Recent studies show that Brits are 10% more likely to start up a new business venture in the first couple of months of the year than any other time.
Code Ninjas, the world’s largest and fastest-growing
kids’ coding franchise, is about to embark on what promises to be a pivotal
year for its international network. In 2019, the brand arrived in the UK,
attracting entrepreneurs from all walks of life. In 2020, the franchise is set
to take over the nation as centres open their doors to budding young coders
around the country. David Graham, CEO and co-founder, is looking to the future
of the franchise and what lies in store in the year ahead.
Recent studies show that Brits are 10% more likely to start up a new business venture in the first couple of months of the year than any other time*. Call it invigorated optimism or naïve enthusiasm but a fresh perspective at the start the year is not to be sniffed at. If you’re one of the sceptics silently judging the crowds of newbies in the gym in January, then you might want to give this column a miss. Personally, I see a great deal of merit in turning over a new leaf in a new year.
At the start of the millennium, I was working as a software developer, gaining practical knowledge of a skill that has benefited me throughout my career – in more ways than one. Now, I have started and operated a whole host of successful businesses, ranging from a coding camp for adults, to my own gym franchise. I launched Code Ninjas in 2016, combining my experience in technology and business ownership to fill a void in the franchising space for a fun and engaging kids coding programme. So, although I didn’t necessarily reinvent myself to start this new endeavour, I definitely approached it with gusto and passion, setting achievable goals along the way.
That’s the secret to establishing goals – they must be feasible. You’re, quite literally, setting yourself up for failure if your ambitions were never achievable to begin with. By breaking down a larger plan into manageable chunks, you’ll achieve a great deal more than you would by taking on too much, too soon.
And my top tip – make sure you communicate your goals with those around you, whether that be your peers, employees or your significant other. Whilst they may not necessarily be able to help you to achieve that goal, they can certainly encourage you to not to lose sight of your aspirations.
Another mistake made when setting out new year goals is establishing impractical deadlines. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Business goals aren’t the same as New Year’s resolutions - just because you set them in 2020 doesn’t necessarily mean they need completing before the clock strikes midnight on the 31st December of this year. However, I would advise taking steps towards that end goal over the coming months, otherwise you could find yourself at the start of another year, with an outdated target hanging over you.
The landscape of business is constantly changing which is why it’s so crucial to revisit goals and business plans as regularly as possible. In terms of Code Ninjas, I outlined a long-term strategy for growth before I’d opened the first centre and constantly reassess those objectives as the franchise moves forward. Whilst many of my original targets are just as relevant now as they were four years ago, a lot of the logistical actions have changed. I always knew the Code Ninjas franchise model would be well received, but nothing could have prepared me for the rate of growth we’ve experienced – we now have over 300 franchisees in the US, Canada and the UK. Had I failed to revisit my initial business plan and projections throughout the years, I doubt the franchise would be where it is today.
Now I find myself at the beginning of another exciting journey for Code Ninjas. Our first British centre will open in the next few weeks, with at least ten more due to follow suit over the coming months. This firmly places us on the UK map, in terms of kid’s coding education and franchise opportunities for budding entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store. Something tells me it’s going to be one for the history books.