Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Megan Bowling, Owner and Director of Stretch-n-Grow, located in Saint Petersburg, FL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Stretch-n-Grow is an international franchise system that specializes in fitness, dance, yoga, sports, and music classes at children's schools. We primarily work with 18 months - 6-year-olds and our mission is to get kids moving! Our goal is to instill a love for healthy habits as early as possible. We work towards that goal by empowering aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own business by training them on our proven business systems that have worked for over thirty years. Our customers are fitness, entrepreneurial-minded individuals who love kids and want to make a difference in their community. Our franchisees partner with preschools, daycares, and rec centers to provide them with fun-filled, action-packed classes.

Tell us about yourself

Well, you could say that I was born into the business! My parents, Bob and Jill Manly started Stretch-n-Grow when they found out that they were pregnant with me. I literally grew up in Stretch-n-Grow, and when I went to college, I coached for the local franchise run by my sister. After college, I went to work at the State Attorney's office and decided pretty quickly that I missed Stretch-n-Grow. I returned to the family business and opened my own franchise in 2016.

In 2019, my dad passed away, and there was a need for someone to step into his role. I stepped into the sales and franchisee support manager and discovered my passion for helping other business owners make their dreams come true. I wake up every morning excited to support our franchisees and help people get started on their entrepreneurial journey. Plus, working with kids is just plain fun!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is building my franchise here in St. Petersburg, FL, up so much in a few years that my husband was able to quit his job and coach with me. Our franchise supports our family, and our children get to participate in our fitness and dance classes every week!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner for me is time management. I love what we do so much that I can easily fall into the workaholic category. I have set boundaries for myself in recent years to make sure I have plenty of time for my family.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find your tribe! Being an entrepreneur is HARD! You have to have a solid support system in place. Working with my fellow franchisees has kept me sane at times.
  2. Don't recreate the wheel. If there are systems out there that work already, use them! Outsource where you need to.
  3. Don't give up. If you feel there is a calling in your life to do something, do it. Don't let anything get in the way.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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