Blog - How I Started a Mobile Swim School
- 6 months ago
How I Started a Mobile Swim School
Meet Victoria Rich, not only does she run a popular Swim School in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, she’s also the Director at Swim Recruit Mobile Swim School and Head of Business Development for Swim here at YPC. We sat down with this business savvy superstar to find out how is found the time to start a business. The goodies here are relevant for all different categories of fitness. She saw a problem, then executed the solution.
Why did you decide to build a Mobile Swim School business?
I had a dream one night that I was juggling the balance of passion and demand. Running an Epic swim school at Elixr Health Clubs, I understand how full swim schools in the Eastern Suburbs are and it’s become as bad as getting into daycare near impossible. My heart was breaking for people who couldn’t get into swim schools and this was a constant restless thought, even in my sleep.
So, I decided to go to people’s homes with the aim of meeting the demand to make children swim safe. My heart is for the children to equip them with skills for life, but also with the busy parent who needs to do more than one thing at a time; so having swim lessons at home often resonates well.
What were the first steps that you took?
Initially it was just about having a conversation and just putting the idea out there. When I started the first summer I still had a young family and did a few private homes myself. By the second summer, we grew 1100%! We then put contractors on who I had already invested time in training and knew what I stood for and away we went. We haven’t really look back.
What were the main challenges you faced?
For me the biggest challenges are my personal and professional standards on myself, instructors and the industry. Our industry sets standards for level of qualifications for specific age ranges and ratios. I’m a boundaries girl and would always adhere to these standards and understand the rationale behind them. As a result, SWIM RECRUIT and any other swim school I manage always upholds the qualification and ratios even to the point of going above and beyond by making sure our ratios are less than industry standards. Our Instructors also receive double the amount of recommended training hours. As a parent, these elements aren’t always clear – imagine you have a six month old and the Swim InstructoR doesn’t hold a national qualification (thus probably not insured) and is about to submerge your child under water. SWIM RECRUIT and Elixr Swim School always instills a very high standard which in turn can be the biggest challenge especially with other swim schools not doing the same.
What has been the most rewarding?
Having the support from my husband (Johnnie) and my kids a team of instructors behind me that just believe in the same philosophy; people make your business, it’s the people who work in it and the people you deliver to. Our Instructors know my heart and this makes a difference to getting our service noted in the community. The families we deliver lessons to often melt our hearts as they embrace us each week into their homes.
Why do you think your business is important to the community?
For a community near the beach the importance of educating children about swim safety is prevalent; it’s not even about having them swimming it’s about having them water safe and water savvy. There is nothing better to save a life than consistent supervision from an adult, part of going into people homes is making connection with the families and chatting about water safety, pool gates, beach visits, holiday swimming.
What is your biggest lesson or best piece of advice from your journey?
Buckle up and hold on tight it’s so worth it and find your tribe. Surround yourself with like-minded people from mentors to friends, staff and families. Celebrate the small successes for each individual involved instructors/ staff and children.