British Swim School Franchisee owner Antony White has been in the swim business for over 20 years. I thought it would be interesting to find out how his early beginnings in this industry influenced him and attributed towards his success at running one of the leading British Swim School franchises. Antony’s extensive knowledge and experience of everything swim, as well as, his early influence on developing the first British Swim School franchise ever, has earned him awards for being the “Most Supportive and Inspiring Franchise” 3 years in a row. He has also earned the silver medal award for “Most Lessons Delivered” and for the last 3 years his swim instructors have placed as finalists in the national competition for “The Swim instructor of the Year”, this year taking first and second place out of 71 franchises and 178 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Turkey. So how did Antony White’s journey to become one of the leaders in the swim school industry begin and what keeps him motivated to continue to grow and improve upon his business each year? I sat down to find out the answers to these questions and more.
When and where were you born?
Antony: I was born on November 16 th in Stratford-upon- Avon, a medieval market town in England’s West Midlands and also the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
What year did you begin working for British Swim School and what attracted you towards the British Swim School brand?
Antony: I began working for British Swim School in 1997. I wanted to work for a product and service that I really believed in and British Swim School had all that and more to offer.
Why did you decide to open a British Swim School franchise?
Antony: From the beginning, I was very instrumental in the process of creating the franchise model for British Swim School. It was through this process that I realized I was heading more and more into the corporate world, which was not the direction I wanted to go and the reason I left my previous employer in the U.K. I recognized that I much preferred being a part of the day to day operations of the swim school –greeting parents and students, working closely with my team, being there at the helm guiding my business how I want.
Why did you choose to open a British Swim School Franchise in Chicago?
Antony: I love Chicago! I decided that before I even visited for the first time and it still stands. We already had a couple of corporate owned locations in Chicago and I knew on my first ever visit here, several years before 2012, that I would end up living here. I love this city and the people who call it home. The seasons can be extreme and brutal, but after living in South Florida for 15 years, I welcomed the changes. Call me odd, but I love that first heavy snow-fall of the season.
Are you working at British swim School full time?
Antony: Yes, I have for over twenty years now. I’m a hands on kind of guy who likes to be involved with my staff and students every day working on the daily nuts and bolts to keep my business running smoothly.
What do you attribute your success in the Swim School industry too?
Antony: I’m comfortable stating that I have an amazing staff, without whom I could not provide the high level of swim skills training and customer service that our business does on a daily basis. I have complete trust and confidence in my team; we brainstorm and exchange ideas in weekly meetings and we continue to strive to make improvements so we are always at our best. We also share a deep seated passion and belief that we are providing an invaluable service by educating our students on water safety and how to swim with proper technique. We take pride in the fact that we are teaching our students lifesaving skills that they will benefit from their whole lives. These factors, I feel, are at the backbone of why my business is successful and why it has remained a leader in the swim school industry.
British Swim School Chicago offers premium water survival and swimming lessons for infants, toddlers, children and adults, starting at just 3 months old. We proudly serve the Chicago and North Shore communities of Hyde Park, Bronzeville, Bridgeport, Chinatown, the Loop, East Loop, West Loop, River North, Streeterville, Gold Coast, Uptown, Lincoln Park, Bucktown, Ravenswood, East Lakeview, Lakeshore East, Lincolnwood, Skokie, Niles, Evanston, Wilmette, Glenview and Morton Grove . Call (708) 613-5179 to enroll or you can also register for swimming lessons at www.BSSChicago.com