Welcome to Soccer Lions franchise information

At this point you are interested in the idea of having a Soccer Lions franchise but are not too sure on how franchises work, but especially how does the Soccer Lions franchise work. 

To ensure we at Soccer Lions operate our franchise ethically and you are fully prepared about the life changing decision we would advise you to consider the following pages of information before you decide whether franchising with Soccer Lions is what you want to be considered for.

Soccer Lions History

We have been operating as Soccer Lions since August 2011, because of the need for a child development programme that engaged all families with children from ages of 1 to 5 in every community. Using soccer / football as a medium we have developed the most complete and exciting programme to be launched in early years. We have also  have had over 5 year experience operating as a franchise prior to this date. This gave us vast experience and understanding on what you as a franchisee expect from their franchisor.

The 3 main parts are:

  1. Early Years
  2. Soccer / Football
  3. Business

The Management Team

The success of our business will be ensured due to the experience and knowledge of the management team who will lead you to success.

  • Jo and Netty Donner - between them have over 30 year's experience working in early years settings and delivering soccer based programes to children from 1 - 6 yrs old.
  • Carl Robinson - 20 year’s experience in soccer / football facility management and Marketing, coaching and administration.
  • Paul Willis - 30 year's business experience.

We have recently started a 2nd area as a pilot franchise for Soccer Lions in October 2012 in South Leicestershire and North Nottinghamshire and you are more than welcome to contact Graham Spencer direct on

If after reading about Soccer Lions and you decide that the Soccer Lions franchise is not what you are looking for I wish you all the very best in the future.


Founder of Soccer Lions

Carl Robinson



British Franchise Assosiation

In this section we’ll cover

  • About the BFA
  • The role of the BFA
  • History of the BFA

About the BFA (British Franchise Association)

One of the BFA's main roles is to help potential franchisees recognise the good franchises and the not-so-good, as well as to help businesses involved in franchising to secure their own position amongst the "good". This work is not just a philanthropic exercise for reputable and responsible franchisors. It makes good commercial sense. The ability of franchisors to attract potential franchisees to invest in their systems depends crucially on their own reputation, and on the reputation of franchising in general.

It was for these reasons that in 1977 the major franchising companies in the UK decided to set up their own association. The British Franchise Association (BFA), was formed to act in the interests of the industry as a whole in assessing and accrediting franchising companies as those which meet its criteria for the structure of the business, the terms of the contract between franchisor and franchisee, the testing of the system and its success as a franchise.

Franchisors and professional advisors to the industry wishing to be accredited must put themselves forward to the BFA to be tested against its strict and extensive criteria. Only if they successfully pass accreditation are they then able to join the BFA as a member, gain access to the benefits of membership and become represented by the Association.

The role of the BFA

The British Franchise Association is the voice of ethical franchising in the UK, the Trade Association for those who pass accreditation and educator to the many potential individuals and businesses that consider franchising.

It is just as important for the BFA to encourage and help those businesses and individuals who are suitable for franchising and where franchising is right for them, as it is to educate those unsuitable to the industry of the many aspects to be considered.

The franchising industry has grown significantly over the past 30 years and the BFA’s role remains to ensure that it retains its ethical image, commitment to best practice and robustness – even in the toughest of economic climates.

As well as providing information and advice to businesses wanting to franchise or people considering joining a franchise, the BFA also works closely with its members to help advance their expertise in the industry and speaks on their behalf to the media and government.

History of the BFA

By the early 1970s franchising had started to show what it could really achieve in the UK, with a number of very successful businesses using ethical franchising as a sound and secure way to expand their business and offer numerous opportunities for people to own their own business.

However, as with every good idea, there are always those who want to capitalise on the benefits, but not commit to the best practice. It was for this reason that in 1977 eight franchise companies came together to form their own Association, the British Franchise Association, which would represent ethical franchising – based on formal criteria for membership and a code of business practice.

By the mid-eighties the BFA had grown and developed, but already recognised the need to encapsulate the professional advisors from the industry into the Association. This would not only allow the industry to bring the professional advisors into the same fold with regards to best practice, but it would also allow potential clients to identify those advisors working to BFA standards. Therefore, in 1985 the Affiliate membership was created for professional advisors in franchising, which included banks, solicitors, consultants, media and various specialist suppliers.

