Little Gym, The

CEO Grows The Little Gym by Building Confidence in Franchise Owners, Children

The Little Gym is the premier children's motor skill development program in the world that for 28 years has provided hundreds of thousands of children worldwide with physical, intellectual, emotional and social benefits. Under the leadership of forward-thinking president and CEO Bob Bingham, the company continues to grow its positive reputation internationally among parents, children and franchise owners.

Bingham, a successful broadcasting executive, joined The Little Gym in 1994, looking to take the company to the next level in through franchise growth. Bingham came on board with a fresh and unique concept on how to build a franchise - "cloning" the system's most competent franchisees.

"Rather than grow with franchising executives from other companies, I recognized the extraordinary backgrounds and experience of The Little Gym franchise owners themselves," Bingham said. "My vision was to bring these people, bound by their common passion for The Little Gym business, together as a team and have them help guide the company's future," said Bingham, noting that almost all of The Little Gym management team are current or previous The Little Gym franchise owners.

The process expanded in 1997 as Bingham began to replace his entire franchise support staff with existing franchise owners. He asked his most competent, profitable franchisees to give 10 hours of their time each week to help and advise new owners. Once implemented, the "owner/advisor" program boosted the success rate of new franchisees astronomically. Bingham then decided to capture the expertise of the experienced owners on the management team.

"The idea was for our best owners to come on board at the corporate level and create and clone themselves in our franchise system," Bingham said. "Our new franchisees have a great deal of respect for our management team because they know they have been there as franchisees themselves. That lends tremendous credibility."

The Little Gym franchise owners come from diverse backgrounds, including former attorneys, doctors, teachers, sales and marketing executives or others in the business world who felt there was something missing in their lives. According to Bingham, people with virtually any background can be successful as The Little Gym franchise owners, as long as they are motivated, energetic and share a love for children and make use of the variety of support tools provided by The Little Gym corporate office.

"As you help children develop motor skills, they sparkle; and their parents see what a positive impact you and The Little Gym are making in their lives," said Bob Bingham, president and CEO of The Little Gym, International, Inc. "Through our thorough training program, our franchisees' confidence grows, as does the success of their gym. We have more than 100 franchise owners who are proud and happy to live their dreams, everyday. They enjoy a fun and rewarding career, while enriching the lives of children and building a sound financial future. It doesn't get any better than that."

While The Little Gym fields multiple inquiries from prospective franchisees daily, the company takes pride in selectiveness - awarding franchises to only the most qualified candidates who show passion for the concept, exceptional business aptitude and a true love for children.

"We are finding that in recruiting franchisees, financial success is important, but it isn't everything," Bingham said. "The opportunity to work with kids and make a difference in their lives, and to have fun while working hard is what drives our franchise owners to change their lives and be in control of their own destiny."

The Little Gym was founded in 1976 by Robin Wes, an innovative educator with a genuine love for children. The Little Gym's sequential children's skill development program was created to help children develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially, giving children the confidence they need for a lifetime of success.

The Little Gym International, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, was formed in 1992 in order to franchise The Little Gym concept. Today, The Little Gym International has more than 160 franchises in 14 countries.

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