We recently caught up with Brent and Rebecca Dawson from Grasshopper Soccer Newcastle to discuss their exciting new venture. With participation in organised soccer jumping 20% in 2015 according to a Football Federation Australia (FFA) national audit, Grasshopper Soccer is poised for big things.
What is Grasshopper Soccer?
Grasshopper Soccer is Australia’s #1 Non-Competitive Soccer Program for children aged 2-12 years.
Designed to teach children how to play soccer, help them make new friends and develop their skills and character in a fun, non-competitive environment. Our programs also help strengthen parent and child relationships by encouraging parents to support their children during games.
What is the main reason you got into your industry?
We wanted something fun for our son, Blake to be able to do when he got older. Blake was born 20 March 2016 and at just a few weeks old I was already Googling to see when he would be able to start soccer, when I came across Grasshopper Soccer and saw that the franchise had not made its way to Newcastle. I knew straight away it would be something Brent would enjoy; being a soccer player since childhood and his passion for encouraging and supporting children.
We took the plunge in May 2016 and haven’t looked back with an expansion to the Hunter Valley & Port Stephens planned for February 2017.
What current challenges is your business facing?
At this point in time it would be how we get Grasshopper Soccer out to the public. We have looked into many forms of advertising and it’s a matter of trying to work out which works best for our business.
Where do you see the industry heading?
Outdoor sports & fitness is only getting bigger and soccer is definitely an ever-growing sport. The fact we are able to expand within a year of commencing Grasshopper Soccer shows the demand for such a fun activity for children in our area.
Who are the most important people to have in your business network?
Without a strong relationship with our business advisors such as our accountant, solicitor and bank representative we would have struggled to get the business off the ground.
Having a good relationship with other franchisees has provided us with a wealth of knowledge on what to expect with growing our business.
Of course we could have nothing without our customers, so for us it’s the children; if the kids are having fun this means parents will be happy and continue to support our business as andspread the word about Grasshopper Soccer.
What input or assistance do you expect from your accountant/bookkeeper?
We expect our accountant to guide us financially and help the business grow.
Compliance is a fact of life and we rely on our accountant to make sure we meet all our ongoing obligations with the Tax Office as well as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
It is great to know that PTAM are on hand to help us when we need it.
How has PTAM helped you?
Peter at PTAM was fantastic when it came to putting together our company; registering for us the company name, GST etc. He ensured us we weren’t missing anything when it came to managing the business accounts.
What is the most valuable service or piece of advice PTAM have given you?
PTAM gave us the confidence to take the risk of purchasing the business after assessing its financial viability. Then, guiding us through the daunting process of setting up a business structure and commence trading.
Grasshopper Soccer has changed our lives… we absolutely love waking up early on Grasshopper Soccer days, it really doesn’t feel like work! And we can’t wait for Blake to be able to walk and kick a ball so he can get started in the sessions!
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