Would owning a swim school franchise be a profitable venture?

Money isn’t everything, but earning potential is sure to be one of the key criteria for anyone thinking of setting up their own business.

This blog outlines some of the reasons why taking ownership of a swim school franchise could prove to be a wise move if you’re looking for a good return on your investment.

As markets go, this is a huge one.

Like riding a bike, learning to swim is something that almost all of us will do at some point in our lives, usually when we’re youngsters. Emphasising this point, swimming is even part of the National Curriculum within our schools. 

Being confident in the water is also sure to enhance the enjoyment of any child who jets off for their summer holidays to spend time at the beach or by the pool. Indeed, the summer getaway provides us with an annual reminder that swimming lessons are a must in our children’s lives.

Even at home, swimming is a popular pastime for us Brits. According to a survey conducted by Swim England, over 30% of people in this country have been swimming in the last 12 months while more than 10% regularly swim twice a month. With all that splashing around, there’s definitely a big market for swim schools out there. With 9 million children under 10 years old in the UK, that can add up to lots and lots of swimming lessons.

Benefit from the boom in fitness

The health and fitness industry is currently booming. You can trace a change in the national psyche back to the long periods of lockdown during the Covid pandemic. The hiatus in normal day-to-day life gave us time to re-evaluate what was important in our lives. Priorities changed and this has seen an increase in people wanting to spend more time (and money) focusing on their all-round wellness and physical fitness. 

Businesses involved with health fitness seem to be flourishing despite the current cost of living crisis. Even though most of us have less to spend, we’re spending more of what we’ve got on looking after ourselves. Those who don’t have the money to pay for a gym membership are turning to cheaper activities such as jogging, walking, cycling and swimming. That might explain why there are now over 750,000 searches every year in the UK for “swimming pool near me”.

According to a report from the Swimming Teachers’ Association, 82% of swim schools were benefitting from a “significant rise” in the number of children being taught to swim. Better still, in the last five years, swimming school franchises have seen growth of almost 30% with long waiting lists for classes.

So, swimming gets a big tick from a business perspective, and being a franchisee also comes with important benefits…

Franchise model helps you hit the ground running

When you set up as a franchisee, you tend to have a big advantage over comparative independent businesses. Providing you’re joining a good franchise network, you’ll benefit from a tried and tested business model and the support of a strong infrastructure that will help make you profitable from the start. 

How can you tell if a franchise is reliable? Check to see if they are a British Franchise Association-accredited operator. That will let you know straight away that they’re an ethical organisation with a record of doing things in the right way.

Most franchise networks will already have found out what works and what doesn’t in the sector they play in. That can help you avoid making mistakes that others have made before you. Ready-made support to help you hit the ground running will come in many different forms from the franchisor including the latest market insights, business advice, financial guidance and advertising collateral. 

Over the years, franchise organisations have developed templates for business success and they’ll we’ll be happy to share their learnings with you. After all, if you succeed, so will they.

Franchising increases your chance of business success

If you’re about to take ownership of a franchise, the following stat is cause for optimism: According to a recent survey, 85% of all franchisees were still doing business after five years, whereas around 50% of independent businesses will go under within just two years. 

There’s no doubt that your chances of surviving and thriving are better if your business is a franchise, particularly if you’re part of a flourishing and well-established organisation like Swimtime.

Swimtime? Set up over 25 years ago, we are the UK’s largest independent swim school and we have a successful franchise network. Franchise territories in our organisation vary in size and you can expect average turnover ranging between £100,000 and £500,000 with net profit at around 20%.

There can be no guarantees, of course, but all this would suggest that the answer to the question in the headline is a resounding “yes”.


If you’d like to find out more about Swimtime and our successful franchise model, please just follow this link. We’d love to hear from you and we’ll be delighted to answer any questions you might have with no obligation whatsoever.

Published by Swimtime: (updated: )