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Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need to be a gymnast and have experience of working with children?+

No, our franchisees have enjoyed successful careers across a broad range of sectors from accountancy and law to teaching, banking, the army and IT; however, there are people who have joined us as instructors and gone on to become successful franchisees.

Regardless of your background we look for a passion for working with people and children and evidence of strong transferable skills that you can apply to running your own business. We'll teach you the rest!

What are the main drivers and motivations for becoming a The Little Gym® franchisee?+

We are very selective about who we award a The Little Gym® Franchise to.  As a typical The Little Gym® franchisee you will have a strong career track record and are looking for a new challenge. Something that will allow you to move away from the inflexibility and long hours of the corporate world, spend more time with family or on hobbies, yet give you the opportunity for continued professional success.

Becoming your own boss and being in control of your own destiny will be important to you and you are prepared to work extremely hard to achieve what you desire most in life.

What makes a The Little Gym® owner successful?+

All our successful owners have good common business sense, a ‘can do’ attitude; work well under pressure; love managing and developing a young  team; have strong leadership qualities; a natural ability to build relationships with kids, staff, parents, and their community; an appetite to learn and are financially stable. They possess the entrepreneurial spirit that gives them the courage to leave the safety net of the corporate world and pursue their dreams. Do you feel this is true for you too?

Will owning a The Little Gym® provide a platform for the work life balance I am looking for?+

Being a franchisee with The Little Gym® is not for everyone.  It’s a long term commitment and you’ll need significant financial investment combined with a strong work ethic to get your business off the ground.  As with any business there are no guarantees and, ultimately, your success is down to you.  Once your business begins to mature it provides you with an opportunity to take a step back and balance a business you are proud of with a lifestyle your friends will envy.  It all depends on your aspirations.  Some owners choose to open a second location; some take a step back and work a couple of mornings a week; some spend significant time travelling while the business is run by a Gym Manager, while some are happy to continue to run their business day to day.  It’s your business and your decision.

Can I talk to other franchisees about their experience of The Little Gym®?+

Yes, we can connect you with any franchisee around the world.  During due diligence we recommend you speak to franchisees in the network and ask them to share their experiences. With almost 300 locations around the world there is a wealth of personalities and experience available to help you understand if The Little Gym® is the right opportunity and will meet your expectations.

How much is the Entrance Fee?+

The entrance fee includes all your support and training, meaning no surprises or additional fees.  In particular you will receive:

  • An exclusive geographical territory in which to locate and establish your The Little Gym® franchise.
  • The right to trade using The Little Gym® brand for 10 years.
  • Your comprehensive pre-opening training program.
  • Access to The Little Gym® Curriculum, tools and services.
  • Full support during the entire pre-opening period ranging from weekly phone calls with your personal New Business Specialist to access to all other resources within our network.

Find our up to date entrance fee here.

What is the total investment to get started?+

The total investment required for your The Little Gym® includes your entrance fee, start-up costs, fit out of premises and ongoing working capital. This may be lower or higher as each site is unique. The main variables to this figure include, but are not limited to, the build out costs of your premises, landlord deposit, pre-opening payroll and working capital required between opening and reaching break even. Visit our Investment Page for a full breakdown of the fees.

Should you intend to finance your business through a bank loan you would typically need to invest a minimum of 30% of the total investment, with the remaining 70% being funded by the bank.

What are the ongoing management fees/service fees?+

  • There is an 8% management fee (of monthly gross revenue) for your ongoing use of The Little Gym® system, annual business and curriculum training, continuous enhancements and evolution of the products and the brand, plus, your advisor who will support you on a weekly basis, an annual strategic review and regular franchisee get- together meetings.
  • A 1% marketing fund (of monthly gross revenue) for creation of marketing tools needed to promote your business.

How did The Little Gym® fare during the recession? +

As with all businesses, the recession across Europe presented many challenges. The key learning for our network was that in a recession, parents become even more worried about their childrens future and, while cutting back on more material items, they continue to invest in their childrens education. But only in the highest quality programs. It was therefore imperative that we stepped up the delivery of our program, and sought to add value to each members experience in many different ways.

