Initial Investment

£7,000 +VAT

Training provided

Yes

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A child’s first experience of sport should be something they remember for the rest of their lives.

Mini Athletics is a completely unique business which makes a difference to the lives of children and franchisees.

Mini Athletics is universally appealing to children (aged 2 – 7 years) and their parents. Through three progressive classes, children go on a fantastic journey in athletic movement. They are introduced to the basics of athletic skills (fundamental to their early physical development) in a play based yet structured format. In addition, the classes build cognitive and social skills, preparing them for the early learning goals.

The highly successful franchise model gives individuals a family-friendly, profitable and low risk business.

The benefits are extensive:

  1. Being in control of your own destiny with effort proportional to results.
  2. Great work/life balance
  3. Network of support – not only from head office but other franchisees.

Mini Athletics was created by Kirk Bowyer, a strength and conditioning coach for elite athletes and Clare Bowyer, a primary school teacher (PE specialist).

Kirk has worked with many professional athletes from tennis players to formula one racing drivers. He has also worked with some of Great Britain’s most talented sporting juniors (in a wide range of sports, including athletics) to improve performance through physical training.

Clare has a wealth of experience as a primary school teacher. As well as being a physical education specialist, she has spent much of her career educating the early years.

When Kirk and Clare had their first child, they were keen to take him to a class that would meet both of their goals. Kirk was keen to enhance athleticism/sporting participation and Clare wanted him to build his confidence, social and cognitive skills. Therefore, they co-created Mini Athletics!

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About You

Mini Athletics franchisees come from diverse backgrounds but the majority are parents who manage their workload around their family commitments.

It is not a necessity to have a coaching background or experience of running a business. However, whilst previous experience is important, Mini Athletics are predominantly interested in a passion for developing athleticism, cognitive and social skills of children, together with their drive to build a successful business.

Mini Athletics franchisees have three common qualities:

Passion and enthusiasm for the Mini Athletics ethos.
Communication skills
The ability to communicate with a wide range of people, build effective working relationships and lead a team of coaches.

Administrative skills
There will be day-to-day administrative duties and it is vital each franchisee has a solid foundation of IT skills, including familiarity with social media. Our website and administration resources will help franchisees to build an effective and streamlined business.

Financial Information

Initially, franchisees will need enough capital to invest £7,000 +VAT  This is a one off set-up fee and can be paid in instalments over a set period.

The setup fee includes:

  • Full training
  • Detailed and comprehensive operations manual
  • Ongoing support
  • Equipment to setup one location
  • IT and web-based systems to streamline administration time.
  • Policies and procedures eg health and safety, child safeguarding, risk assessments.
  • An exclusive area to run your business

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Training and Support

Mini Athletics HQ support franchisees every step of the way. Each franchise has a huge part to play in the success of the Mini Athletics brand.

Therefore, HQ provide comprehensive training, full support systems and strategies to ensure every business succeeds.

The Initial Franchise Training Program consists of the following:
Desk based training – covers all aspects of setting up and running a Mini Athletics Franchise including child protection, insurance, health and safety, lesson plans, IT systems, business management, communication, recruiting, employing and training coaches.

Practical training – how to deliver (and teach others to deliver) our effective program of lesson plans.
Some of the desk based and practical training takes place at Mini Athletics head office in Cambridge.

This is then reinforced with regular visits from a Mini Athletics director, webinars and Skype calls.

Observational experience – visiting other franchisees in operation.

Continued support – Over the first two months we offer weekly Skype calls with one of our staff at head office. This will be a chance to discuss your business and how to effectively roll out your Mini Athletics franchise.

Franchisee forum – a fantastic place to discuss your business with other franchisees.

Annual franchisee conference – a one day conference for all franchisees to discuss everything Mini Athletics.

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Gallery

girl looking and smiling kids playing in a circle kid throwing a toy kid on floor playing kids playing with lady children playing with their nose kids running

Videos

 

Hayley was due to return to full time work as a teacher following maternity leave. Here is her story….

“After having my second child, I was determined to have a better work/life balance. Therefore, I was keen to run my own business but needed to be fairly certain that the potential earnings would cover what I was earning in teaching.

I found Mini Athletics and have never looked back! First of all, the initial training and ongoing support has been excellent.

Even after the initial training, I was given continued support by regular visits and weekly skypes (whenever I needed).

The admin time is not as much as expected and this is done around my family commitments. I am able to run a successful and profitable business in a sector that I love whilst spending more time with my family. It’s perfect!”

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Interview with Founders of Mini Athletics – Kirk & Clare Bowyer

 

Franchisor’s name: Kirk and Clare Bowyer

Name of franchise: Mini Athletics

Tell us a bit about yourself (including past employment within or outside of franchising and any interests outside of work)

Mini Athletics was created by my wife, Clare Bowyer and I.  Prior to Mini Athletics Clare was a primary school teacher (PE specialist) and I was a strength and conditioning coach for elite athletes.

