Lindsey Venner

As easy as 1,2,3…

Lindsey Venner, The Little GymLindsey Venner has been running her The Little Gym franchise since 2009. Having occupied a high-level, high-pressured role in the accounting industry for most of her working life, Chartered Accountant Lindsey was looking for a change in career after the birth of her second child.

During a visit to Amsterdam in 2003 to visit her sister, Lindsey took her son to a class at the local The Little Gym and was blown away by what she experienced. The class ignited a spark in Lindsey’s mind that this was the opportunity to escape the corporate grind and focus on something that would benefit herself, her family and the community in her hometown of Harpenden.

“In my previous career, I had learnt a lot about working with teams of people and businesses and how they work. After having my second child, a friend told me that they thought I’d be good at running my own business so I started looking into various different avenues. It was when my sister took me along to see a class at The Little Gym that I realised it was a great concept and I wanted to get involved. With a background in accounting, I felt like this was a business I could really make work and I wanted to do something different to finance.”

A solid business background ensured that Lindsey understood the potential for growth and the sustainable nature of the business. Being a mother, she recognised the value of her own children being in such an environment and felt passionate about offering the same opportunity to others. As her research began, Lindsey knew she was making the right choice.

“I already knew about franchising because I had a business background but I found out more about it through The Little Gym. I was drawn towards The Little Gym because it has a proven business concept so I could see how it worked and was able to meet other franchise owners to see if I wanted to do it myself. I also like the support offered by having other franchisees around me.”

The Little Gym is the world’s leading motor-skills development programme for children. Our teaching promotes a child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth in a non-competitive, nurturing environment. Above all, The Little Gym encourages children to be confident and to have fun!

Quality and service are synonymous with The Little Gym brand. With this in mind, we designed a pre and post opening training programme, which all new franchisees follow. 22 days of hands-on training are accompanied by assistance locating the perfect property, hiring and training your team and the best way to deliver your curriculum.

Ongoing support is design to be nurturing yet empowering and this is what makes The Little Gym franchisees so successful.

“The Little Gym offer training across several different areas of running the business. I attended a two-week  boot camp in Arizona of which half was based around the curriculum and how to teach and the other half was all about the business side, how to recruit staff and man the front desk. I also had an advisor to help me over the phone to help me with whatever I needed in the early days of my business. I find that I need a different kind of support now that my business is established but it’s still there when I need it.”

Founded in 1976, The Little Gym has over 35 years’ experience in child development. Our franchise network boasts over 300 gyms worldwide that are supported by a team of experts in all essential business disciplines. Our proven business model has been successfully operating in the UK for 11 years and the nation’s franchisees enjoy the benefits of an established and trusted premium brand.

Looking back, Lindsey believes that her professional background set her in great stead for her franchise and loves the flexibility offered by being her own boss.

“I think the skills that transferred over from my career in accounting were being able to manage a team of people effectively and multi-tasking. It’s not essential but I found that understanding the business model and the risk involved was a big help for me. It also helped me to understand the elements I didn’t know as much about so I could get help with those.”

“Being your own boss has lots of benefits. You can take time off when you need to and run the business your way. At the same time, you also have a network of people around you who are doing exactly the same thing. The support in terms of the curriculum and training and marketing materials is also invaluable.”

Our network of high-calibre professionals come from all walks of life but share a common passion. The pursuit of a successful career that offers a more rewarding way of life both personally and professionally. The ability to make a real difference in people’s lives motivates our entire franchise family. Flexibility and financial freedom come hand-in-hand with dedication and hard work. The Little Gym is much more than just a business; it’s a way of life.

“I was excited and scared when I started my business but it’s extremely rewarding. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved. We have affected the lives of children in our area and my team have learned a lot about the working environment and we’ve helped many of them onto the next step in their careers.”

In the UK alone, over 12,000 parents trust The Little Gym. Our franchise network has enjoyed consecutive year-on year growth and franchisees currently generate an average net operating profit of 22% with extremely high member retention rates continuing to be the key driver behind their success. The Little Gym proudly serve the children, families and communities in which we operate.

“My advice to anyone looking into franchising would be to do your research and be honest with yourself about whether you think you have the right attributes and knowledge to run the business. Go into it with your eyes open.

With this business, you get out what you put in – I always say it’s like having a third child with the amount of effort and emotion it’s taken but it’s so worth it because it’s extremely rewarding.”

With a successful 6 years behind her, Lindsey plans to continue working in a way that suits her new lifestyle, her family and of course her members.

“I’m right where I want to be, my business is that perfect balance of profitable and manageable and I’m intending to keep it that way!”


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