[Children’s Activity Providers] You didn’t come this far to stop now

Well, this year has truly been… different?!

Just as most activity providers eased down to enjoy Christmas with family, many of you will have been swiftly put into Tier 4 restrictions in England, and those around other parts of the UK have seen greater restrictions imposed heading into 2021 too.

Of course, not the end to the year any of us would have wished for.

There is a temptation to fall into the traps of pessimism and negativity and those doubts and fears are absolutely real. We’ve had to deal with uncertainty all year and it looks like this will continue heading into 2021.

However, a few of our thoughts and words of optimism as we close out the year.

Nothing in life is ever certain. Part and parcel of running a small business is dealing with the ups and downs it throws your way every year, so while of course 2020 has been perhaps the toughest challenge we’ve all faced as business owners, understand this will pass (despite it seeming pretty endless right now).

We as a country will deal with Coronavirus (just like other pandemics humans have faced) and this tough time to be running a business in the children’s activity sector will end at some point. There’s a real need to keep the faith and hold onto optimism about the longer-term future.

Really importantly over the next few weeks, you can do one of two things:

1. Surrender to doubt and fear caused by the uncertainty and negativity across media


2. Hold onto the belief and knowledge that we will prevail – your business will thrive once again

It’s possible you may ebb and flow in and out of these two things of course, but we suggest you aim for option 2 as much as you can.

This may just be the most important thing you do over the coming weeks.

There is going to be lots of negative media attention as the Government comes under scrutiny around their decisions over what to do next with Covid-19 (and the small matter of Brexit). We think you’ll really be best served ensuring you’re filtering out the noise and controlling your media consumption in this regard. 

Now would be the time to make sure you’re being kept up to date with reliable (non-sensationalist) media channels and making sure you continue getting a daily dose of positivity and perspective. Mindfully choosing not to listen to the many messages of doom and gloom will be critical to both your mental health and your decision making for your business in 2021.

Final thought
We know that children’s activity providers are made of solid stuff. You’ve shown resilience and courage to adapt and work with the challenges over the past few months and while 2021 will likely start with more uncertainty, you should take comfort and confidence is just how well you’ve managed to juggle everything so far.

You CAN do this and you certainly didn’t come this far to stop now.

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy Christmas and festive season.

By becoming a member of ICAP you’re joining a community of like-minded professionals and business owners in the children’s activity sector working towards excellence

Pip Wilkins

Pip Wilkins is the Chief Executive of the British Franchise Association (bfa). With 25 years’ experience in the franchise sector, Pip has worked her way up within the Association, gaining insight from all areas of the business and the franchise industry. She is well-known and highly regarded in franchising for her dedication and depth of knowledge. Pip regularly speaks at conferences and seminars both domestically and internationally, as well as writing on franchising matters for national, local and franchising trade press. Pip is also a regular judge for the annual bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, the Franchise Marketing Awards and Global Franchise Awards. Pip represents the UK at both the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and World Franchise Council (WFC). The bfa has grown to be one of the largest franchise associations in Europe, and one of the most successful associations in the world.

Theo Millward

Theo Millward is a graduate of Lancaster University with a BBA in Management. In 2016 Theo purchased UK swim school, Swimtime from the founders which teaches 20,000 children a week. Following a multi-award- winning digital transformation, during the global pandemic, Theo and his team founded Franscape, a saas that digitally transforms Franchise brands. FranScape won New Business of the Year at the UK Business Awards.

Andy Georgiou

Andy is the Founder of ICAP and a leading UK Franchise Business Consultant. He is fiercely committed to helping children’s activity providers build successful and profitable businesses. With qualifications in Business Management, Digital Media and Marketing, he has helped build, advise and grow leading 6 and 7 fiqure children’s education, sports and activity brands in the past 17 years.

Frank Sahlein

Frank has been active in the Children’s Activity Center industry as an athlete, coach, business owner, consultant and business broker. He is a native of San Mateo, California and graduated from San Jose State University in California (USA).
Frank was a pioneer of the Children’s Learning Opportunity Center concept from 1976 – 2016 at the Wings Center in Boise, Idaho (USA) – a blend of Sports Instruction, Arts, Education, Entertainment and Outreach programs.
As a business management innovator, Frank has delivered over 1,000 presentations for a variety of Children’s Activity Center industries such as gymnastics, swimming, cheerleading, dance, martial arts/ninja and child care/education.
3rd Level Consulting is a Business Development and Service Provider Partner for private industry companies, associations, and organizations in the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Panama.
Two-time recipient of the National Business Leader Award from USA Gymnastics, Frank is the author of “Building Your Business Potential” and “Designing Your Empowered Life”. He is the creator of the SmartEDGE™ Business Applications and Management Certification Courses. He is the co-founder of LEAP Learning and the MetaSpheres Corp, and is the founder and Executive Director of the International Association of Child Development Programs.
His passions include his beautiful wife Lourdes Gonzalez, family, friends, fitness training, transformational reading and travel.