As the UK industry grew and the international stage became more important, the bfa continued to grow both its membership and influence. By 1994 the BFA, along with a number of other international colleagues, founded the World Franchise Council, providing a formal platform for all major franchise associations around the world to share knowledge, and advise on international matters.

In recent years, the biggest development was the release of the BFA’s “One Vision” document in 2008. This outlined a better representation and more bespoke standards for Affiliate members and the engagement of franchisees into the Association as members in their own right.


Introducing Franchising

You know what a franchise is and how the system works, but there’s a great deal to consider before you can even begin putting a business plan together or broaching the idea with friends and family.

With franchising, like any other start-up, you’ll need to ask yourself whether you’re prepared for long hours and the sacrifices you may need to make. If you’re determined to get a franchise up and running, this section will offer you the information you to take you through the first steps to making your dream a reality. After reading this section you should have a good idea of whether a Soccer Lions franchise business is right for you.

In this section we’ll cover

  • What franchising is?
  • What costs are involved?
  • A growth industry

What franchising is?

Business format franchising is the Soccer Lions (Franchisor) granting a licence to another (the franchisee, the person (s) who buys and runs the franchise) which entitles the franchisee to trade under the trade mark Soccer Lions. You will pay Soccer Lions (franchisor) for our business package, enabling you to use its brand name, technology, products and business model for a set period, for 5 or 10 years on a renewable contract.

Choosing to run a Soccer Lions franchise will give you the opportunity to start a new business quickly and to benefit from a range of support from the franchisor.

As a franchisee with Soccer Lions, you’ll own and operate you own business, with Soccer Lions (Franchisor) retaining overall control over the way products and services are sold. You’ll also agree to run the business according to the standards set out by Soccer Lions (Franchisor) The relationship between franchisor and franchisee is a major factor in the success of your business.

What costs are involved?

What will it cost you to start a Soccer Lions Franchise? You’ll pay Soccer Lions Franchisor a start-up fee and a monthly management service fee. So if you are looking to start this franchise on a shoe string starting a franchise is probably not a viable option at the moment.

The management service fee is based on the number of children in your area you require or a percentage of annual turnover whichever is the greatest.

In return we will support you every step of the way supporting you with training, product development, marketing, business developing, and a specialist range of services to make you a successful business.  

A Growth Industry

In recent years, franchising has outperformed other start-up businesses largely because in franchising much of the groundwork needed to set up and run a business exists already. 

Franchising offers a format of a locally owned and run company, with branding, a business system, economics of scale and support from a wider  network that can offer a business a good chance of success. And there are plenty of facts and figures on the industry to the support this view.

Franchise industry statistics

Industry annual turnover: £13.4 billion, in 2009 it was £11.8 billion

Number of franchisor brands operating in the UK: 929

Number of franchisee outlets: 40,100

Number of people employed in franchising: 594,000

Percentage of units profitable (including new businesses): 91%

The average age of a franchisee is 47; for those just starting out it is 42

On average it takes a franchisee four months to decide to purchase a franchise and a further two months to get trained and set up in business.

This has grown from an industry that 20 years ago had a turnover of just over £5 billion, had 379 different brands and represented 18,300 franchisee outlets.

Is Franchising Right For You?

Franchising isn’t suited to everyone, so it’s important that you are comfortable with a Soccer Lions franchise, as previously discussed buying this franchise is a quick way into setting up your own business.  So if you are interested in Soccer Lions and a franchise working in Early Years development then we may be an attractive business opportunity for you.

But while there are many positives about becoming  Soccer Lions franchise working  in early years there are also some disadvantages you’ll need  to consider before deciding whether have a Soccer Lions franchise is the correct decision. Some may say that a franchise is too inflexible and others want to have a bigger say in how the business is run and operated, but feel it is not possible within a possible franchise business, as Soccer Lions franchisor we will always retain a significant level of control over how the company is run.

In this section we’ll cover

  • The Business
  • Trading Territory
  • Easier to Finance
  • Level of Support

The Business

A strong brand is a great advantage and as we are developing our recognition throughout the UK we will be ripping up tree’s in Early Years as our programme hits the market across the UK.

