A former Fife professional footballer who launched a Futsal coaching business has seen it grow to have its first full franchise academy.
Russell Taylor launched Futsal Escocia in 2015 to take forward the Developing the Player coaching programme. The scheme allows boys and girls aged five to 17 the chance to play a technique-focused form of the game credited with shaping the skills of the likes of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar.
The first Futsal Escocia franchise academy has now been established in Ayrshire, with further pilot schemes in development in Glasgow and Inverness.
Mr Taylor, who had spells on the books of both Raith Rovers and Dunfermline Athletic during his playing career, said he is confident his company will continue to grow from a revenue base of circa £85,000 in 2016/17.
In addition to the franchise academy roll-out, the firm will this summer introduce a new El Nino programme for three to five-year-olds.
“Interest in futsal is on the rise and I am fielding inquiries for potential franchises from throughout Scotland; however, the location and the coach have to be right,” Mr Taylor said.
“Because the vast majority of coaches involved in youth sport have full-time jobs, I initially offer a pilot franchise that reduces the financial outlay and risk.
“This provides franchisees with access to equipment, coaching programmes and the use of the Futsal Escocia brand name and images.
“I also help them with sourcing and booking suitable venues, advertising and promotion.
“Once participant numbers increase and they see the programme is working, the franchisees are then able to consider taking on the full franchise, and that is exactly what happened in Ayrshire.”
Mr Taylor had no prior business experience before setting up Futsal Escocia and turned to Business Gateway Fife for guidance.
He said: “The support I’ve had has helped enormously; from working with a financial and accountancy adviser to decide the best operational model to sitting down with franchise experts to pick the best route to take long-term.
“After taking the DigitalHealth check online, my adviser has also helped me secure support through DigitalBoost and highlighted potential funding, both of which will help me restructure my website and potentially launch a parent app.”