Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Jessica McLean of Soccer Stars

April 12, 2023 00:24:03
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Jessica McLean of Soccer Stars
All Things Considered Franchising Podcast
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Jessica McLean of Soccer Stars

Apr 12 2023 | 00:24:03

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Show Notes

Today’s guest is Jessica McLean, Director of Franchise Development for Franchise
FastLane and Soccer Stars.

Franchise Fastlane is an accelerated turn-key franchise sales organization. In
shortly over 6 years, they have impacted OVER 5,000 communities and changed
OVER 1,700 lives through franchise ownership!

One of Franchise FastLane’s brands is Soccer Stars. Soccer Stars' goal is to teach
soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive, educational environment.

When asks how sports are related to education, Jessica says, “Soccer is the vehicle.
The fundamentals of the sport while having fun, but intertwined and ingrained in
the curriculum, are developmental lessons for kids about things like having self-
confidence about things communication, inclusion, self-respect and respect of
others.”

Regarding frequent issues potential franchisees make in the learning process,
Jessica says, “There are people out there that are visionaries who want to create
everything from scratch. There are also people who realize how difficult that is.”
Finally, commenting on the different models of ownership, Jessica states, “This is
something I’m very clear with everyone on when it comes to Soccer Stars.
Specifically, what semi-absentee and or executive ownership means. What it’s
going to mean for them and time commitment involved.”

Scotty can be reached at [email protected]
Jessica can be reached on LinkedIn and at [email protected].

#allthingsconsidered #scotttmilas #franchiseopportunites #businessownership
#jessicamcclain #franchisefastlane #soccerstars #teamwork #selfconfidence

