Little Kickers Franchisee: Jayson Walker

For Jayson Walker, work time equals play time. Here’s how he runs his Little Kickers franchise.

Little Kickers Franchisee: Jayson Walker

During our franchise interview Jayson explains why it was important to find a career that was not only financially rewarding, but also kept his interest. After having a number of jobs that left him feeling uninspired, he was finally in a position where he could realise his dream of doing something sport-related. And a further plus was that he could run the business himself. He invested in a Little Kickers franchise after working for the franchisor and has big plans to grow his business.

Launched in 2002, Little Kickers teaches children aged 18 months to eight years old fundamental football techniques and elementary life skills in a vibrant, group play environment. Invaluable social skills like listening, sharing, taking turns and teamwork are conscientiously woven into a programme that places as much emphasis on simple learning concepts like colours and numbers as it does on fine-tuning a child’s basic balance, agility and co-ordination.

Owning His Space

At first, like the other Little Kickers franchisees, Jayson was running the training classes at a private venue where he rented space. Within the first year he realised that renting the indoor courts was eating into the business’s profits.

His business partner, Elsabe Odendal, owned a sizable stand in Randburg which is the home of her optometry practice. Jayson said it didn’t take much convincing to get Elsabe to agree to building courts on the property.

It took about six months and R300 000 to build the fields, but Jayson believes they have boosted the business enormously. It has established the business so that people associate the location with Little Kickers and has raised awareness about it. Jayson also says that it has given parents more confidence as it proves his commitment to the classes.

Free Time

Jayson’s busiest day is a Saturday, giving him a significant amount of free time during the week. He spends about an hour a day doing admin. This includes following up on enquiries, processing enrolment forms and monitoring the finances.

He also spends some time researching marketing options. While he hopes to be busier in future, his plan is to study sports science during his free time, which he wants to somehow incorporate into his franchise.

Getting to Know the System

During the year that Jayson worked for Little Kickers, he got to know the system. He was familiar with the brand and assisted in running the pilot franchise in Randburg. When the opportunity came to purchase this branch to run as his own business, he jumped to it.

Smart Systems

Little Kickers originated in the UK, and being part of an international brand gives franchisees access to well-developed online systems. Jayson says he accesses the Business System almost on a daily basis to monitor the performance of his business.

It gives franchisees a clear picture of how much money they have brought in, how much is still outstanding as well as the profits achieved. Jayson is able to pull up reports when he needs them. The system also alerts franchise owners when a child’s sessions are almost up and generates re-enrolment forms.

A Passion for Play

Jayson believes that the success of his franchise can be attributed to his passion for sport and for working with children. He says that the business allows him to do “what comes naturally.” He has always been a huge fan of soccer and thoroughly enjoys the personalities of the kids he works with.

Franchise Zone
About the Author
Franchise Zone is published by Entrepreneur Media SA. It offers advice and franchising opportunities in South Africa.

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