Typical Non-Franchise Story

The “HappyFeet-Legends” curriculum is suited to numerous environments. Our sessions work beautifully in pre-schools, day cares, mother’s day outs, indoor soccer facilities, roller rinks, gyms, churches, fitness center, martial arts studios, etc. With a medium to large area, suitable props, a great philosophy, appropriate lesson plans, proven promotion methods and qualified teachers you should be guaranteed to succeed.

However, what normally occurs in most commercial physical education programs is that an individual first recognizes the opportunity to fill a void and the potential to earn revenue from being the service provider. This enterprising individual will often jump into all the promoting and coaching on their own before eventually finding other coaches to service the growing workload.

As the months and years go by the coaches make it up as they go along. They try to figure out by a process of failure and review what does and doesn’t work. Through trial and error they either disappoint their customers and fail themselves out of a job or slowly and gradually develop their enrollment at the cost of family, friends, sanity and financial comfort. The ultimate consequence is that the business fails because it relies too heavily on the versatility and expertise of one crucial individual. One family tragedy, a serious injury, a financial crunch and any number of other life challenges can bring a business of this kind to a screeching halt!

     Life and business is littered with the failures of entities that relied too heavily on one or two key people and couldn't survive their loss when normal life transitions caused them to move on or quit.    
How do we know this sad story? We have been doing this for over 20 years and have had to overcome such challenges many times along the way.

In 1985 when I opened an indoor sports mall in KC, I started running 3, 4 & 5 year old “MiniKicker” classes. At first I taught every class but soon realized that even though I had a good work ethic, had a solid coaching/teaching background and could entertain young children, I occasionally needed some time off and at other times couldn’t get enthusiastic about coaching back to back classes for hours on end. I had to face the reality that the long hours involved in running a facility plus doing all the teaching was an impossible task. That’s when I started writing a “cookie cutter” curriculum and started to put together a coaching staff.


Life can be humbling. It wasn’t until I had reached breaking point that I truly appreciated the need for tried and tested marketing systems, lesson plans, a long-term curriculum, data base/record keeping methods, follow-up and re-sign procedures. Putting all this together has taken over twenty years. That’s two decades of experimenting, refining and perfecting the HappyFeet-Legends concept and the back up systems that will ensure HappyFeet-Legends franchisees a guaranteed career path. With our concept and systems there’s every possibility of keeping children involved in the HappyFeet-Legends program year round for anywhere between 10-17 years between age 2 & 19.

For over twenty years I have seen good coaches come and go, I have watched good soccer clubs decimated by coaching defections. I have witnessed the demise of some of the nation’s biggest soccer camp companies. Through this time of amazing change in American soccer it has been the organizations with the greatest ability to depend on their systems and strength of concept that have survived and prospered. It is certainly true that good people are at the core of any successful business but there are plenty of good people who would like to make a career in teaching soccer to kids. Therefore it is the combined value of a rock solid concept and the knowledge of how to make that concept work with effective systems, curriculum, training and education that determines long-term success. 

       Without the benefit of experience the only possible outcome is much wasted     time, effort, and big dollars lost while learning what does or doesn't  work by   trial and error.    
This isn’t a scare tactic! It’s an axiom, a universal truth. Those who would go it alone without consulting an expert will inevitably expend far greater energy for lower rewards. In all of life’s ventures there is no substitute for experience. Nowhere is this truer than where the rookie competes with the veteran. Everything else being equal the veteran will win 100% of the time and by a significant margin.

Am I exaggerating? Not at all!! Now consider the effect of teaching burnout. Eventually even those business owners with the greatest initial motivation will burnout if they have to do it all. If that’s the fate of the person who owns the business it will happen much sooner to key employees who don’t have the equivalent vision, emotional or financial investment in the business.

Another problem is how do you expand and offer more classes at more locations if you only have one or two good instructors? How do you get good instructors?

A further huge challenge is keeping customers if you hire a dud instructor. A lot of programs hire instructors and train them as they go. Usually by the time they find out they aren’t very good they’ve already lost a lot of business.

Studies have shown that a customer will pass a bad experience on to eight people but a good experience is only passed to one or two people. 

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