The failure rate among stand –alone business start-ups is awful. That’s not surprising. It’s not easy to get the product and service mix, pricing, marketing and sales strategy, equipment and product supply arrangements, and location decisions right first time when starting a new business.

A small error on just one of these elements could leave you with a 5% net loss on the bottom  line rather than a 5% net profit .At Soccer Lions , these issues have been tried and, modified and tested for you,  over a two year period in a couple of separate locations.

Trading Territory

We set our territories based on local councils whether that city or county council, you sessions and schools will not be allowed to cross this boundary line.

You will be allowed to bolt on districts to your current franchise area for a minimum fee, and your monthly management fee shall increase depending on the number children located in the area.

Easier to Finance

Financing a business can be one of the biggest obstacles that entrepreneurs encounter, but you will find that financing a Soccer Lions franchise business is easier than if you were looking to fund a business from scratch.

It is possible that it will be easier for you to obtain financial support from many banks because you are buying into a proven business model. This is why you will be expected to make an investment up front.

Level of Support

One of the major benefits of starting a franchise with Soccer Lions is having access to the support from the franchisor will give you and the relationship you will be having with other franchises to network with.

Starting a business can be a lonely experience for many franchisee’s so it is important that you communicate with like-minded individuals throughout the Soccer Lions franchisee world.

Levels of support at Soccer Lions:

  • Head Office
  • Master Franchise holder (if in operation)
  • Regional Franchise holder (if in operation)
  • Franchisees

It is important that before you decide to enquire about having a Soccer Lions franchise you ensure you have the correct level of support from friends and family. Being a new Soccer Lions franchise owner will take up more of your time and energy than you could possibly imagine and it’s essential that you and your family are prepared.

If your family (spouse, children and parents) aren’t on board with you 100%, at some point you, your business and / or your family will bear the consequences and will most affected by your workload.

We recommend that you speak to a legal expert who specialises in franchising to help you understand the ins and outs of the franchise agreement.

Benefits to you

As a franchisee you will receive a level of support that will assist you to develop your own business by following the guidelines we have set out before you in this NOP. Many years of business experience have been used to give you a fully operational business with many key aspects linking into the Early Years development.

Business support shall be provided by our Business and Admin team on a day to day basis, with expert advice for launch, promotions, events, presentations etc

The main advantages to you for having this franchise are:

  • Proven business record
  • Operating manual
  • Measured outcomes over a period
  • Policies and procedures
  • Ongoing management support
  • Ongoing research and development
  • National and local marketing strategies
  • Being part of a larger network

Because you have invested your own money into the business you will have a greater interest in achieving success that can be expected of direct employees.

Lower Failure Rate:

when you buy a franchise, you are buying into an established concept that has a proven record of success. Statistics show that franchisees stand a much better chance of success than people who start independent businesses – independent businesses stand a 70% to 80% chance of NOT surviving the first few critical years while franchisees have an 80% chance of surviving (Michael M Coltman, Franchising in Canada: Pros and Cons, Self-Counsel Press).

Support with Start Up and for the future:

As the franchisor, we have an high level of interest in the success of your franchise to ensure your business is a success, and positive selling point for future franchise sales. Franchise training is for 1 week which will go through separate aspects of the business such as:

  1. The Programme and delivery.
  2. Admin and database management.
  3. Sales and Marketing

Further aspects of training will be implemented after the franchisee has commenced on Getting set up for funding and funding opportunities.

Buying Power:

As a franchisor with many quality franchisee’s we will collectively benefit when purchasing products or goods giving us greater buying power.

Brand quality and protection:

Our brand will be protected against copy cat programmes and our brand will become a National brand that is recognised. In the long term buying a franchise can be like buying a business with built-in customers. Branding, logos, marketing and advertising materials will already have been developed by the franchisor so there is no need for the franchisee to spend their time and money on this activity.


As well as advertising and branding, a franchisee enjoys the protected reputation of the Franchisor. We will have designated management and departments that will support the franchisee with issues such as lawsuits, accidents and difficulties with employees if they arise.

Benefits to Soccer Lions

There has of late been significant growth in terms of Franchise specialty businesses, which is expected to continue. The 2008 NatWest BFA survey records 809 franchise systems in operation in the UK. Franchising is proving to be more and more the way forward for future expansion.

