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Business support gives Front Runner the best start

Steve Franklin, 25 years old, has opened the doors to an innovative retail outlet, Front Runner.

The store on Sharrowvale Road in the west Sheffield brings together wide range of retail products aimed at runners including shoes, clothing and accessories with a variety of complimentary treatments such as sports therapy, physiotherapy and osteopathy, a coffee lounge and state-of-the-art equipment to measure and test an individual’s fitness ability which can then be used to develop their own tailormade training programme.

The sports biomechanics graduate decided to launch his own business after completing his masters. Following discussions with his brother John – both of whom are keen runners – about the lack of specialist running outlets in the area, the pair recognised a gap in the market and started to develop their idea for a retail venture which would also provide expert advice and support for anyone interested in running from beginners to those competing at club or competition level.

Like many people looking to start their own business, Steve knew he needed extra support and guidance so turned to South Yorkshire based Sheffield Enterprise Agency (SENTA) where business advisor Tony Gee introduced him to the Ready for Business programme.

The store includes four treatment rooms which have been sublet to two sports therapists, a physiotherapist and an osteopath and Steve has also taken on a full time assistant manager and two part time members of staff with further new appointments expected to be made early in the new year. Whilst Steve is very much focused on establishing the Sheffield store, he is already starting to develop plans for further outlets in other locations across the region as well as potential expansion into an online retail site.

Steve Franklin is a client of NEN and was supported by SENTA (Sheffield Enterprise Agency), one of their delivery partners in Yorkshire & Humber.

Under the Ready for Business programme Steve received 13.5 hours face to face and workshop support, raised finance of £25,000 and made a personal investment of £55,000, and created 6 jobs.

Visit Front Runner’s website here.

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