Most of us have been tempted at one time or another to start our own business, but not everyone is willing to take the risk of going through with it. Becoming a franchisee for an established business is a different way of starting a business, and this method can be particularly appealing to those who are a little nervous about the thought of having to make it completely on their own.
Take a franchise with Swimtime, for example. Not only is this organisation already the UK’s largest independent swim school, it also has a full support network already in place for their business partners – you! This safety net might just be what’s needed to encourage you to take the plunge.
The chances are, you will never have thought about running a swim school before – but don’t let that put you off. To become a Swimtime partner, you don’t need previous experience as a swimming teacher, just a good sense of business and a strong work ethic, but a love of swimming is of course a real plus.
Why become a partner?
Before we take a closer look at the opportunity with Swimtime, it’s worth considering the generic benefits of becoming a partner in a little more detail.
There are more than 44,000 franchised businesses operating across the UK, employing more than 621,000 hard-working people.
According to the British Franchise Association (BFA) and NatWest Franchise Survey of 2018, around 90% of franchisees reported trading profitably within two years. You can compare that with approximately 50% of all independent businesses that will go bust within the same time period. The odds for achieving success would certainly seem to favour the partner route.
Add to that the fact that most good franchises come with a ready-made support network that is available when needed. That certainly beats the feeling of loneliness and isolation that can come from setting up your own business from scratch.
So, would being a Swimtime partner work for you?
We can help you answer this important question by asking you a couple more. For starters, are you keen to work mainly from home, avoiding the dreaded commute? If so, you can certainly tick the first box. Setting up a Swimtime franchise from home means your set-up costs will be low and the ongoing overheads will be almost non-existent. No extra resource will be needed in the early days. The good news is, you’ll find that having such low set-up costs definitely makes it easier to achieve a profit in a short space of time.
Secondly, how does the idea of flexible working hours suit you? While it’s worth making the obvious point that the more work you put in, the more profitable your business is likely to be, becoming a Swimtime partner will enable you to design a working day that suits you perfectly. That makes it ideal for a working mum or someone with similar personal commitments who also wants to have a successful career.
Another notable benefit of becoming a Swimtime partner is having full use of our multi award-winning bespoke software SwimCloud which automates large parts of the business, making life easier for everyone involved.
But perhaps the most compelling argument in favour of becoming a Swimtime partner comes from the talented people who are already making a success of it.
One of the best examples would be Heather Ratcliffe, a Swimtime partner in the West Midlands. She’s been working with us for fourteen years now. For the first five years she was a swim teacher, and then she took on an administrative role for her area office. We’ll let Heather tell the rest of the story in her own words:
“In 2011, I had the opportunity to buy a Swimtime franchise and continue to grow the business in my area. I knew that ongoing support from Central Office would be offered and, with that in mind, felt this was an exciting challenge to take on.”
“Each day is different and generally involves answering emails and phone calls for new and existing clients, planning and organising new courses, looking for sites and recruiting teachers. Most importantly, I like to have contact with swimming teachers and club managers to ensure the swim programmes are running to the highest possible standards.”
“My biggest challenge was in the first three months, I lost three venues which meant finding new pools to transfer swimming programmes to. Now I have a busy swim programme and have built up Swimtime’s reputation in the Midlands region.”
Follow in the footsteps of Heather
Heather Ratcliffe hasn’t just been making waves within the Swimtime organisation. Last year, she was one of three nominees in the Lifestyle category of the British Franchise Awards 2020. You can understand why we’re so proud of her.
If you share the same ambition and determination, you might feel like it’s time for you to dive in too. To find out more about being a Swimtime partner, just follow this link. We’d love to hear from you and feel free to get in touch with no obligation.