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Four steps to become a franchisee

Four steps to become a franchisee

Our simple steps to starting your franchise journey

It’s been a really exciting year at Baby Squids, following the arrival of our fab franchisee Nic in Wigan in January 2023, followed quickly by the awesome Alice in Colchester in Feb 2023, I thought I’d write a blog about the franchise process so that if you are looking for the right opportunity to take on a more flexible working life then all the information is in one place!! 

1) DISCOVERY CALL – in the franchise industry we talk a lot about discovery calls, introductory meetings but these can be a big hurdle to get over and a little bit scary. These calls are very much an opportunity to talk about what you want, and what you need from your future career. I always start by getting a good explanation as to what motivates you and what you would like to do in the future. This is such a great chance to discuss YOU, which I know well from experience is something we don’t always have the time to do. 

I then talk through why Baby Squids can work for you, which problems it can solve and give you an honest account of what the world looks like working with me. It can also be a good chance to tell you about why teaching swimming is such a wonderful career and working with families to support and nurture them is such a positive experience. I’m really keen that these meetings are open and create an exciting view into the future and give you a really good insight to help you decide whether it’s for you or not! 

2) ROCKET FUEL INFORMATION – we provide some exceptional information after this call. If you decide that you are keen to do more explanation then we are really transparent about financials and territories from an early stage. We do this because we really do have nothing to hide. Our current franchisees are really as successful as they want to be, they work hard, they love their jobs and so we put you in touch with them so that you can ask them all the questions openly and honestly. 

The financial planning provided at this stage is really detailed, we’ve worked hard to provide detailed examples of how a franchise is structured financially and what you can expect to earn depending on the hours that you want to work. You can use the calculator to put together various examples of how you would like to run the business and this is a great tool to play with over a few days and work out just how viable this is for you.

We also open up the information on our territory mapping and what areas that you would like to work in. Again this is a detailed tool which looks at the demographics of the areas to help support your decision making. We are really adaptable when looking at territory maps and whilst we have a formula we try to work on (more on that in a discovery call!!) we are flexible and want to ensure you have the most chance of success and gaining what you want! 

Lastly we send you information on how to find a pool – we find this is a great point to do a bit of phoning round and finding out whether you have somewhere to get started in immediately. This will often seal the decision AND makes it all go a lot speedier! 

3) DECISIONS – most potential franchisees would then spend up to a week going through everything (whilst juggling the normal work/life admin!) and mapping out different scenarios before we get together for a further meeting to answer any questions. Once we get to this meeting you will have a much better idea of the decision you are looking to make and this meeting secures the territory for you whilst we start the process of sorting contracts. 

A franchise contract is a pretty standard agreement, it aims to protect the franchisee and ensure that you are buying into a brand which provides you with everything you need to succeed. And it also protects the franchisor from selling an area to the right person. Our mutual success is so entwined that this relationship is vital to a fantastic working relationship. Another good question for existing franchisees! 

The last part of the contract details your postcode areas and this protects your area so that it is all yours. 

At this meeting we would talk through all the products and services that you may want to offer within your franchise as we now have a range of services which means you can work with customers from pregnancy all the way through to their child being able to swim! 

Lastly we look at how you finance your franchise purchases, most potential franchisees will look to a start up loan which can ensure you have enough money to start your business. We work with a great third party company called Team Transmit who will help support your loan application. We even have a templated business plan so you really don’t have to worry about how to build your application. 

4) IT’S YOURS…..AND the most exciting part of the whole process is once we have signed everything! At this point we provide you with logos and website pages immediately so that you can hit the ground running. Between the decision/questions process and the signing we will gain photos and information from you to get everything ready to hit the button as soon as you sign. This gives you a great chance to get the word out about your classes and your new business so that you can begin to build your following! 


The onboarding process is all supported by me, I’ll take you through each stage – here is an idea of what you would be doing in your first 2 weeks of running your own business. 

Working out your business structure – will you be a sole trader, ltd or maybe even a partnership

Choosing banks/accountant/accountancy software – our experience with various different platforms mean we can help find what works for you! 

Social media platforms and training – depending on your experience we tailor make this training for you 

Plan and organise your face to face business, system and swimming training sessions

Work out the initial marketing strategy so that you are gaining customers immediately 

I hope that this has given you a really good and realistic idea of what you can expect, but let’s be honest you want to start with step 1 and the rest will become your journey to building a better future for yourself and your loved ones. 


Don’t take my word for it – here are some quotes from our franchisees, like Alice from Colchester, who has just signed last week and others who are closer to their 5 year renewal! Baby Squids is building into a wonderful network of incredible people who spend their days singing in their jobs and learning all the time. Come join us, we not only get to do the best job in the world but we do it together! 


“As a new franchisee I was completely new to recruiting and looking after new swimming teachers.  Laura has been a brilliant source of advice on all things HR, supporting me to be a fair and empowering boss to my small team.”

 Emma Dawson, Baby Squids Southampton. Franchisee since September 2019


“I had never run a business before and Laura has helped me from the start step by step to where I am now. If I have a problem I know she will be right there” 

Kristina Tyldesley-Holley, Baby Squids Devon, Franchise Owner since February 2022


“At the start of my journey I found it quite overwhelming, making that leap to own my own franchise business. I had so many questions and I feel like Laura was such a great support at each step of the way. I know she will always be at the end of the phone or email to help me navigate anything that may arise.”

Nicky Jackson, Baby Squids Salisbury, since April 2021


“Laura is always there when I need her, she always talks things through with me and helps me make big decisions by supporting me through the process.”

Viki Smith – Baby Squids East Hampshire, since Sept 2021


“Laura’s honest and open mentoring approach has enabled me to become so much more confident, making business decisions and believing in myself!”

Nadina Robson – Baby Squids New Forest since July 2019 


“I”ve only been a franchisee for a few short months but I have had so much support and positive energy thrown my way by Laura she is an amazing mentor and has taken me through the whole journey of setting up my business painlessly and I’m loving it!”

Nic Williams at Baby Squids Wigan. Since Jan 2023


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