James Donald, UK, was Little Kickers Franchisee of the Year 2020
What was it about Little Kickers that appealed to you and resulted in you becoming a franchisee?
I coached for Little Kickers around 10 years ago for 18 months. After I left, I kept checking on the website to see what new classes were available and what existing franchises were for sale. Little Kickers seemed to be going from strength to strength. They’d ‘cracked it’ in terms of scaling up without losing quality or identity.
I knew that I could market, grow and manage sessions and I’d always much rather join a winning team and work with a partner or franchise so I can focus on my strengths knowing that all the paperwork, processes, admin, systems, media, was there for me to leverage. My experience with them as a coach and the subsequent years of seeing their continued growth gave me confidence that the brand and business was being scaled with patience and caution which brought me back to enquiring about a franchise.
What are your plans for the next five years?
We have the capacity to reach 1,500 members across our three areas. Growth will obviously be slower as we reach maximum capacity within our geographical area, but I’d like to reach 1,500 by the end of 2021. I’d love to take on one more area within the next three to four years and keep learning how to attract and retain members to increase our lifetime customer value.
What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking about becoming a franchisee?
If you are willing to put the work in, market your classes properly and deal with ongoing day to day things, it’s possible to grow a strong, profitable business very quickly. It’s then up to you whether you run it yourself and have a very profitable business or employ admin/operations staff and reduce your profits slightly but have more time freedom to work on growing the business. I’ve chosen the latter, but I know some franchisees who chose to run it themselves and are just as happy!