"I wanted a flexible environment that would be professionally fulfilling while still allowing me to be there for school drop-offs and pick-ups."
Interview with Zineb Truta
Franchisee, Great Play of Scarsdale NY
Q. What got you interested in the kids' gym business?
A. When I started exploring franchising, I wanted a business that would touch my kids' lives as well as make a positive impact in the lives of children in the community. A kids' gym was an appealing choice to me as kids' fitness is a topic close to my heart -- my older son has low muscle tone and has been getting physical therapy and occupational therapy since he was little. It is also a fun business to be in; can you image any cuter customers?
Q. What made you pick Great Play in particular to franchise over other alternatives in the category?
A. My children were the judges! I took my then four year old and two year old to age appropriate classes and they both immediately loved it! They had an instant connection with Buddy, the mascot and kept on asking me to take them back. I had a new line "if you drink your milk you'll get to go to Great Play." After further research, I was impressed to find out that not only were classes a lot of fun but also very beneficial! Great Play's curriculum is second to none! It is based on updated research from leading authorities in the industry and is very avant-garde compared to anything else in the field. All the online reviews that I could find were extremely positive and mirrored my own experience so I knew that Great Play was the right choice.
Q. How has the ongoing support been from Great Play?
A. The ongoing support from headquarters has been Great! They have been very responsive to any issues that I have encountered and have provided me with invaluable guidance and advice along the way. Not only have they been helpful with all of the operational aspects of the gym but they have also provided me with a compelling strategic vision of the business and the industry. In addition, there is an exhaustive library of franchise tools that is very detailed, easily accessible and easy to use, so most of the time I know where to find the answers to my questions.
Q. What made you want to franchise a business in general (as opposed to just doing it on your own for instance; and as opposed to just getting a corporate job)?
A. As a working mom of two wonderful little boys, I found it hard to balance my corporate career with the desire to be more involved in my children's lives. I wanted a flexible environment that would be professionally fulfilling while still allowing me to be there for school drop-offs and pick-ups. I come from an accounting and finance background that provided me with a solid business foundation but I was totally new to the kids' fitness industry. Being part of a franchise system allowed me to rely on Great Play's expertise to ensure that my foray into business ownership was a successful one. I wouldn't have done it any other way! I work hard but I love what I do and I feel like I have the best of both worlds.
Q. How have customers reacted to Great Play? The kids and their parents?
A. Our customers love us! Both the little ones and their parents! We have a 9.4 out of 10 based on over 300 ratings on Systino! Actually, Great Play's emphasis on customer satisfaction is one of the aspects that drew me to this franchise over other ones as I embrace it wholeheartedly. At Great Play, we truly care about our customers, the quality of our programs and the quality of the experience. It shows in every aspect of the gym, from the great classes, to the awesome coaches to the cleanliness of the gym!
Q. Anything else?
A. Great Play is a Great concept followed by a splendid execution of the concept. Keith and Jyl are a true inspiration!