An exceptional business concept and a unique support and operating system turned The Little Gym into one of the franchising industry leaders. The Little Gym was founded by musician, gymnast and kinesiologist Robert Wes in 1976. The Little Gym’s main aim is to create an environment for children aged 0-12 years where they can develop their motor skills while having fun with other children in a noncompetitive manner. This environment is brought about by a strictly engineered and systematic curriculum that integrates positive experiences for kids.
At the heart of the concept is the vision that The Little Gym’s fun and positive learning environment would lead to the children’s intellectual, emotional and physical development and make for the perfect formula for eventual success in adulthood.
But the validity of the concept is not the only thing that The Little Gym franchise has going for it. In 1994, Bingham became the CEO and President of the franchise and he revolutionized The Little Gym franchise.
What Bingham did was initiate changes that accelerated The Little Gym’s franchising success. One of these changes was setting in place a system to facilitate smooth transfer and replication of effective business strategies. He did this by using the bottom-up then top-down approach instead of relying on the traditional top-down approach.
Usually, a franchise has a management team composed of experts from various fields. These people then train the franchisees on how to operate their franchise. But Bingham realized that the people who can better train the new franchisees on how to make their own franchise successful are the franchisees who have proven themselves competent in just such an endeavor. Thus in The Little Gym, the experienced franchisees were incorporated into the management team. Their job is to replicate effective processes and strategies in the new franchises, not merely give the new franchisees a general lecture.
This strategy cinched The Little Gym’s success. The credibility of the franchisees-turned-consultants proved invaluable in motivating the new franchisees. Hands on, practical and relevant experience was transferred to the new partners.
The Little Gym has also made it a point to be very selective in choosing the people they would entrust a franchise to. Of the countless applications, only those who are in full concurrence with the business concept and those who have a proven liking for kids and the requisite business skills are given the opportunity to be franchise partners.
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