Key advantages are:

  • Provides for faster worldwide expansion
  • Acquires local knowledge and contacts from Franchisees
  • Attracts motivated and dedicated business entrepreneurs
  • Attracts motivated professionals in child development
  • Collective national and local marketing campaigns
  • Improves market share
  • Maintains a uniform service to customers
  • Greater accessibility to best practice
  • Greater outcomes achieved

Most of all we want to be engaged with great people who want to make a difference to children’s lives throughout their community where ever this is in the world. 

Is it for you?

Is a Soccer Lions Franchise For You?

Franchising has proved to be the safest way of starting your own business, and nine in ten franchises say they are making a profit. But that doesn’t mean that Soccer Lions is the right franchise for you? We will need to assess your strengths and weaknesses before we would consider you as a Soccer Lions franchise.

The success on any Soccer Lions franchise and its location depends very much on you – the franchisee – following a set of rules and ensuring that customers have a similar experience no matter where they visit a franchise.

This means your product, branding, design, packaging and operations have to be the same as the next franchisee’s. Implementing the Normal Operating Procedures (NOP) of the Soccer Lions Franchisor and implementing them is a large task and needs support from family and friends

If you don’t feel this is an environment you will be able to thrive in, then Soccer Lions may not be for you, ultimately it could lead to clashes with us which would make the relationship extremely difficult. However if you feel you can see a clearly mapped out plan and future following a set of rules then maybe we are the right choice for you.

One of the advantages of becoming a Soccer Lions franchise is the support you will receive and advice we will provide to steer your franchise in the correct direction, although we will help you to steer in the correct direction we cannot keep our foot on the gas for you, this has to be done by you and only you. This is your business and with our support we will endeavour to make every single one a success.

Your commitment is key

Business – You must possess the personal qualities to operate a Soccer Lions franchise, will you pick up the phone and knock on doors to develop your business?  You must be prepared to work extremely hard and it will be an advantage if you have previously worked in Early Years or education in your area.

This is not a get rich quick scheme you will be working many hours but with the flexibility to work around child care and family. Working hours of 60 hours plus have not been unheard of from franchisees getting there business off the ground. You will need to be fully committed.

Early Years – Your commitment to make a difference with children in your community is an essential quality that we expect to see from the franchisee, experience in these areas is an advantage but not essential as we are a child development programme with the programme being linked into the Early Years Foundation Scheme (EYFS)

Management Experience

As a Soccer Lions franchisee, you will be a business owner and the business needs to be managed. You will be managing your accounts, credit control, local advertising, public relations, VAT returns and everything else that is part of running your own business. We have processes in place and training methods that relate to all these management tasks, but you’ll still have to do it.

Depending on the type of franchise you opt for, in the early days you may have to take on many of the day to day task yourself, but as you profit margins increases, you’ll want to consider employing staff. In these circumstances, management experience is essential and we will be on the look for people who can manage and motivate staff.

Passionate about Early Years

We will be looking for franchisee’s who are passionate about early years and want to operate a franchise to support children throughout your community.

We will succeed if you as the franchisee are behind it, and passionate about the product and services we offer. By choosing the early year’s sector and this is something you are interested in, you are likely to understand and learn faster improving your skills in a shorter space of time.


Running A Soccer Lions Franchise?

Once you have decided whether you have the necessary aptitude and mind set to become a Soccer Lions franchise, the next step is to consider what it will be like running a Soccer Lions franchise.

Most of your time at the beginning will be on the phone, meeting customers, selling Soccer Lions and its wonderful programme, if you have never done sales you may need to consider whether it’s something you are willing to do.

While you will be receiving a ready-made business model you will need to sell the product in your franchise area. You will receive training in sales and we have systems to support you through this process but systems only work if you use them correctly.

Day to Day Basis

On a day to day basis you must remember as Soccer Lions you are never alone and we are only a phone call away, keeping a good working relationship with head office is essential and keeping in touch with updates of your progress and challenges you may encounter.

Any challenges you may come across we have more than likely we have already faced a similar situation and we will be able to assist you. Use our experience rather than learn the hard way! That is why you will be joining a franchise and not setting up on your own.

Keeping on Top

You must keep on top of your finance and monitor your cash flow is key to your business. Refer back to your business plan to ensure that your figures are in line with your expectations. It is normal to review and change your business plan as opportunities arise and areas develop quicker than others.

