Home' The Franchise Review : December 2015 Contents THE FRANCHISE REVIEW
we thought that if we were struggling to find quality preschool
activities, perhaps other parents were, too. We felt the demand
was definitely there. So we made contact with Christine
Stanschus (Chief Executive Officer and founder) to see if
expansion into Australia was something they were interested in
-- fortunately, they were!
We then spent a significant amount of time talking with Little
Kickers head office and many existing franchisees to get a
better understanding of the system, what would be required
to replicate the United Kingdom business in Australia, and
whether we would be a good fit with the brand.
It wasn't really my focus at the time, but looking back it was
absolutely critical that Christine and I were able to build a
strong, trusting business relationship in those early stages
through clear communication.
Launching a new brand in a new country was pretty daunting --
but incredibly exciting, too. I have received great support from
within Little Kickers since day one, but as I was completely
new to franchising, it was important that I sought guidance and
expertise from those in the industry within Australia. Fortunately,
I met plenty of people who were willing to help or find solutions.
I am still surprised to this day at how generous those in the
franchising community are when it comes to sharing their
experiences and giving advice.
TFR: What drives your passion for the business?
DK: It's hard not to be passionate about Little Kickers! I think
different businesses reward in different ways, but the joy that
'The Little Kickers Experience' brings to the children who attend
(and their parents) is very special, and clear to see.
From the hundreds of talented coaches at our sessions, who
are wonderful role models to the children, right through to
the fantastic franchisees who are working hard to drive their
businesses and make a difference in their local communities
and beyond, I think we are all positive and passionate about
Of course, there are certainly challenges to work through, but
as a group I think there is still so much to achieve with Little
Kickers as the brand evolves. And that in itself certainly drives
TFR: How has Little Kickers identified opportunities in the
DK: Prior to launching in Australia, we identified that there
was a clear lack of top quality preschool activity programs
available to parents. We felt that the Little Kickers program
would be well placed to capitalise on this.
The sheer depth of the Little Kickers program was a major
factor. Every child is different; therefore, it is very important
that franchisees and coaches are able to tailor the session
activities to match the dynamic of the group of children
taking part. This is far more beneficial than simply having an
eight or 10 week plan to be implemented across an entire
franchise, term after term.
TFR: Can you share the strategies behind Little Kickers'
expansion into Australia, and what's next?
DK: We launched a pilot program on the Central Coast of New
South Wales in mid 2009, and ran it for a full year. We chose
the Central Coast partly because that's where we lived, but
also because it was a true franchise area that was slightly
isolated, without any outside influences. This made it easier
to show prospective franchisees what we had achieved and,
potentially, what they could too.
We opted for a master franchisee in multiple states to allow
for rapid expansion. Queensland launched at the same time
as New South Wales and Victoria, and Western Australia and
South Australia joined soon after.
We are currently in the process of rolling out Little Rugby
through our network of Little Kickers franchisees, giving them
more income streams and options for their customers.
Little Rugby operates through three age groups between the
ages of two and seven years. Like Little Kickers, the program
focuses on early learning goals such as colour recognition,
sharing, balance and coordination in an imagination based
format. The children also learn handling and kicking skills,
teamwork and tag play, and they even get to convert over
bespoke kicking posts! It is a safe, non contact activity that
is showing strong growth.
TFR: How do you identify Little Kickers franchisees, and what
are your support systems and strategies for them?
DK: Our franchisees come from various backgrounds. We
look for people who are self motivated, team players and
driven to succeed.
Links Archive September 2015 March 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page