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:05 Hello all. Welcome to another conversation on All Things Considered Franchising, powered by Scott, my franchise coach.com. All Things Considered Franchising is a podcast that focuses on, uh, Fran the franchising intern, uh, franchising industry, and of course, entrepreneurship. In and out of the franchising community. We discuss insights on franchising, the dos and the don'ts, as well as conversations with, uh, different brands from all different categories and investment levels. Scott, my is a Scott, my franchise coach is a consulting organization assisting potential entrepreneurs exploring opportunities in the franchising space. The services and the education we provide are at no cost to our clients. And today, you know, uh, I've been on a role here, um, and again, I guess at my age everybody is younger, but, um, we're really been focusing on some of the young stars, no pun intended, based on the brand we're talking to, but some of the young stars, young guns in the franchising space. Speaker 1 00:01:08 A and, and it's somebody that I've gotten to know over the years. Uh, Jessica McClean is here with us, who's director of franchise development with a really, uh, fast and growing, uh, uh, F s O franchise sales organization, uh, franchise Fast Line, but working on soccer stars, which is kind of one of those bright lights in franchising that is just kind of, you know, on that train track and chugging along. And, uh, uh, as Jessica just said, that, uh, you know, her being up in Canada, the Toronto area, and you know, she's kind of waiting for people to be able to go back outside and play, uh, soccer. So welcome Jessica, welcome to All Things Considered Franchise. Speaker 2 00:01:49 Thank you for having me. Excited to be here. And I'll, by the way, clinging to that young star thing for as long as I can. Speaker 1 00:01:56 <laugh> I don't blame you years Speaker 2 00:01:58 As I can roll with that. I'm gonna roll with that. Speaker 1 00:02:00 Yeah. Well, you and I have connected, uh, when you were with another opportunity, uh, and you had a very, very strong tenure there, uh, you know, really helped put that brand on the map. And, uh, like anything, you know, sometimes opportunities come up. Uh, you, uh, you, you're now with Soccer Stars franchise Fast Lane, and this is really, as I said, an an upcoming emerging brand that has a lot of cha uh, traction and it, it really focuses in on children. And, you know, when you talk about children activities, children education, uh, we're really talking about that Amazon proof type business, that technology resistant type business. So, you know, maybe give us a little bit of an overview of soccer stars, what you're seeing in, uh, for that brand and, you know, the kind of the, uh, profile of the candidate that's really kind of inquiring to learn more. Speaker 2 00:03:02 Okay. I appreciate that. And, and, uh, I'll, I'll tell a really quick story because something that I find that happens as I'm working with people who are exploring soccer stars as a franchise opportunity is oftentimes the things that they tell me in the earlier stages of the process that resonate with them about soccer stars, I can really relate to as it pertains to my decision. You mentioned this, Scott, to leave the franchise brand that I was with for almost a decade to come and do what I'm doing now with Fast Lane and with soccer stars. And there are often, you know, parallels there with those two things. So, um, so what I mean by that is when I made that decision to make that transition, um, I was actually on maternity leave, so I had a little boy, um, <laugh> Speaker 1 00:03:46 Congratulations. Speaker 2 00:03:47 <laugh>. Thank you. Thank you. His name is Beau. Shout out to Beau <laugh>. Um, and so, so, and then I also, I was very active. I was athletic. I played soccer myself for 15, 16 years. I coached soccer camps and kids, and I've always loved kids. And I think, and then once you become a parent, you just develop this further appreciation for the importance of programming like this, right? These opportunities for kids at a young age to get out there and get involved and get active. And so a lot of the candidates that I'm speaking with, they have kids and they've been through similar experiences of that nature, but they also, as we talk more and more appreciate, and one of the things that makes Stocker Stars a little more unique is the type of curriculum that we execute with these kids and what we call our Parent and Me program, which is a program that's designed for kids starting my son's age. Speaker 2 00:04:40 So as young as a year old, 18 months old. Wow. Um, and that's one of the differentiators. A lot of programs in this space don't have a curriculum for kids that age. And so, and so then when we talk more about that curriculum, there are people who I speak with too, who they're forced to be volunteer coaches for their kids teams once they get a little bit older. Cuz nobody else wants to volunteer, but they wanna give them the opportunity to play soccer, you know, and to get involved. And so their mind really starts to go to places like, you know, they'll tell me, I remember Tubing curriculum, right? And I remember trying to figure out what are we gonna teach these kids at the practices cuz we don't know what we're doing. Um, you know, so with a system like this, with the 20 plus years of experience that we have and creating this, creating this curriculum and program for these kids, it's really become a special journey where they have this opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the sport, but with this combination of fun and character development and inclusion and so on and so forth. Speaker 2 00:05:37 And so, um, but then on the flip side of that, so there's, you know, people who have kids that the program really resonates with, people who have kids, anybody who has any kind of interest in, um, you know, sports and athletics and just getting out there and getting active and the importance of those things. But then we also, it's so interesting, and this is what I, I love about the world of franchising and entrepreneurship in general. I mean, I can think of a couple of people who are coming to our next Confirmation Day event. One comes from an IT consulting background, okay. Another comes from a corporate