


Does your organization actively solicit instructor feedback?                                                _____


Does your organization communicate with potential participants via:

Electronic communications such as email or messaging?                                         _____

Paper communications (walk-in or snail mail)?                                                         _____

Telephone?                                                                                                                 _____


Does your organization have multimedia followings on sites such as

Facebook?                                                                                                                   _____

Twitter?                                                                                                                       _____

Instagram?                                                                                                                  _____

Other (please note)?                                                                                                   _____

Add questions pertaining to:

  1. On-line registration; 2. Relationship/support of local industry