Unleashed Brands has put together a series of first-person interviews with some of our MUMBOs. In case you’re unfamiliar with our “MUMBO” acronym, it stands for “Multi-Unit, Multi-Brand Owner,” in which a franchisee owns and operates multiple units, also representing more than one brand. It’s a strategic way to build an enterprise operation and one that Unleashed Brands makes an easy proposition with its multiple youth enrichment concepts.
We took their answers and put them in a testimonial format, so you can learn more about how each of these franchisees found the perfect brand to fulfill their business ownership dreams. One such example is Paul and Nancy Bodycomb, who own both a Snapology and XP League franchise in Seaford, New York. Below, in their own words, Paul and Nancy share their experiences and explain the “why” behind their decision to franchise with Snapology and XP League.
“I earned an MBA in Information Systems and have enjoyed a successful career in IT services. Working in this industry is how I met Paul and we have a 17-year old daughter who’s about to graduate high school as a National Honor Society member. She actually wants to be a doctor and this goal factored into our decision to explore an entrepreneurial future together. As a mom, I’ve always been very active and supportive of teaching and extracurricular activities. I’ve been a Girl Scout leader as well as teaching young girls about STEM education and computer coding.”
“Believe it or not, I began my career as a diesel mechanic, but I’ve always loved computers. I was right there when the industry began to go mainstream and was trained by Microsoft. Now, I’ve got 20 years of experience as a network systems engineer. Like Nancy said, this industry is how we met, so it’s safe to say it’s been a good career choice.”
On Choosing an Entrepreneurial Future
“From a business and career perspective, we’ve both been working in the IT services and networking field for some time now. But as our careers progressed, we began to discuss the possibility of owning a small business together. Number one – we believed it would boost our retirement plans and secondly, it was something we could do together. We did seek help from a franchise consultant and our likes and interests – especially STEM-related education – factored into our discovery of Snapology. Based on our backgrounds, it was literally the perfect choice in a business for us. I can still remember attending our Discovery Day in Pittsburgh when it all came together. That was an emotional moment for me.”
“One thing about Nancy and myself – we’re not talkers, we’re doers. And the prospect of owning a mobile-based Snapology franchise just checked all the boxes for us.”
What Attracted You to the Snapology Opportunity?
“Paul and I had decided that this would be a side-business for us, as we wanted to maintain our full-time jobs. In the beginning, it was all about visiting potential locations and making our sales pitch about Snapology. Schools, libraries, and many other related venues were on our list, so we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.”
“Back in 2017, we launched our very own mobile STEM lab – it was a big bus, lettered up and wrapped with all of the Snapology logos. We laid the groundwork for becoming an educational asset for our community and enjoyed sharing the value proposition of what Snapology brings to children. We ended up visiting a lot of schools and got to present to classrooms of kids – very rewarding. We really scaled up as the first few years went by, but in 2020, Covid hit. Thankfully, we were both already remote-based, so we were able to keep working from home and stay safe. Our full-time jobs kept us afloat until things opened up again a year and a half later.”
What Attracted You to the XP League Opportunity?
“We had enjoyed a lot of success with Snapology, but when Unleashed Brands acquired XP League, we were a little curious. At first, I was a little skeptical and concerned about a concept that seemed to only add screen time for kids. But as we learned more about the concept, we understood the value of this opportunity – a way to teach kids about teamwork, collaboration, and sportsmanship. Paul and I have always been a team, so it was a joint decision to move quickly and acquire an XP League franchise to our business ownership plans. The logistics are simple and there’s a lot less inventory to worry about. Because it was an emerging brand and a ground floor opportunity, Paul compared it to buying an NFL team back in the early days – a real franchise!”
“Adding an XP League franchise to our portfolio just seemed like a smart move. With Snapology, the children’s interest in what they have to offer drops off right around middle school. But that’s right where XP League picks them up. We secured our franchise agreement in November and we’re hoping to have a grand opening in June 2023. The big news is that we’ve secured a brick-and-mortar location to operate both franchises in one location – the Samanea Mall in Westbury. It was a long process, but we finally secured a lease for a 5,500 square foot location, which we’re custom designing. And it really fits with the mall’s revival plans to make the building a kid-friendly destination. There putting in an amusement park, a rock climbing gym, indoor video golf, and this is where we’ll be set up – prime territory!”
What Has Business Ownership Afforded You That You Wouldn’t Have Had Otherwise?
“From a pure business ownership standpoint, I think I’d have to say that the XP League opportunity has afforded us the chance to get in on the ground floor of a truly amazing franchise. It’s an emerging brand, but there’s no question that the popularity of esports continues to grow domestically – even internationally. Being one of the first few franchisees is an exciting adventure for both of us – it’s given us a real rush. And I think that demonstrates that we truly have a passion for this business and having the opportunity to grow our operation is something we won’t be taking for granted. We’re absolutely determined to become successful XP League franchise owners.”
What Does the Future Hold for You?
“We’re excited to have the location we secured, and we’ve hired two awesome part-time managers to help us run the Snapology and XP League activities. We’re hoping to duplicate the success we’ve had with Snapology and grow both of these businesses even further. Remember when I said our daughter’s decision to go into medical school factored into our decision-making process? Well, we’re hoping these businesses will help us pay for her schooling. Nassau County is one of the biggest territories and it’s our home base. We’ve built up an incredible client base with our Snapology operation and now we’ll do the same for XP League – I think it’s a concept that’s going to take off. As far as what the future holds, we’ll see what two control freaks like us can accomplish in delegating some of the work to others.”
“Like Nancy said, this is definitely our growth plan. We’ve both put in a lot of years in our career and can now look at the possibility of retiring in the next five years. At that point, we’ll determine whether we want to run the day-to-day operations ourselves or keep it a part-time opportunity. We may want to travel some more, something we both love to do together. For now, things look great, so we’re just looking to keep all of our options open.”
A Little More About Us…
The Unleashed Brands platform includes Urban Air Adventure Park, Snapology, The Little Gym, XP League, Class 101, and Premier Martial Arts youth enrichment franchises. As the parent company, Unleashed Brands was founded to curate and grow the most innovative and profitable business opportunities that help kids learn, play and grow. Over the last 10 years, the team at Unleashed Brands has built a proven platform and know-how for scaling businesses that focus on serving families. All have become first-in-category brands by providing fun, engaging, and inspiring experiences that help kids with their No. 1 development goal – to become who they were destined to be.
To speak with one of our franchise experts and learn more about our children’s business opportunities, simply fill out this form and an Unleashed Brands representative will be in touch shortly.