Clare has a wealth of experience as a primary school teacher. As well as being a physical education specialist, she has spent much of her career educating the early years.

I have worked with many professional athletes from tennis players to formula one racing drivers. I have also also worked with some of Great Britain’s most talented sporting juniors (in a wide range of sports, including athletics) to improve performance through physical training.

When Clare and I had our first child, we were keen to take him to a class that would meet both of our goals. I was keen to enhance athleticism/sporting participation and Clare wanted him to build his confidence, social and cognitive skills. We couldn’t find such a class so we co-created Mini Athletics.

When was the business established? And what were the factors for deciding to go down the franchise route?

The business was established in June 2016.  I had quit my job as a strength and conditioning coach a few months prior to this due to extensive travel commitments.  At this time, Clare and I wanted to spend more time together as a family.  Therefore, we wanted to create a business that worked for our family but other families too.  We first launched classes in our local area of Cambridge.  The classes grew in popularity at an incredible rate.  Therefore, we knew we had a good product.  The next step for us was expansion.  We had two potential paths to expand.  The first option was to employ regional managers across the country and expand this way.  The second option was to franchise the business.  We decided to go for the latter for multiple reasons.  One of the main reasons was that we wanted to work with like minded individuals or teams to reach as many children as possible.  We also wanted them to care as much as we did about the product they were delivering.  Therefore, business ownership was the logical answer to this.  In addition, we knew we had built a business that works well for families so could easily work well for other families too.

Why is your franchise a great investment for potential franchisees?

  1. Mini Athletics has a proven and profitable business format.
  2. The opportunity to use the Mini Athletics brand and a business system that has been developed and proven in the marketplace.
  3. Mini Athletics continually invests in its infrastructure
  4. Provide extensive and detailed training for every franchisee
  5. Sustained and innovative marketing strategies
  6. Full support system for all franchisees.
  7. Mini Athletics makes a difference to children, providing a rewarding careers for franchisees.

What differentiates your franchise from the competition?

Mini Athletics is an effective franchise and an ideal business for anyone passionate about sport, educating children and making a difference.

There are some fantastic franchises available out there for 2-7 year olds eg football, rugby, dance, music.  However, we are the first of our kind in athletics.  We carefully branded Mini athletics so it appealed to both boys and girls and multiple nationalities, cultures and ethnicities.  We certainly take advantage of the fantastic reputation of athletics across the world.

What qualities do you look for in a franchisee?  What makes a successful franchisee?

Our franchisees have diverse backgrounds, from physiotherapists to full-time mums, sports coaches to teachers.  However, they all have common qualities:

Passion

Our franchisees are incredibly enthusiastic about enhancing athleticism and early learning goals for children.

Focus

Franchisees have the focus to succeed. Running a business is not always easy and there will
be challenges. However, successful franchise business owners have an unwavering focus.

Communication skills

The ability to communicate with a wide range of people, build effective working relationships and lead a team of coaches is pivotal to the success of building a Mini Athletics business.

Administrative skills

Our website and administration resources
will help franchisees to build an effective and streamlined business. There will be day-to-day administrative duties and it is vital each franchisee has a solid foundation of IT skills, including familiarity with social media.

How did your franchise adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic?  How did you support your franchisees during this time?

  • The pandemic was certainly a difficult time for us all.  However, it was our top priority to ensure all franchisees were OK during this period.  We knew if we looked after our franchisees well then the recovery would be much easier.
  • The majority of franchisees went on furlough as they were employees of their own company. Putting themselves on payroll was something we had always advised before the pandemic.
  • The franchisees had minimal outgoings during the lockdowns.  Franchisees put their staff on furlough and they didn’t need to pay for hall hire as they were not using them.
  • Mini Athletics HQ charge a % based management fee.  Therefore, if franchisees do not earn anything then they do not pay HQ.
  • The children’s sport/activity sector was one of the first to reopen after the lockdowns.  Therefore, the lockdowns were not as long as most.
  • To aid recovery for franchisees we gave a 4 month management fee holiday following the first lockdown.  This just meant they were able to bring in slightly more revenue to kick start their business.  Although it was a tight period for HQ at the time, we reaped the benefits after that 4 month period as franchisees were running strong businesses.
  • During lockdowns, HQ provided customers free online classes which really kept the engagement going.  This even included an online home sports day with celebrities.  This significantly helped our recovery when it was time to reopen with lots of new customers.

What have been the company’s biggest achievements/successes to date so far?

When we started the business, we wanted to grow the program across the world.  We wanted thousands of children to benefit from the classes and as a result, begin to change an epidemic problem of inactivity in children.  We have started this process and made good ground.  We are now in 5 different countries and deliver the program to thousands of children every week.  This is our biggest achievement.  However, the ambition is to continue this progress.

What expansion plans have you got nationally and internationally?

We are hoping to expand into USA, Canada and Australia within the next 2-3 years.

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