By following your marketing strategies pre-set for you, shall provide a flow of enquiries for you to manage on a daily basis.

But the fact of the matter is the reason we have you are interested in and have the passion for a Soccer Lions franchise. Your enthusiasm will be contagious – if you can convey your service and product, then you are more likely to be successful at converting and retaining customers.

Which Franchise Is Right For You?

We operate four types of franchises and it is important to ask yourself exactly what you want from the business in terms of support, day-to-day responsibilities, work-life balance, skills required and opportunities for on-going learning.

In this section we will cover the different types of franchises available.

Job franchise

These are also referred to as a ‘single operator’ franchises and are so called because you are in affect buying a job for yourself, with no responsibility for other employees. The size of the area is restricted to districts or cities but numbers of children is also considered. 

Management franchise

As a franchise of a management franchise, you’ll be marketing and managing a business while trained staff carry out actual business activities. The size of area is restricted to maximum of counties. Qualifications and experience in early years and management essential.

Regional franchise

As a regional franchise manager, you will supporting franchisees locally who have a job or management franchise to ensure profits are maximised and opportunities are maximised.

Regional franchisees are offered by the Franchisor to a successful management franchise after a period of sustained success has been achieved by the franchisee. Only one regional franchisee is in operation at any one time.

Master franchise

As a master franchisee, you would secure exclusive rights to develop the Soccer Lions brand, trading style and system internationally. You will be responsible for introducing the franchise into the country of your choice and then running it. You would be taking the role of the franchisor.

What we Expect

What We Expect From You?

Stages to becoming a Soccer Lions franchisee

From the day you look at Soccer Lions at potentially becoming a franchisee it can take between 3 – 9 months before you get to deliver your first session.

We have developed 10 stages to becoming a successful Soccer Lions franchisee which have no set timeline as most of the work is completed by you and is in your control.  We have not added your financial position in these stages as part of your process is to ensure you have these available at the time required.

Stage 1 Read franchising section of the Soccer Lions website
Stage 2 Send CV to
Stage 3 We will contact you to arrange interview and discussion
Stage 4 You will be required to write a business plan
Stage 5 2nd Interview to discuss business plan
Stage 6 Discuss and agree franchise agreement (deposit)
Stage 7 Training delivered
Stage 8 Commence franchise
Stage 9 6 month monitor
Stage 10 12 month monitor

Working with children

Working with children is very rewarding as well as lots of fun. To work with children you have to be flexible and patient and Soccer Lions franchise involves working weekdays and weekends supporting the core offer.

You will be subjected to an advanced CRB check which will be your responsibility to ensure this is successfully obtained with Head Office retaining a copy along with the franchise agreement.


It is desirable that you have a minimum of a NVQ level 3 or equivalent qualification as a child practitioner to operate our franchises however this is not essential.

For successful franchisee’s a child care qualification must be obtained within two  year’s of taking on a franchise through open learning. Information will be provided for the courses available to you if required.

Other qualifications that will support your successful application:

  1. Management
  2. Coaching
  3. Parenting
  4. Child development
  5. Child minders
  6. Sales and Marketing


Your experience working with children will be invaluable to your application as we consider experienced practitioners the heartbeat of Soccer Lions. However this experience will not guarantee you a franchise as with all walks of life there are good and bad in every business and you will be fully assessed as part of the interview process.

Other experience that will be supportive to your application will be working with communities, agencies, schools, children centres, councils, NHS and others.

Driving Licence

This is essential, no licence no franchise.

Business Plan

As a prospective Soccer Lions franchisee you are required to produce a Business Plan regardless of whether you intend to borrow money from the bank.  But don’t be put off by the idea of writing a business plan, it’s not difficult, and if you do it properly it won’t be tedious either. It should be something you want to do and every bit exciting when you first thought about having a Soccer Lions franchise.

Writing the business plan should further increase your enthusiasm for starting the franchisee.  The reason for this is because by the end of the process you’re be able to progress from idea to business, from dream to reality. What’s also important others will be able to see a document and believe in your dream as well as you.

Your business plan plays a very important role in allowing you to manage your cash flow. It’s vital to establish just how much you intend to spend and when.  Unless your finance matches your requirements at the right moment, your business might stall.

