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Franchising Delivers Consistency for Soccer Shots System

When people own a stake in something and are given a blueprint for success, it’s a powerful combination that is unique to franchising.

As professional soccer players in the late 1990s, we knew that our professional playing days couldn’t last forever, so we began looking into ways to include our favorite sport in a unique business model.

As a way to supplement our income, we coached soccer camps for children of all ages.  While coaching these local camps, we recognized a potential niche in instructing children ages two to eight years old, especially those in daycare while their parents were at work. After launching the first Soccer Shots location in1998 in Charlotte, N.C., the business really took off, so we brought it to Harrisburg, Pa.  Soon after, friends and teammates saw what we were doing and asked if they could bring the program to their cities.

Franchising made complete sense for this concept on a number of levels. First, since we are introducing kids to soccer it’s conducive to keep the curricula age-appropriate and consistent across the board.  We wanted to ensure that every Soccer Shots student learned these fundamental skills the Soccer Shots way. By creating a standardized system, we knew that kids in Pittsburgh were having the same experience as kids in Los Angeles. Second, we wanted those implementing our soccer shots model to have true ownership over their programs.  When people own a stake in something and are given a blueprint for success, it’s a powerful combination that is unique to franchising.

Since Soccer Shots is a comparatively low investment franchise, it provides an opportunity for people of all walks of life to become a business owner.  While competition has become more apparent over the years, it has not been prohibitive and has actually helped us grow stronger as a company.  We’ve become more purposeful in looking at how we can improve the business model so we’ve expanded to park programs.  With more than 100 territories spanning across the United States, we’ve built a system that truly works and is now available to even more children.

Through our experience building Soccer Shots, we’ve come to learn how important it is for franchisors to have a quality concept that is well-vetted.  We have been fortunate to have a fantastic team and that has very much contributed to what has helped this company grow so fast.  We’ve also realized that a good franchisor must develop a healthy franchise community that is communicating regularly in a productive way.  Having open, honest dialog with your franchisees will not only keep you in tune with the franchise system, but can also give you great ideas from the ground up on how to continue to improve the system.

While improving our system, the franchise is also reaching out to help those in the communities we serve.  In 2009, Soccer Shots partners founded Soccer Shots Global Goals, the non-profit arm of the franchises. Soccer Shots Global Goals provides opportunities to disadvantaged youth within the United States and around the world through the game of soccer.

Today the Soccer Shots team is thriving. With our 100th location that opened this summer and a vision for another 50 locations by the end of 2013, we expect continued success with Soccer Shots while sharing the joys of soccer with young people. ⎯

Jason Webb and Jeremy Sorzano are co-founders of Soccer Shots.  They can be reached at 855-332-7468.

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