finance background, you know, so these people who, they've had these incredible corporate careers, but they actually have always had such a love and interest for this type of thing. And in a lot of cases didn't really realize until they come across people like you, Scott, that opportunities and brands like this exist. Um, right. And so there's that no, you're absolutely right in their eye of, you know, not that I don't love it or whatever they've been doing, but I can maybe wake up in the morning and do something like this. I mean, I feel like I would really love that, just that, that passion, you know, it's a passion brand. So, Speaker 1 00:06:39 Yeah. You know, you bring up an interesting point. You know, my friend Emily Anderson, who is with another opportunity and she puts it best, uh, she says that sometimes people have to get out of this misnomer about franchising that there's a lot more outside of the golden arches and the $5 foot long. And I think that's just a great way of putting it, that, you know, when you are working with organizations, consultants, that, and it's kind of like working with a realtor, you know, she's, they're gonna show you things that you probably never thought of. And it's the same thing on our side. We're talking to Jessica McClain, who's director of franchise Development for Soccer stars, uh, associated with Franchise Pass Link. I'm Scotty, my, your host for, uh, all Things Considered Franchising. Um, Jessica, you know, in franchising we talk about brands that tend to be recession resistant, Amazon proof, as I mentioned before, uh, we talk about, uh, education for children. Uh, people seem to think that sports is not education, you know, when people think of children's, um, you know, uh, education, they're thinking of stem science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But there are enrichment programs tied to the activities that you're doing at soccer stars. Am I correct? And if it Yeah. And if I am correct, tell us a little bit about, you know, those enhancement programs and what we're teaching children with these programs. Speaker 2 00:08:04 Yeah, no, you're absolutely correct. I mean, so soccer in our world when it comes to the curriculum is the vehicle, you know, so these kids are learning, like I said earlier, the fundamentals of the sport while having fun, but intertwined and ingrained in this curriculum, um, are developmental lessons for kids about things like having self-confidence about things like communication, about things like inclusion, self-respect and respect of others. So regardless of the age group, and I mean, look, when we're working with kids that are one and a half years old or two years old, right? For, for those kids it's d it's different, right? It's about let's give them the opportunity to get out there and have some fun. But as we really continue with the programming, and actually what we've done is we've also, um, there's a program that we offer a piece of our curriculum, what's it's called our Shining Soccer Stars Program. Speaker 2 00:09:00 And this is a curriculum that we've developed for kids with developmental disabilities. So maybe they're on the spectrum or they have Asperger's. And that's something that I know for me, when I started to really get to know the brand as I was making my decision, that I thought was just absolutely incredible, right? Um, and so there, there really is this focus on how do we positively impact these kids? And that's the goal of soccer stars and the Youth Athletes United platform as a whole is positively impacting them. So it is, it's less so about how do we cultivate or create the next Lionel Messy or David Beckham or whatever professional soccer player you wanna use as the example there. And more so about how do we teach them how to love themselves and love one another while learning Speaker 1 00:09:46 Sportsmanship? Yep. Yep, yep, yep. Yeah. Shaking hands in the middle of the field or a high five and things that are important, Speaker 2 00:09:52 Going home and going home happy, you know? Yes. Like, I mean, absolutely. It's a little sad to say, but it can, it's a tough world out there, you know? It is. It's, society can be tough. It's so, you know, putting a smile on their faces and intern on their parents' faces and seeing the experiences that they're having with these classes, with these lower kid to coach ratios and these really incredible instructors. Because at the end of the day, that's important too. The instructors are a big part of the product, right. And the experience that the kids are having with them. Speaker 1 00:10:19 Right, right. Let's take a little bit of a turn here, because you have a, like I said, you have a tenured, uh, uh, history in the franchising industry. And, um, and I think when, when we throw in tenure, uh, you know, 10 plus years in franchise development, you've probably seen a lot of things happen in the franchising industry, you know, good, maybe some not good, but is franchising still a viable option in your opinion? And I would think it is, but when people are considering entrepreneurship going into a business, I always talk about, you know, the process entrepreneur, the visionary entrepreneur is more of that person who wants to develop everything themselves. And the process entrepreneur is someone who can follow that system, that Aosa Star has put out. But when you're looking at people that are coming in, that corporate refugee displaced, that it professional that you said, you know, just mentioned, is, is franchising still playing in your eyes and what you've seen over the last decade, a a major part in the, in, in, in people starting a business and investing in themselves, uh, you know, and, and, and that building, that legacy, that wealth? Speaker 2 00:11:32 Yeah, I'm, I mean, in, in my opinion, what you're describing, Scott has only become more and more prominent and evident, evident over the course of the past tw 10, 12 years that I've been doing this. And it's a pretty incredible thing. You know, just more and more people are realizing there are these traditional schools of thought that were taught and were so prominent for so long, which, you know, really was, you've gotta figure out what you're gonna do and what you're gonna do is find your corporate grind. Right? Right. Like, you mind to find your, and I, you know, that has continued to evolve