BabyBallers franchisees teach kids how to learn through play in a safe, fun and engaging environment
BabyBallers is a fast-growing children’s football franchise, which in just three years has established 50 clubs in the UK and 17 in Belgium, with more to follow in the first quarter of 2021.
The company puts its growth down to the low investment level needed, the amazing financial success its franchisees are having and the ease and speed with which you’re able to launch a club.
What is Babyballers?
BabyBallers provides 35-minute football-focused sessions for children aged 16 months to five years old. Sessions are specifically designed to keep children engaged, encourage the use of hands and feet and put an emphasis on learning through play with the use of shapes, colours and even numbers.
BabyBallers’ founder Richard Elms says: “Although BabyBallers does have a focus on football, it does not limit itself to just that. Our little superstars are starting to understand their bodies, so the importance of fundamental movement skills are therefore paramount with a BabyBallers session.”
BabyBallers offers three classes: BabyBallers (16 months to 2.5 years), MiniBallers (2.5 years to 3.5 years) and Ballers (3.5 years to 5 years). They run back to back, accommodate up to 20 children per age group and are delivered in halls throughout the country.
“The class structure has been key to the success of each BabyBallers franchise,” Richard says. “Some franchisees have had children on their books since the child first started attending at 16 months, going through the Baby, Mini and Ballers classes.
“Imagination runs wild at BabyBallers classes, so there is never a shortage of fun-filled action for our amazing superstars. This is achieved through constant training and support from head office.”
How it began
It all started in 2015 when Richard was looking for football sessions for his toddler.
He felt the local football groups didn’t offer much more than children running everywhere and coaches trying to get two-year-olds to dribble a ball around a slalom of cones with their feet, which in Richard’s opinion was never going to happen. The idea of BabyBallers then came to life.
BabyBallers believes that every child deserves to learn through play in a safe, fun and engaging environment surrounded by energetic coaches.
It isn’t about just kicking footballs, as classes help build confidence, form friendships, start an educational journey and have lots of fun in the process. The company strives to deliver sessions that are fun, but also developmental, with the wider view of preparing children for life at school and beyond.
How has Babyballers developed since 2016?
Since 2016, when the first BabyBallers club sold out before it had even opened, followed by the first BabyBallers franchise launching with similar results in 2017, the brand has gone from strength to strength.
“The franchise growth has mainly been through word of mouth, which is why we have most of our franchise clubs in the south east,” Richard explains. “Between 2017- 2019 it grew month on month.
“We started 2020 with the aim of expanding further beyond the south east and that aim actually took us into Belgium. An area developer snapped up most of Belgium and in their first month [September 2020] they opened 17 clubs, all of which were in profit before anyone had kicked a ball, which was a very proud moment for us.
“The BabyBallers journey has also gained recognition on national television, as well as endorsements from ex-professional footballers and celebrities alike, which has only helped the brand develop further.
“As we go into 2021 we’re excited about the future, with existing franchisees planning to open more clubs, new franchisees launching their first clubs in Q1 and the start of the search for an Australian master franchisee.”
BabyBallers has become a proven, profitable franchise model, with over 80 per cent of clubs at capacity. In addition, at the last count the company had 990 children on its waiting lists across its 50 UK clubs.
Chris Elms, BabyBallers’ business development manager, says: “Since the first BabyBallers session, we’ve created the complete franchise opportunity that covers every detail of running a successful business.
“Our product, brand, customer service, online booking systems, digital marketing presence and back-end franchisee portals ensure every franchisee has what they need at their fingertips.
“We aim to keep things as simple as possible to launch your first club and run the business, from an easy-to-use booking system and franchise portal to an online training programme and access to constant session plans, which give franchisees the freedom to run their business successfully.”
BabyBallers also gives franchisees access to marketing strategies and ongoing support from its dedicated support manager, meaning a franchisee is never alone.
What makes a great Babyballers franchisee?
Whether someone is looking for a career change, a part-time job or has plans to scale the business and become an area developer, BabyBallers can provide this opportunity. However, the company has a selective process when choosing the right franchisees.
BabyBallers requires franchisees to be reliable, hard-working, adaptable and willing to learn, as well as having the ambition to continue to grow the brand. It’s very important that if the franchisee is at the forefront of their classes, they are fun and sociable too.
Creating a fun and enjoyable environment is not just for the benefit of the children, as having the ability to create fantastic relationships with the parents is also important.
Crucially, a BabyBallers franchisee must be someone that others can depend on. They must be punctual, not leave things to the last minute and be able to plan and prepare to ensure the success of their franchise.
Part time or full time? The choice is yours
The great thing about the BabyBallers franchise is not only the low investment level and quick returns, but also the ability to scale the business to suit a franchisee’s lifestyle.
Some franchisees run one club alongside their full-time job. Others have developed their business and now operate up to seven clubs on a full-time basis. You can start wherever you feel comfortable.
At a glance Babyballers
Number of franchise outlets:
Locations of units:
UK and Belgium
Minimum required capital:
0330 124 4770