How was your franchise/opportunity originally conceived and started?
i9 Sports began in 1995 when our founder, Frank Fiumme became frustrated over the poor quality of the adult softball leagues he was playing in and decided he could do it better.
What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?
Frank later realized that youth sports was even more ripe for reinvention than adult sports and moved from an adult sports to a youth sports model that was and is focused on fun and inclusivity for the kids and convenience and organization for the adults.
What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise? What are you getting for what you are paying?
You buy a franchise for a proven system for doing business. That system needs to outstanding to justify the cost.
Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises?
Our "Winning Game Plan" step by step marketing guide, the national electronic marketing that we bring to the table, benchmark operations support, outstanding business coaches, technology that includes our Franchise Manager software package that automates a lot of the business, our consumer website and mobile web site, our business model that allows you to scale the business to reach your financial goals, our comprehensive four phase training program.
What makes your industry attractive?
There are 42 million kids playing youth sports today. Most existing programs are run as they were twenty-five years ago, while the world itself has changed. Parents today are busier than ever and need convenience and great customer service. They also want something better for their kids and they are willing to pay for it.
What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?
You have to have drive, an ability to relate to customers, comfortable in a multitasking environment, comfortable with technology, and have an ability to delegate to others.
What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?
On-going support from your business coach, constant updates to the Franchise Manager software package, consumer web site, and mobile website, marketing support, the ongoing development of existing programs and development of new programs.
How do territories work for your franchisees?
Territories are exclusive and are based on the number of kids ages 14 and under within the defined geography.
Why has your franchise model been successful?
Great vision, great technology, great support.
Where do you see your franchise in 5 years and 10 years?
We will have built out the United States within five years and will be actively developing other countries within ten.
What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?
Do your due diligence on the front-end to make sure you are working with the right model and the right people, then, follow the plan.
What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?
I personally own a franchise and it has been a wonderful journey for me and my family. Franchise ownership has given us a lifestyle that would not have been possible otherwise. Anything worth pursuing has some risk. If you have the right mindset for business ownership, are not afraid to work hard and be accountable for your success, are willing to do the due diligence to get into the right system, then you can be successful.
Can you explain your financial assistance (if applicable)?
We offer in-house financing of up to 2/3's of the franchise and territory fee for qualified applicants. We also have a "Getting Finance Ready" package that helps our candidates become viable candidates for SBA and other loans.
On average, how long does it take to start a new franchise from the franchisees point of view?
45 to 60 days.
What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?
Frank was a Medical Sales representative with a life-long passion for sports.