Sports Coaching Companies - What Franchises Are There?
It’s the New Year, and you can pretty much guarantee that every single gym, spin class, swimming pool and yoga class will be subscribed up to the limit. It’s part and parcel of our ‘New Year, New Me’ commitment that we take 1st January as our cue to start some kind of health kick or lifestyle improvement.
With the UK getting surprisingly good at world-class sports (and with both the Olympics and Paralympics inspiring ordinary people to get out there and get active), we’re finally starting to get off our couches and lace up our jogging shoes. If you’re passionate about sports and want to make it not just your hobby but also your business, there are ways of doing it without pushing yourself to the limit to get that Olympic gold. Sports franchises are big business and offer franchisees who have a real passion for a more active lifestyle the chance to earn some serious money doing what they love most and encouraging others to do the same.
What’s it worth?
The sports and fitness marketplace is vast – worth over £5billion a year in the UK alone. Globally, sports and lifestyle are one of the most significant growth areas of any market, and in the UK it supports around 450,000 jobs. Sports centres and stadiums are at the heart of every UK town and city, and the sheer amount of money involved in high profile sports such as premier league football are astronomical. However, sports at the grass-roots level is just as important – from Sunday league football to tennis and swimming coaching, as well as gyms and classes. There is a sport for everyone, regardless of what their passion is and how active they are.
In amongst this sporting prowess is the opportunity to form solid and very profitable sports coaching companies that, if you pick the right one, could generate a healthy return for years to come. While gym memberships may sometimes be fleeting, a franchise can last much, much longer.
The British Franchise Association estimate that 97% of gym franchises made a profit in 2015. If you can get your gym members to stay the course beyond that first month, then you’ll generally find that they commit long-term to membership, keeping the money rolling in.
What sports coaching franchises are on offer?
One of the most popular areas for sports coaching franchises is in the youth sector. Franchises such as Premier Sport focus on providing young people with motivation, inspiration and the coaching they need to fulfil their potential. Working with schools can be fun and incredibly rewarding, and also gives sports franchise operators the chance to build up a solid business foundation that doesn’t rely so much on ‘passing trade’ and can, therefore, provide a more stable and regular level of income. For an initial investment of around £15,000, it’s also an affordable option, especially when compared to some of the higher buy-in rates you’ll find in other industries such as catering or auto parts.
Do I have to be a professional sportsperson?
It’s not necessary to be a fully-fledged professional sportsperson to start up a sports coaching company, but it does help to be passionate about the sport and lead an active lifestyle. Communications skills are just as important as qualifications and training. Sports franchise providers will be looking for a certain calibre of person to take on what can be a very demanding business opportunity, but you will receive the same exceptional level of training and advice as you would with any other franchise. Even if your best competitive days are behind you, it is still possible to deliver a premium quality coaching service for both young people and adults.
Picking the right sports coaching companies
It’s crucial that you choose the right sports franchise. If your passion is tennis but you decide to take on a football coaching franchise instead, not only will you not have the same level of commitment and dedication that you need to make it work as a business, but your clients will suffer too. You have to have a real connection with your chosen sport, as well as the usual drive and determination that any franchisee needs to succeed.
What opportunities are there?
There are sports coaching franchises out there, but they are not as prolific as you might think. While running a gym franchise is relatively straightforward as a business model, coaching requires a whole other level of commitment and dedication. Not only do you have a business to manage, but also you need to make sure that your customers are getting the level of coaching they expect and deserve.
It’s also worth keeping a look out for more unusual ‘niche’ sports coaching franchises, for example, senior care wellness franchises, where trainers work with older people to keep them active and healthy. ‘Boot Camps’ are still popular, but it’s wise to avoid anything that may be classed as an exercise ‘fad’. Boot camps were huge a couple of years ago, but the market has reached a saturation point, and customers are always looking for something new to challenge them. If you want to ensure your franchise can go the distance, then it’s well worth considering either the more traditional coaching routes (such as tennis, cricket and football) or more generic markets such as senior wellness or schools coaching.
All franchises require a certain level of investment, and sports coaching companies are no different. What will vary, though, is the level of investment you’ll need to make in equipment. For example, a yoga franchise will be relatively cheap to finance, as you need very little equipment. However, a tennis coaching franchise will be more expensive as you’ll need a larger amount of equipment, as well as access to specific facilities to carry out your coaching sessions.
Essential franchise qualities – what makes a good sports franchise?
For a good sports franchise like Sports Extra or Progressive Sports, it has to be fun. You’re dealing with young children who have all the energy but are not perhaps as focused, as you’d like them to be, so you’ll need to keep them entertained! For older customers, it’s a challenging environment that makes them push themselves further and harder that matters.
Marketing will be a massive part of your business – sports coaching is offered widely across the UK, so your franchise needs to have something ‘different’ to make it stand out from the crowd. Your franchise provider will help you get off the ground initially, but it’s up to you how far you take your business, and how successful you are in the long term.
Sports franchises tap into a market that’s incredibly buoyant and profitable and have increasing influence in our society. As we’re all encouraged to be more active, sports coaching not only inspires young athletes but everyone. Sports coaching companies in London and across the UK are seeing a high uptake on places for everything from low-impact yoga to football and cricket, while opportunities to work with seniors and within public sector areas are becoming more accessible.
Look for opportunities that have long-term potential, and try to avoid anything that could be regarded as an exercise ‘fad’ if you want to establish a reliable and long-lived business opportunity.
The Editorial Team, Point Franchise ©
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