So many young people spend their summers, evenings, weekends and vacations working in aquatic environments. They do it because they love to swim. Perhaps they also love to teach others to swim. Or maybe, because of their passion for anything remotely related to swimming, they simply relish the idea of being in an environment surrounded by others learning and doing what they love.
Yet perhaps the most common reason people give for their love affair with swimming instruction is the instant gratification factor. You can teach a child to read, play music and dance ballet, which are all great things, but they also are long-term processes that can take years to acquire. With swimming, however, one day the child is frightened; the next day, they can do it. It’s the best feeling in the world, which is perhaps why it draws people back year after year.
Unfortunately, many young, passionate swimmers leave the industry under the assumption that there’s no affordable way to turn their passion into a business opportunity. They mistakenly believe that if they want to get into the business, such as opening a swim school, it will take at least a $1 million or more to build an indoor pool. Sadly, many of these talented, enthusiastic young people leave the industry behind prematurely, never considering it as a realistic career opportunity.
However, they need to know that there’s a wonderful swim industry out there, full of affordable, realistic opportunities that go well beyond simply teaching swim classes in someone else’s organization, camp or swim school. It’s an industry that can, and does, provide a phenomenal service, a great career and the personal satisfaction of owning a truly rewarding business. In fact, owning a swim school is within arm’s reach.
The question is, where does someone looking to turn their passion into an affordable business even begin? Following are some thoughts to consider in the process.
Becoming immersed in the swim industry as a long-term career requires a lot of energy. It’s exhausting being in water for hours on end, and often nerve-racking to deal with small children in water, frightened adults and high-energy superstar swimmers. Before deciding if you’re going to continue in the swim industry, determine if you can handle the lifestyle and pressure that comes with having a job that doesn’t fit into the 9 to 5 norms and can be as unpredictable as it can be rewarding.
Once you’ve decided you can handle the high-octane environment that is a swimming business, you’ll need to thoroughly explore all the options. Opportunities in this industry aren’t often exposed, resulting in a highly unrecognized career path. However, there are multiple arenas out there, and you must be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone to scrutinize each one individually and determine what is right for you.
Opening a swim school business can be quite complex, with many layers and kinks needing to be worked out to ensure you will be successful. Franchising is a safer consideration for those who don’t want to go through the trial-and-error process that comes with opening a business from scratch.
Also, take into consideration the fact that swim school franchisors have years of invaluable experience in the swimming and business worlds, and have already invested the time and money it takes to figure out what works and what doesn’t. They’ve made the mistakes that many business owners are timid to face, and have done the research and put in the time to build a strong business concept upon which others can capitalize.
Getting into a franchise requires start-up fees, but they are often lower than the cost of embarking on a brand-new venture. As a swim school franchisee, you’ll benefit from the training programs, marketing solutions and support to get you started and help ensure that you’re successful.
Something to consider in regard to franchises is whether you’ll need your own pool. Some franchises require investments to build a pool to hold classes in, which necessitates a larger amount of capital that many 20-somethings have.
Luckily, there are franchises out there that don’t require a build-out. These businesses hold swim classes in existing establishments with pools available in the community, such as hotels and recreation centers. This presents a mutually beneficial opportunity to the swim school owner and the establishments, which will receive additional revenue streams and potential customer foot traffic.
Every day the swim industry is losing ardent young people who think there are no opportunities available to them to create a profitable career doing what they love. With a little research and hard work, young entrepreneurs with swimming in their blood are able to stay in the water and pass their love of swimming on to others ... within a rewarding swim school business of their very own.