On March 16, it all changed. Due to COVID-19 we were told we had to shelter at home. As a small business owner this meant ceasing all operations, furloughing all employees and going into a realm of unknown. For the past 14 years, I have been working relentlessly to build and grow my swim school business. Just over a year ago, my husband and I took out a SBA loan and refinanced our home to build our own dedicated SafeSplash Swim School (our other schools are a hosted model and are run out of a 24 Hour Fitness). With all my schools shut down, the uncertainty has been almost crippling at times. I have put my family in debt to continue my dream of teaching children to swim. What now?
When we are younger, people are willing to give us as much support as we need. Parents, teachers, coaches, and good Samaritans always seem to be looking out for us, especially if we ask for help. As we get older we become more self-reliant and our safety net seems to get smaller and smaller until we don’t have one anymore. The support system we took for granted isn’t there anymore and we can feel alone. Some people thrive on going through life without any support, I am not one of those people. I am more than self-sufficient and can get along just fine on my own, but I thrive when I have the right team and support around me.
Franchising has traditionally been a man’s world. In 2015, an article in Entrepreneur Magazine stated that 71.9% of franchises are owned by men while only 28.1% are owed by women.” In analyzing franchising trends, experts believe women are quietly rising to the top of the franchise world. What is changing? Are women gravitating toward a specific brand? Have you missed the fast-moving train?
As CEO of the largest franchisor of swim school brands in the U.S. (SafeSplash, SwimLabs, and Swimtastic), I often get propositioned by developers to add swim schools to their retail centers. In 2017, there seems to have been a marked increase in the propositions. The question is why are swim schools such a sought-after tenant in retail centers these days? Here are my top 5 reasons:
Streamline Brands CEO, Matt Lane, is speaking at the 2017 World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC) Thursday, October 19. His presentation, "Swim School - The Secrets to Why They Work", will introduce and educate attendees on the success the swim school giant has garnered.