Staying Organized & Passionate is Mengjia Chen’s Secret to Success at B2R San Diego
Get to know Mengjia Chen, owner of B2R San Diego.
As recent transplants from Maryland to San Diego, new Bach to Rock franchisees Mengjia Chen and her husband Lee opened their B2R school in 2020, just one month before pandemic lockdowns took hold. Starting a new business is challenging even in the best of times, but the pandemic greatly impacted their fledgling school. Fortunately, they were able to gain traction quickly through offering students online lessons. Mengjia runs the business, and she has remained steadfast and committed to working hard since in-person classes resumed, and now, the school is poised for continued growth. Both Mengjia and Lee are music lovers. Mengjia studied piano for many years, and Lee is a self-taught guitarist and drummer. The couple has three young sons and are happy they will grow up in a fun, music-filled environment. Mengjia and Lee met at the University of Maryland, where Mengjia earned her Master of Accounting and Lee completed his PhD in Pharmaceutical Science.
Why did you choose to open a Bach to Rock school? And how did you hear about B2R?
We had Bach to Rock on our radar for nearly three years before opening. Following our cross-country relocation, we realized the time was right to bring our dream of owning a music school to life. Our family has always loved music, and we wanted our kids to grow up in a fun, musical environment. We didn’t want to force them to practice and now we don’t have to, since it’s so much fun learning at B2R! We worked with a franchise colleague who recommended B2R as the perfect fit.
How long has your school been open?
Since February 2020, right before the lockdown.
Mengjia and her team work closely and are in constant communication.
How have you balanced the demands of running the school and being mom to three young children?
It’s not easy to juggle all of the schedules! But I make the most of my time. I am big on working efficiently, whether I’m in the school, on the phone or working online. I don’t wait to do things for the school; if we talk about something I will initiate it right away. Prior to the birth of my eight-month-old, my older children spent a lot of time with me at the school. Since he was born, I’ve worked mostly remotely, so I’m in constant communication with my school’s director and assistant director. I plan to return to in-school in the fall of 2022.
How have you made your business successful? What have been the keys to success?
I dedicate a lot of my time to the business and follow the lead from B2R corporate regarding operations and core values. We continue to do what is right to ensure our customers are happy and to help the business grow. We also need to be flexible and adjust our strategy occasionally regarding hiring.
What would you tell a prospective franchisee about starting a B2R?
Be prepared to devote your time to your business, and genuinely believe in the B2R method and educational curriculum. And remember to have, and commit to, a long-strategy to grow the business. You will get there if you work hard!
Mengjia and her director Fresas, stay active in community events!
Any words of encouragement?
Trust yourself with what you are doing and keep pushing on, don’t give up easily!
Have you run into any tough spots? If so, what are they and how did you work them out?
Yes – the pandemic lockdowns kicked in one month after we opened. We worked extremely hard to regroup with online marketing and virtual lessons. Once we were able to re-open for in-person classes we then needed to shift our plans to welcome back as many students as we could. And we found we needed to be very flexible working with families due to the COVID rules. Fortunately, everything is slowly coming back, but recovery is a slow process. Hiring has been the most challenging this year. Plus, I gave birth to my son (now 8 months old), so I was not in the school as much as I had been.
What do you enjoy most about owning/operating a B2R?
I love seeing all of our students’ smiling faces, talking with parents, and watching our students perform at events. It’s wonderful to see our students and teachers bond, too. That’s very motivating!
Seeing students performing and having fun on stage is one of Mengjia’s favorite parts of owning B2R San Diego.
What’s the most popular class or lesson at your school?
Well, it differs based on the time of year. But, overall, private lessons are the most popular along with the kids’ band program.
What is the best way to represent your B2R school when you meet prospective families/students or are talking about B2R in the community?
We focus on our flexible scheduling, the band program and the diversity of music genres for kids to get into.
Mengjia’s assistant director, Madie, gets out into the community to promote B2R San Diego.
What has surprised you the most about owning a Bach to Rock school?
There are many detailed, small things to care for that are very important. And it’s amazing how fast the time flies while I’m in the school with my kids and working with my team!
Tell us a bit about the atmosphere of your school. What do you think keeps students coming back?
We are very friendly all the time, especially at the front desk. Parents enjoy talking with our teachers and staff. We let the school sell itself without “hard selling.”
What are your goals for the future with your B2R school?
I will be back in the school full time in the fall of 2022. I’m eager to get more events on the books. And to work even more closely with my team to ignite their passion. I also plan to hire more teachers. To learn more about programs offered by Bach to Rock San Diego, view our online schedule or contact us directly.