and in my opinion now more than ever, you know, post pandemic, for me, coming back from maternity leave, like I said, people are so hungry to find opportunities like this. And are, I think more and more becoming exposed to the fact that you can take control. You know, you really can, you can create the, you know, this flexibility and all of these other, this opportunity to create an asset that you can transition to family members or that you could sell over time and so on and so forth. I just, it, from my perspective and in my experience with the brand that I came from through to what I'm doing today, that's only continuing to increase that traffic and that recognition and, and the excitement surrounding it. Speaker 1 00:12:56 Okay. Yeah. You know, I, in my dialogue and conversations with my clients as we're building that kind of structure, that journey, one of the things, and you, you just hit on it, is that exit strategy people, you know, I, I grew up with a father who always had an exit strategy for everything he did, and he kind of taught us it's, you know, hey, great, you want to go out and buy a boat, you want to go out and great buy a car, but what's the exit strategy? Or what happens when the car breaks down? Or, you know, uh, you can't use the boat cuz of bad weather or, you know, kind of the little things that make a difference. And I think as an experienced franchise development person, those are the conversations that you are having as well with the people that were coming into the system. I, you know, it's funny, I'm, I'm, I'm I, I was working with somebody recently who thought that they really didn't have to pay attention to the process. They just had the money to be able to, you know, invest in the business, and they got a rude awakening that they weren't gonna be awarded the franchise because they couldn't follow the easy part, which is the learning process. So <laugh>, I think you understand, but the learning process is very important in making that validated decision correct. On your side and the client side. Speaker 2 00:14:11 No question. I mean, I mean, it, and it goes back to the point that you made earlier. There are the people out there, like you said, who are the visionaries who wanna create e create everything themselves from scratch. There are also the people who realize how difficult that is, right. When they try to do it and then develop the appreciation for something like a franchise system. Um, you know, so, so yeah, what you're saying is, is so true and so accurate and so palpable. And, um, again, you know, just, it's such an interesting time right now that we are living in after these years that we have been through. And, um, I always, you know, when it comes to exit strategy too, for every person who doesn't ask me directly about exit strategy, and typically if they're being coached and coached well, they will, but if they don't, I always bring that up and I tell them, any other opportunity that you're exploring too, make sure you think about that and have an understanding of what that looks like. I mean, that's one of the most significant values to this journey. So, Speaker 1 00:15:12 You know, just going back to candidate profile, um, you work with a lot of people, uh, we, we both do. And it, it's a conversation that, you know, sometimes we have to have with people that maybe this isn't for you. So when you're looking at soccer stars, uh, for somebody you know, that you're talking that has inquired about the brand, what is it that, you know, you're seeing that it, it won't work as you create and have built this model. What is it, if somebody's considering it, what is it? You know, I, I always talk about sales aptitude, the ability to network. Um, you know, some clients think that franchisor is gonna go out and get me hundreds and hundreds of clients, and I don't have to do anything. And of course not the case. I'm Speaker 2 00:15:59 Right, right. Sales are gonna Speaker 1 00:16:01 Happen, right. That misnomer about franchise. But what are you seeing as kind of the mistake people are making, or maybe the person who's actually considering, Hey, you know what, I wanna investigate business ownership. What, what kind of mistakes are people making when they're going through these processes and decisions and validation? I mean, just, you know, in, in general. Speaker 2 00:16:23 Yeah. So I mean, you make a really g good point. There's a, there's a couple things that I would say there. So the first point that you made, or one of the points you made was with, when it comes to client acquisition and business development, and we're talking generally, right? In any given franchise, and so many people as they come into a discovery process, not all, but they're a fair amount of people who, like you said, Scott, they tell themselves and continue to convince themselves that the franchisor, because they believe in them, and because they've, they've done a great job and they have history and so on and so forth, that that stuff's just gonna kind of happen for them, right? The clients are gonna come, and you, you have to be so careful with that. And you constantly hear franchisor say, and this is the case with soccer stars too, if you are not comfortable, I mean, this is a community business, right? Speaker 2 00:17:13 Right. So if you are not comfortable interacting with people, whether it be parents or the schools, or the different facilities that we run these classes at, of, if you don't wanna get out there and talk to people, it's probably not the right fit. Or if you don't wanna be that person, that's also okay too. But then you've gotta make sure that you have that person in place, right? It's gonna handle that element of the business. And I think that's, that's the case in general with any franchise that's out there. And it's a really important piece, um, when it comes to client acquisition. Um, right, Speaker 1 00:17:44 Right. And, Speaker 2 00:17:46 And I, I mean, I, I'm sure that you found that too. The other thing thing I would say too is there's this term <laugh> that we all know all too well in franchising, semi absentee ownership is the term that I'm referring to and or executive ownership. And I always say to everybody that I'm working with, and Scott, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this too, but just be very careful with marrying yourself to