Why pursuing less can help you achieve more during Covid-19

Covid-19 has forced children’s activity providers to think outside the box.

When the national lockdown kicked in back in March this year, many switched services online; moving face to face sessions to Zoom, changed pricing options, pushed new products, even changing business models – providers did what needed to be done at a relatively rapid rate of change.

Some achieved fantastic results and not only supplemented lost income but built a great deal of brand awareness and goodwill. However, for those same activity providers, most will agree it has been an intense period of running their business

Aside from the ongoing stress the pandemic has brought to our daily lives, providers had to learn completely new digital skills overnight. Coupled with new guidelines being released every other week (it seems), greyer with each release and many slowly returning back to face to face activities – it’s been hectic and extremely challenging.

It stands to reason that regardless of how your business has performed over the past few months (even those who stepped back and essentially hit the pause button for a number of months) you’re likely feeling a little burnt out by it all. The constant doom and gloom and negativity of most media outlets make finding the positives in all of this understandably very difficult.

This is frustrating. If you look hard enough, there are still positives in this situation, but what we suggest activity providers focus on right now is minimalism; an active pursuit of less.


Unless you’re a machine or have been obliviously living on a beach in a far flung non-Covid affected location, your resilience stores may be low right now. 

Entrepreneurial obsession with business growth at all expense is a floored tactic right now – while we fundamentally believe there are ways you can move your business forward without it actually showing ‘growth’ financially, we more importantly believe in the importance of mental health of business owners.

More and more activity providers for years have found themselves in a common trap – putting quantity over quality. With an increase in pressure to ‘grow your business’, providers take on the attitude that if they do more, their business will do well.

This simply isn’t the case.

On the contrary, increasing the number of tasks you perform won’t necessarily impact your business for the better, but rather, the opposite. Sometimes (and we’d argue particularly right now) practicing “business minimalism” is needed in order to achieve your goals.

So how can you actually achieve more by doing less?

Take a minimalist approach and choose the essentials only. Find out what we think is important right now.

Particularly if you’re a parent as well as an activity provider, you’ll still likely have a jam-packed schedule, an abundance of tasks to accomplish, and very little time to spare. Streamline wherever you can – spending your time and energy on trivial tasks, new shiny ideas or simply getting distracted is a surefire way to lose focus on the most critical elements to keeping your business afloat and maintaining your sanity.

Author Greg McKeown says:
“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and doing only what is essential.”

For children’s activity providers, every decision you make is important –  choosing what tasks to focus on can be a challenge. Not everything is of equal importance so setting out your primary goals and prioritising tasks is key.

By stripping your business tasks down to what is essential and eliminating the small tasks that distract you from your goal will help you avoid overwhelm, maintain sanity and feel positive while dealing with the ongoing Covid-19 related challenges we face.

You might just find that by doing less, you accomplish more and with some savvy decision making you’ll be in a good position to really springboard forward once the sector and consumer behaviour returns to previous levels, and dare we say; ‘normality’.

If you found this useful, you may like the tools, exclusive webinars and resources in ICAP membership.

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.