From PE teacher to successful franchisee with Leapfrog Sports
Find out how Jennifer Medlicott went from redundancy to franchisee with Leapfrog Sports.
What was your journey into franchising?
I was working part time as a PE teacher in a secondary school and had 2 of my own young children under 5. I had started to look into it to run alongside teaching however there were then redundancies at the school I worked at including myself. So I decided to give running my own franchise a go so I could have more flexibility and time available to work around my children.
How did you come to make a final decision?
The final decision was made after researching the area and discovering there was nothing on offer similar to Leapfrog Sports. Firstly I had a chat on the phone to the franchise leader Jo and looked at the website and information on that. Then me and my husband went to a discovery day where we watched a few sessions going on, spoke to some of the coaches and then Jo gave us a presentation on all the information and answered any of the questions we had.
How did you know that you'd found the right franchise?
The fact that there was nothing like this in my area cemented the fact I wanted to do multisports as I felt very passionately about it. I liked the look of this franchise as the website looked good and gave alot of information and the original franchise was very local to me only about 30min away. The discovery day made me and my husband feel excited about the prospect and Jo gave us lots of information and answered all of our questions with really good detail making us feel at ease about the process.
How did you secure finance for your franchise?
I had funds from both my Dad and redundancy money from school.
What are your top tips for navigating the legal side of things?
When we first read the contract it seemed a bit daunting and there was a lot of legal terms written into it that we didn’t fully understand. Firstly one of my friends who is an accountant read it through for us and made some points that we may need to clarify and secondly we spoke to a franchise solicitor who also gave us some advice on some aspects of the contract we may want to get checked. So we made a list of all the questions and sent Jo all of the questions, which she responded to explain them and if she didn’t know the answer she asked her solicitor to clarify.
What advice would you offer to anyone thinking about taking on a franchise?
Not having any experience in the business world especially in terms of the accounting and all the organisational aspects of a business it would have been extremely hard to start my own business from scratch knowing all of the different things I would need to do in order for it to be running. It would have taken much much longer to set up and get running and therefore make money from it. The idea of having someone on the end of the phone who was always willing to help and had done it themselves so had lots of advice was one of the main factors for us deciding to go for it. The training and support was very thorough in all aspects of running the business and is still on going more sporadically now when new things come up. There were still alot of hurdles and unseen problems that we faced and are still facing and working through in the first months of the business but there is plenty of ongoing support still. I wanted to run a franchise so I had more control over when I worked and could spend time with my children taking them to school and attending school events such as sports day etc. So far I have found that I have had a much better work-life balance even though I am still in my first year so there is extra work that is being done in the evenings. I would recommend becoming a franchisee if you have a passion for what it is you will be delivering as there is alot of background work that needs doing that isn’t necessarily obvious at first. However it is a learning curve and I have learnt alot in this first 6 months but it excites me the future of my franchise and where I can take it to.