You must complete a minimum of 3 years on your business plan, broken down by months for year 1, 2 and 3 separately.

Writing a Business Plan

Before you start putting a plan together we have a template which you can use which will provide you with basic elements to help you build your plan. However it must be made clear that the majority of the work that is done is by you.

Remember this is your business plan and you will make it happen and hit any predications you have put into your plan.

We will provide the following for your business plan.

  1. What Soccer Lions does
  2. Who your customers are
  3. Why people will buy your product
  4. Evidence that this market exists
  5. Why you will survive
  6. Details of suppliers and costs
  7. Demographic area and statistics (numbers of children)

You will provide

  1. Who you are and why you want to go into business
  2. Details of other directors or management
  3. How you will fund the setting up of the business
  4. How you will repay any money you borrow
  5. What your on-going costs and overheads will be
  6. Sales and revenue for Year 1, 2 & 3
  7. Your goals for the first 12 months
  8. Number of early Years settings
  9. Contacts in Early Years in you franchise area

The list might sound to exhaustive and it should be. Your business plan should present a watertight argument of why we should give you a Soccer Lions franchise. If it doesn’t we should be asking if this is right for you.

If you try to inflate income or reduce costs we will see right through it, and when writing the plan use bullet points instead of long text as small pieces of information are easier to change than large chunks of text.

Budgeting for the year

When working out your costs you need to plan each year separately. Consider start-up costs and the year’s expenses, even the first anniversary seems a long way away planning your budget will make it a happy anniversary.

You will be provided a financial budget excel spread sheet to support you with your forecast, which is placed at the end of your business plan.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a method for describing your future company in terms of the factors that will make the most impact on the business. Its name comes from the initials for the words of the elements used in the analysis.

  1. Strengths (Internal Factor)
  2. Weaknesses (Internal Factor)
  3. Opportunities (External Factor)
  4. Threats (External Factor)

You should carry out a SWOT analysis to identify if you are familiar with the Soccer Lions programme and to identify any key factors that may affect your franchise.

A SWOT summary is required as part of your business plan.

Marketing Strategy

As part of the business plan you must also complete your marketing strategy. Any business is only a successful one if sales and marketing are successfully managed.

Sales and Marketing is about accumulating knowledge and is an art as well as a science. But the process is not daunting with Soccer Lions.

Advice for your Marketing Strategy

You need to show that you have an understanding of sales and marketing and prove that you can attract and retain customers and generate repeat sales. Here is some advice when compiling your marketing strategy.

What we will provide:

  1. Our database system will record and measure your results.
  2. A catalogue of Marketing tools and costs associated to them.

What you will need to do:

  1. Define your target market and identify your potential customers
  2. Show how you understand the brand and the values you have brought into
  3. Plan your promotion strategy
  4. Set a budget
  5. Devise a schedule
  6. What will be the correct price point
  7. Where to advertise


Get someone to proof read your business plan and ask questions before you send it to us, because we will be asking questions about your plan.


Buying A Soccer Lions Franchise?

If you’ve decided that buying a Soccer Lions franchise is the right move for you, then you next need to decide whether you want a ’job franchise’ , where you do the work deal with customers, or a ‘management franchise’, where you employ others to do the work for you.

  1. A job franchise is where you will be delivering sessions while managing your business and can be as small as a local district with the option to expand over time.
  2. A management franchise is much larger scale and will include Cities, Counties or Regions.

Financial support

If you need to borrow money from the bank, you’ll need to find out whether they will consider a loan. Consider whether you would be capable of starting your own business in a market where you may have worked previously.

Serious about buying

Have you assessed your market place and looked to see if there are any competitors, within your region. If you are serious about buying a Soccer Lions franchise, you will need to know as much about the industry and market as if you were starting your own business from scratch, which will include writing a detailed business plan as part of your interview process.  While we will give you some support and guidance we will not do the report for you.

Where to go for finance

You do not have use your usual bank to obtain a loan, but you should approach a bank that has a dedicated franchise department, as there are some clear advantages in doing so. In the UK, banks that provide dedicated franchise finance and advice include Natwest, RBS, Lloyds TSB and HSBC.

They will know what the business plan will include and how the franchise may perform in the early days, and aim to structure the offer of any finance accordingly.


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