I franchised with a big name program for last season. I live in an area where there are a ton of micro gyms that are mostly founded by parents who don't like where their kid is placed at program X (literally, multiple got their start that way....) or rec coaches who want to get more into competitive programs. Most programs in my area (direct area, within about a 30 minute drive) don't exceed level 3. Occasionally you might get a micro level 4 team (I think the last one prior to this year was a team of 7). Coaches don't get opportunity to develop, and when those kids are ready for progression past level 3, they start driving at least an hour each way to get to a gym 50+ miles from home. I have been involved in programs in this area, since it's where I grew up, but I also went away to school to a big city with a TON of programs, and bounced around other parts of the state as an adult in my working career. I've seen a lot of what works and doesn't work at programs. When I got back to this area, I wanted a program where coaches development and athlete development were important, and we could retain the athletes we grew, trained and developed higher than a level 3 team. I knew I wasn't going to be able to be successful as "tuckxandxtwist allstars", even though I know what my business plan, credentials, ability and ideas are, strictly because of the sheer number of micro programs. I knew I needed the big name behind me, and something to really set me apart from the other programs in the area. I'm the only D1 program in my area. The next closest is in a different state, and a solid hour drive minimum without ANY traffic, and that is unlikely in that area. After that, you're looking at a drive upwards of two hours for the next D1 program. There are some other programs near by with some level 4/5/6 teams, but again, it's at least a 45-60 minute drive for almost all of my athletes. I found a program that aligned with what I wanted in what I offer, had a solid name to back me up, and would be there for me to utilize and grow with. We opened during covid, had a pretty amazingly successful first season, and have tryouts for season 2 starting tomorrow. We are retaining over 90% of our full year athletes (almost 100% if you didn't include our seniors leaving), growing almost 50% more in our full year program alone, and have seen our kids grow tremendously over the last ten months of being open. It was absolutely the best decision for our program and our location/demographic. That's only my outlook on it though, but figured it was worth sharing the why behind at least one decision (of the hundreds) in franchising lol.