Good morning Josh Whiteman, could I ask you to introduce yourself and a little about your history in tennis?
Morning Mark, thanks for having me. A brief history of my coaching experience is this: I started coaching on the AELTC’s Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative. It is a fantastic scheme that visits local primary schools and increases participation throughout Merton and Wandsworth. Watching their coaches and seeing how they increased participation through their network of local schools inspired me to start my own grassroots program. This is when I invested in a Teddy Tennis franchise and began my journey into the world of Tots tennis.
I truly believe, for us to create the next generation of players we need the best coaches in the country introducing and engaging our children at the youngest age possible.
So, you are a tennis coach and own your own franchise of Teddy Tennis in London… How did this come about and how long have you been doing this?
Six years ago, I had the option to invest in a Teddy Tennis franchise in the London Borough of Kingston. I saw how engaged the children were with the characters, music and Teddy bear stories that make Teddy Tennis so special and jumped at the opportunity.
Since then we have focused on introducing as many children under 6 to tennis through sessions in their schools and nurseries. We now teach in over 100 locations each week across the SW of London.
Why do you like Teddy Tennis so much?
Teddy Tennis is a comprehensive tots program that engages 2-6-year olds in a way that no other program does yet. The combination of music, pictures and Teddy bear characters made it something special that I couldn’t replicate on my own. Furthermore, the Teddy Tennis team that I work with gave me a lot of support and help when beginning my franchise.
It was nice to know I had a product that had been tried, tested and had proven itself as a successful program already. This gave me the confidence that as long as I advertised well and delivered good quality coaching sessions I could make it a success.
You were saying that you were looking for other tennis coaches to become franchise owners… What locations are you looking for and what personal characteristics are needed to own a franchise?
We have over 50 franchises across the globe run by tennis coaches and entrepreneurs but there are still many locations throughout the UK that could be incredibly successful franchises. My job is to find coaches who have the drive and entrepreneurship to start their own program and make a success out of it.
It is a proven franchise that worked for me and many other coaches. We just need the right people to join our family of franchisees and invest in their own locations.
Are there any start up costs for the coach and what coaching qualifications do you need to be eligible?
A Teddy Tennis franchise is an investment, so there are start up costs. However, we provide our team with a business package that is ready for them to unpack and get started. Because we have such a large network of franchises our costs are spread across many locations and the franchise fee becomes very reasonable and much cheaper than setting up on your own.
Our coaches don’t need to have any specific LTA coaching badges (although we encourage it) but they do need to complete our comprehensive 5-day training course before they start. Furthermore, we only want the best people investing in a Teddy Tennis franchise so they all need to complete a detailed business plan before their investment is accepted.
Finally, for any interested coaches out there, how do they get involved and what are the next steps they need to take?
The first step for coaches who are interested is to request a franchise prospectus from me by email on Josh@teddytennis.com.
Thanks for chatting with me Mark! I look forward to hearing from some coaches in your network who want to start their own program or use our Teddy Tennis sessions as a great feeder for their existing club program. Below is a video all about the Teddy Tennis Franchise, and if you are a serious potential investor please watch this video.
Thank you Josh, pleasure having you with us today. If you would like to see more about Joshua Whiteman, please click here. Please also feel free to check out the rest of the Teddy Tennis Website by clicking here.