Starting Up: A-Star Sports | Guardian small business network |

Starting Up: A-Star Sports | Guardian small business network |

Our entry – published online today by The Guardian:

A-Star Sports is a fun-filled multi-sports experience for children aged 2-10 years, delivering fundamental activities and 10 core sports through weekly classes, holiday clubs, parties and events. Established in October 2011, we’re built from decades of experience in sports coaching and child development.

With a vision for children to enjoy sport for life, we’ve developed a unique, peer-reviewed programme, which is closely monitored and updated through close links with industry experts and our investment in training and support. Our programme feeds subtle behavioural management tools into the activities, themselves guiding new franchises towards an in-depth understanding and mastery of what it takes to engage and sustain attention. This is the key to offering each child the most fun, effective coaching experience and the best form of customer retention.

11 UK franchise territories have been successfully launched, almost reaching our second-year target after only 12 months. All operational territories are profitable, and we currently employ 19 people. We have been voted by families as the Best New Activity for Children (What’s On 4 Junior Awards 2012). We also feature in the UK Startups 100 and we are a provisional member of the British Franchise Association.

Our biggest form of marketing and business building is that people come along and they’re so impressed that they spread the word. The power of word of mouth has been like social media in that it’s really gone viral, so to speak.