one definition of what those terms are. Exactly. Speaker 1 00:18:11 Great point, Jessica. Great point. Speaker 2 00:18:14 The way that those are defined is gonna be completely dependent in my experience on the actual franchise brand and opportunity that you're going through that discovery process with. And that's something that I'm very clear with everybody on when it comes to soccer stars. Specifically what semi absentee and or executive ownership means in, in our world, you know, and what that's gonna mean for you. And time commitment. Exactly. And so on forth. Cause I feel, I don't know what you think I'd love to hear, but that can be a gray area, Speaker 1 00:18:43 Very gray area, Jessica, and I'm glad you brought that up because, uh, you know, there are people that call up and I want a passive, uh, investment. I want a semi absentee. And, um, you know, when you say, okay, well, what's your definition of that to the client or the prospect? Most people can't answer it. Uh, you know, they're just kind of looking for that plug and play, like you said. And, you know, I kind of look at it, you know, there's a lot of easier ways to spend a hundred thousand dollars or 200,000, whatever the investment level is. I mean, you can give it to your stockbroker and, you know, maybe six months. You don't have to yell at him, you know, if the, you lose the money, but you're not controlling it either. So, you know, it's, you are absolutely right. You know, for anyone that wants to, you know, invest in a business and just kind of walk away and hope it succeeds, you know, that that's not a smart move. Speaker 1 00:19:31 And I, and I agree with you that you really on your side, have to dig into what the understanding of semi absentee passive is. And I know I do because, um, you know, it's like I said, there are brands out there that offer full management, they'll run the brand for you, they'll run the business, but you're paying additional over and above the royalties. So yeah. You know, whatever, whatever you hire to do is less money that you're making on your investments. So. Great point, Jessica. You know, this has been a great conversation. Anything you'd like to add about soccer stars, franchising in general? Uh, any kind of, you know, uh, tidbits that you know I should have asked that I didn't, uh, that you wanna mention? Speaker 2 00:20:16 No, I, I mean, I think I'd say a couple quick things. Number one, I just wanna thank you for having me. I really enjoyed the conversation, and, um, I would just say as it relates to soccer stars specifically, um, the brand that I came from is a brand that will always have a really special place in my heart. I mean, it was, and, and, and, you know, it's how I entered into this world of franchising and, you know, and, and you know, as well as I do, um, it's a, it's a pretty cool space, you know, that we're Yep, it is. I mean, I'm biased. Um, but it is, but, but there is really something that is special, um, about this mission with soccer stars and so far, you know, these people that have come in and placed in these franchisees. I, I think I'll give you one quick example of one of our newest franchisees that are in Nashville. Um, and they're at, do you know, I'm sure you do most do Kona Ice. Have you seen the Kona Speaker 1 00:21:06 Ice? Yes. Kona. Yep. Yep. The Kona. Speaker 2 00:21:08 So they're Kona franchisees, and they've been Kona franchisees for a long time, almost 10 years. And, and so my first conversation with them, we were talking, and, and I always will ask people questions on that first call of, you know, what caused you to sit here for 30 to 45 minutes and talk to me about soccer stars? You know, tell me, and I'll never forget, um, Melinda said to me, her, she, she goes, she goes, the smile on the kids' faces. That's what she said, you know, because Interesting. And it relates <laugh> Yeah. As it relates to Kona and how that ties in. And it sounds so cheesy, but it's like there really is a need for that. And I'm an optimist by nature, but there has been an underlying pessimism that we deal with with society right now. Yes. So if we can do, and that's what this mission is all about in this platform, plus giving the people, you know, this opportunity from a business owner sh ownership standpoint to have flexibility and so on and so forth. So it is, it's a special mission. It's a special group of people. Um, you know, a couple of the key team members from the leadership team have been at this since almost the start with Gustavo, who's the original founder from Argentina, originally from the u uk Moot. And, you know, so it's just, uh, I'm very proud to be representing it, um, you know, and proud to be doing what I'm doing, and, you know, just a appreciative to, to be here. So I'll leave it at that. That's Speaker 1 00:22:24 Great. No, I, I, those are great words. Uh, we've been speaking with Jessica McClean over at, uh, franchise Fast Line Director of franchise development for a, what I think is going to be, you know, kind of a, a booming, uh, brand emerging brand soccer stars. Uh, you know, uh, it, it, it, it caters to the, uh, the children's segment education enhancement. Uh, it's not just about kicking a soccer ball. It's about building character. And I think, uh, in today's world, it's, it, it's, we, we could probably use helping our kids get a jumpstart on what good character is and team, team, uh, the team atmosphere and, and, and, and being involved with other students that may not be exactly like them. So, uh, so Jessica, I appreciate you being here. Um, this is Scotty, my, your host of All Things Considered Franchising, powered by Scott Myas franchise coach.com. Jessica, one last quick question. What is the best way for someone to get ahold of you? Speaker 2 00:23:24 Uh, I appreciate the question. Uh, the best way to, number one, LinkedIn, um, LinkedIn invitation and request. And then, uh, my email address is the best way to contact me beyond that. So Jay McClain franchise fast lane.com. Speaker 1 00:23:39 Yep. I'll have the information up on the screen shortly as well. So again, Scotty, my all Things Considered, uh, franchising, powered by Scott, my franchise coach.com. Have any more questions about Saka Stars, reach out to me or to Jessica directly again. Until next time, Scotty, my signing off.

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