Tayler Saunders started with i9 Sports as a marketing coordinator, and quickly fell in love with the mission.
As a Franchise Business Coach at i9 Sports®, Tayler Saunders has an edge: She has held almost every position within our youth sports franchise.
“I’ve actually worked in every role at i9 Sports except for a parent-volunteer coach,” she says. “I’ve stood in as a volunteer coach. I’ve refereed most of the sports, coached most of the sports, been a program director and a site coordinator.” Tayler also has been an owner, buying an i9 Sports franchise in Nashville, Tennessee, with a business partner.
Now she’s a business coach. Each new franchise owner is assigned a business coach who provides help and support. Our coaches are experienced business owners themselves and understand the challenges of opening and running a new business. At the same time, they understand that each franchisee – also called an Area Director – is unique.
“People have different backgrounds,” Tayler says. “Area Directors with marketing backgrounds won’t ask for help with content on social media. Area Directors with accounting backgrounds won’t ask for help with accounting reports. At i9 Sports, we work on making things individual.”
Tayler made the transition from franchise owner to business coach when she moved from Nashville to join her boyfriend, who is in the military. She loved the i9 Sports brand and knew that her insight into the i9 Sports franchise was valuable. She says the heart of the i9 Sports franchise is the desire to make a difference in the lives of children and to change how youth sports are run. It also provides an opportunity for individuals to advance their careers and learn new skills.
The role of an i9 Sports business coach
“The goal of business coaches is to create relationships with our Area Directors focused on trust and communication. We want our area directors to feel confident about asking for help when they need it,” she says.
Franchisee Ted Smith agrees. Speaking of his business coach, Ted says, “Kelvyn is one of the greatest guys in my life. I feel that he’s one of my best friends. He is a sounding board and a confidence booster. It’s invaluable to have him in my corner.”
This year, Tayler says, the most frequent questions she’s asked are about finding staff and venues, which has become more challenging since the pandemic. The i9 Sports support team focuses on always improving the franchise and ensuring that franchisees have the resources they need.
Tayler is enthusiastic about the future for i9 Sports. “We’re headed in a great direction. Good things are coming, and I love being part of that.”