Far from being complacent The Little Gym® launched a brand new curriculum in 2012 as part of our commitment to remain the leading child development programme in the world. We have also worked hard to provide a business model in terms of franchisee selection, site search, operational tools and personal support, and IT support, that enables brand to continue to go from strength to strength.

 

What returns can I expect from my investment?+

Becoming an owner of a The Little Gym® is no different from any other franchised business - there are no financial guarantees and some franchisees are more successful than others. Once you get in touch we will share more financial information to help you build your own business plan and subsequently decide if The Little Gym® meets your financial expectations.

The business model of a The Little Gym® is a simple one and successful franchisees can expect to build strong revenues with a consistent cost base and predictable margins. This means you don’t need to be an expert to manage the financials. From a lifestyle perspective, as your business grows you may choose the route other franchisees have taken and take the opportunity to step back and do less hours. Imagine telling your current boss that you intend to reduce your working hours each week while continually growing your income every month.

With The Little Gym® your investment is not just about a future income but also the future lifestyle you’re looking for.

Can I own more than one The Little Gym®?+

Yes, once you have established your first The Little Gym® site, are confident in your financial position and capabilities and depending on your aspirations, The Little Gym® provides you with the opportunity to leverage your skills and experience to open a second location. Approximately 30% of our owners worldwide are multiple gym owners with between 2-12 sites each.

How do I know if a The Little Gym® is feasible in my town? +

If your area is serviced by a high number of private schools and private nurseries and offers plenty of kids sporting and educational activities these are all strong indicators that parents are already investing in their child’s education, development and future.

An additional measure is checking that there is a population of approximately + 12,000 children aged 0 - 12 years, living in households with above average income for the region within a car ride of 30 minutes of any proposed site location. These factors are also, of course, underpinned by a franchisee’s hard work and dedication to establishing their The Little Gym®.

What support can I expect to help find and fit out my premises?+

We understand that finding and negotiating the lease on a commercial premises is something, like most of our franchisees, you have never done before. Yet it is likely one of the most important decisions you will need to make as a TLGE franchisee. On joining our network you will benefit from our in-house consultancy, training, support, advice and detailed criteria to help you select the right location and negotiate a favorable lease. Once you have signed your lease our interior design guidelines and support will help you fit out your site to create a branded and new The Little Gym® centre.

How do I know that The Little Gym® is a credible franchise?+

bfa-logo.jpgSince 1992 The Little Gym® has been a highly successful franchise and won numerous industry awards. Today, approaching 300 locations in 27 countries we pride ourselves on being a small exclusive network of high calibre business owners.

In Europe The Little Gym® was launched in 2002 and now has 30+ locations. We are members of the British Franchising Association (BFA).  A self-regulating, governing body for franchising, the BFA aims is to promote ethical franchising practice in the UK and help the industry develop credibility and, as members, we have passed a strict accreditation process.

So far so good?  Find out about your next steps to ownership.

Testimonials

Peter-Paul van Reenen
"This programme is unique! I knew this, the moment I set foot in the first The Little Gym® I visited. On
a day to day basis I am reminded that I made the right decision 10 years ago."

Peter-Paul van Reenen

David Masat
"We fell in love with The Little Gym immediately after becoming members of The Little Gym®
Amsterdam with our son. From the owner we learned that it was also a nice business opportunity"

David Masat

Malin Ralman
"We love being part of The Little Gym® family. We discovered a company with many years’ experience in child development that provided great support to their franchisees."

Malin Ralman

Monica Pastor
"I always knew I wanted to start a company that I would be passionate about, but also that would beneficial to other people and would allow me to have the flexibility to spend time with my family"

Monica Pastor

Lindsey Venner
"Changing careers from a chartered accountant to a franchise owner has certainly been challenging – but amazingly rewarding. When a child says that ours is their favourite activity in the week, you can’t ask for more!"

Lindsey Venner