Little Kickers’ goal is to provide every pre-school child with a positive introduction to sport and become the market leader in the pre-school football sector worldwide.
After completing his degree in sports development, Kieran Townsend started working for the Little Kickers franchise based in Reading. After some time as a coach and then operations manager, the Oxford franchise came up for sale and for Kieran, it was game on!
Kieran joined Little Kickers as a franchisee six years ago and since then has expanded, now employing up to 20 coaches and running more than 40 hours of sessions per week in Oxford, West Oxford and Aylesbury. This year, Kieran was recognised for his hard work and skill in developing the franchise and was named as Little Kickers Franchisee of the Year.
Kieran confirms: “I love teaching and coaching, but I also enjoy the business development side of the franchise. I like the creative aspect of planning classes and coming up with new ideas that add value too. This might be setting up a holiday club or introducing sticker books. Anything that’s fun and adds to the experience for our Little Kickers.
“Like many people who are passionate about running their own businesses and ‘doing the day job’ I find the accounting side of the franchise a little more challenging! Therefore, to avoid being bogged down by the numbers and potentially dropping the ball, I have been pleased to team-up with chartered accountants and business advisory firm d&t for the past five years.
“d&t works with many franchise companies and also around 35 Little Kickers franchisees in the UK, so they understand our business really well. Initially, they did my end of year accounts but as the franchise has grown, d&t now manage my bookkeeping, payroll, management accounts, personal accounting and more recently have helped me with business planning.
“Creating a workable business plan to help me develop my franchise has been a productive experience. It’s more than just about kicking the details into-touch. It’s about knowing exactly where the goal posts are having a clear game-plan.
“We started by discussing aims and aspirations in terms of numbers of children I wanted the franchise to reach and how many per class and by when. Then d&t took this information and worked backwards to factor in ongoing costs, overheads and day-to-day running costs. Following more discussion, d&t then built a plan and timeline from there.
“As each element was created, it was sent to me to check and make sure it was realistic and then any adjustments made. The final plan includes P&L, cashflow forecast and balance sheets for the next three years. Once completed, d&t went through the workings with me, so I can understand the background and I can see the levels of growth, numbers of children and classes needed to hit targets. The plan also indicates the number of coaches I need and when I can hire more. Recently I’ve been able to hire an admin assistant safe in the knowledge the business had reached the appropriate size to support this.
“The plan plus my quarterly management accounts now means I can monitor and keep track of business development easily. It means I’m in a good position to plan-ahead and expand. It also allows me to benchmark where I am at any point in the year and what I need to achieve to keep in-line with the end game.
“d&t have been great to work with, Steve Lloyd and Lindsey Morley are my main contacts and I’ve worked with Laura Williams and Renata Selley who were really helpful. They are all knowledgeable and offer an experienced perspective on any ideas, all from a number crunching background. The payroll team are great too.
“As a business owner you cannot be expected to be an expert in every aspect of running a franchise and so working with d&t has helped me play to my strengths while knowing they will defend the numbers! I am always happy to recommend d&t’s services. The team at d&t have been instrumental to the success of my franchise so far and will continue to provide support from the bench as I grow.”
For further information please see: https://www.team-dt.com
Originally published in Franchise World, March 2020