Name: Chuck Cassidy
Location: British Swim School of Greater Viriginia Beach
Franchise Owner Since: December 2020
FBR: How familiar were you with the franchising model prior to purchasing yours?
CC: I had kind of been watching franchising from afar for a while. I had an uncle who had a AAMCO Transmission franchise with a service shop in Richmond, Virginia. He was very successful with that as a small business owner and it was unique to watch that business grow. I started to just get curious of what it would take to start your own small business and began to look at franchises that were successful. I knew I didn’t want to change transmissions out of cars. But I knew my strong suit was hospitality and working with people, and I began to look at that. Then I came across British Swim School because I am friends with a person who does marketing for Buzz (Franchise) Brands and he said I should take a look at this. He said it fits you, and that began the discussions.
FBR: What type of business experience, education, and/or skills did you have prior to becoming a franchisee that you have found particularly helpful?
CC: I have been serving in the United Methodist Church for almost 30 years and one of the things that kind of tied into the British Swim School was the mission of saving lives, giving people the opportunity to learn and grow. At the church, I work with a lot of volunteers and learned how to delegate.
FBR: How connected are you to the franchise community and how much have they helped you run your business?
CC: They’ve been very good. Another fella that launched the same time I did, we’ve chatted several times about the glitches of trying to open a new business in a new territory, The other franchisors have given conference calls on marketing. They share their own personal experience. Because they’re in the field they know exactly what you’re struggling with. They have been through it. They really gave a good perspective on that, and British Swim School has been really good at integrating us together so we can share field experience because you learn so much by talking to other franchisees, understand what’s going on in their territory.
FBR: What advice do you have for prospective franchise buyers?
CC: Just be patient and be prepared to work hard at it. It takes time, it takes effort. I believe patience is a virtue and hard work pays dividends. Pace yourself. … It takes time (to turn a profit), especially if you’re introducing a brand new franchise to your area. Look at (franchising) as a long view endeavor, don’t look at it as a short view. Think about where you want to be a year from now. I also really recommend spending money on the marketing to help get the word out.