Just like on the field, a good coach and a strong plan can help your business perform at its absolute peak. Here’s how i9 Sports sets you up for success.
Kelvyn Hemphill started with i9 Sports “on the other side of the fence” seven years ago as a program director for a new franchisee. He then spent nearly five years as a program director for the home office. These are the experiences that he believes gives him an edge in his current role as a Franchise Business Coach.
“I think that experience ultimately helps me understand where a lot of these new franchisees are coming from when they’re starting their business,” Hemphill says. “I had complete ownership and decision-making responsibilities for an entire territory. That was a fantastic experience.”
Coaching the franchisees
Hemphill schedules regular weekly calls with new franchisees and also acts as an advisor to roughly 60 franchise owners, or what we refer to as Area Developers (ADs), in 75 territories, mostly meeting on an informal basis with any of them whenever he’s needed.
“For new franchisees coming into the system, we have weekly calls that we’ll put on a calendar and during that hour, we’re in front of our computers discussing the ebbs and flows of the business and what it takes to be successful and really analyzing what we’ve done for growth,” he says.
After the first year, some ADs move to a twice a month coaching schedule. “It happens when I feel or they feel like they have the day-to-day down and we have a little bit more material to talk about biweekly. And then some of our more experienced people who really just drop in for planning sessions and my thoughts on expansion and where to go next, we’ll touch base on a monthly basis.”
It’s the sort of regular mentorship that can make a difference for someone just starting a business, as well as for someone who’s been doing it for a while and may need someone to act as a sounding board.
“I speak to Kelvyn, my business coach, twice a month and we bounce ideas off of each other and look at the numbers, look at how everything’s running,” says franchisee Colton Wyatt of Fort Worth, Texas. “He gives me great ideas, and we chat about things that maybe I’m not 100% sure about.”
Although business coaching is a valuable way i9 Sports supports franchisees throughout their business career, Hemphill believes it’s most valuable in that critical first year of business.
“It’s important that they establish success routines so this business doesn’t get overwhelming,” Hemphill says. “It’s important for me to help them make that transition of going from a regular paycheck from an employer to generating your own paycheck. And that first year is crucial in really setting yourself up for years following.”
Coaching during the pandemic
Our business coaches are continuing their work with franchisees during the pandemic, a valuable support at a difficult time. They’re advising franchisees on how best to pivot while group sports remain just out of reach. They talk about how to remain engaged with their communities, how to be positive role models, how best to handle requests for refunds from families who might have already signed up for a seasonal sport.
“Learning teamwork in a sports environment really allows you to understand that it sometimes takes a village to run a business,” Hemphill says, “and you have to influence others through your actions.”