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Cracking the Top 100: Building Our Sports Coaching Business Into One Of The Top SMEs In The UK

Following on from our Thames Valley Business Of The Year Award, we are incredibly proud to announce that uSports has now been ranked in the Top 100 UK SMEs by Elite Business and we can now announce that we are position 53 in the 2024 rankings 🎉

This really has been a whirlwind few months here at uSports (when isn't it!). From winning

Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the South East of England in November to winning Business Of The Year for the Thames Valley just last week (keep reading for more on this award); there have been some massive highs to celebrate and now we are also able to celebrate this new accolade of uSports being ranked as the 53rd top SME in the whole of the UK!

But, running a small business certainly isn't only full of these high points. Only yesterday, I shared this post on LinkedIn on the same day that I found out about our spot at number 53:

What a ridiculous week...

✅ Awarded Business of the Year 2023 for the Thames Valley

❌ My mental health had a slip up and had to go home at lunch time

✅ We have even more BIG news to confirm tomorrow

❌ I had three potential marketing managers not come through

✅ Rolled out a huge nursery sales plan

❌ Tough meeting at one of our schools

✅ I got on top of my mental health after the dip

❌ I didn't make any progress on my partner expansion plan

✅ I got to spend the weekend with family and at golf!

❌ We were TOO stretched to staff everything this week

My content isn't about quick fixes or magic formulas. It's about the ups and downs, the grind, and the real strategies that take small businesses to the next level.

Remember that what you see on most peoples pages are just the ups. The 1% worthy of going online...

Don't compare yourself, just find people that help push you forwards.

It's about being the best version of you. View The Original Post Here

I always try to be open and honest as a business owner and I like to share my experience online with all who are interested to try and give a fair representation of what it is like to run a small business. I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn to be able to follow both my own personal journey and the journey of uSports more closely!

Yes it is amazing to receive recognition such as these awards but it also is surreal too. Imposter syndrome is real! This is why these recent awards really mean so much and why in this blog I want to share with you why these business wide awards have really hit home with both myself & Steph as small business owners.

Elite Business Top 100 UK SMEs

In this current whirlwind, our most recent accolade is that of number 53 for small & medium enterprises across the UK! The list is certainly impressive with such a wide range of different businesses featured all across the UK. You can view the full list here.

After being approached by Elite Business to enter this years awards, we were overjoyed to find out that we had made the list last week on the same day as the Thames Valley Business Awards! Fast forward to Monday lunchtime when I received the email announcing that the rankings had been released. Steph and I were sat in the downstairs office scrolling down the list, happy to just be on the list at all, we were amazed to see that we were at the very respectable number 53 spot!

Thames Valley Business Of The Year

Not only are we celebrating the Top 100 recognition, we are also celebrating winning Business of The Year for the Thames Valley! Steph and I attended the awards night last week at the Hilton in Reading after being shortlisted for four awards:

  • Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (at 28 I'm just about hanging on here!)

  • Business Leader Of The Year

  • Employer Of The Year

  • Business Of The Year

I had previously won the Young Entrepreneur Award with the Thames Valley Business & Community Awards in 2020; just before lock down came and massively impacted the business as it did for so many. I remember thinking how was I going to be able to keep growing a business despite all of the limitations and setbacks? But here we were on a Thursday night in 2024 ready to find out how not only myself but also the business as a whole would get on in these same awards! Find out more about the 2020 Young Entrepreneur award here.

So, ready to find out how we got on for 2023?

As well as being shortlisted for the four awards, we were incredibly proud to be finalists meaning that we were in the top three in the following categories...

  • Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

  • Business Leader Of The Year

  • Business Of The Year

And then, the big one, the final award of the night...

  • WINNER of the Business Of The Year for the Thames Valley 2023

Scaling With Heart

What Does It Mean To Us To Win These Awards?

This week when submitting an application for a marketing prize being offered by ClassForKids (a platform we would highly recommend for any other children's activity providers!), I was asked the question...

In three words, what is your biggest challenge as a business?

My answer to this question was this: Scaling With Heart. I have high ambitions for uSports and I want to keep pushing to help us to grow and expand further. We have hit our milestone of turning over £1million in a year and we now have our sights on the next milestone! But, there is no point in expanding if you lose what you first set out to do. One of the hardest challenges of growing a business is ensuring that as you grow, the quality & care remain as it was when you first started out. From myself and a bag of footballs to an organisation with over 100 employees & caoches, I want the experience to be the same if not better day after day and year after year.

This is why these two most recent accolades mean so much to me. I have always been

entrepreneurial from a young age and it was astounding to be awarded Young Entrepreneur of The Year on two occasions, but to be awarded Business of The Year and Top 100 Businesses has a whole other meaning to it too. Despite that ever present imposter feeling and feeling that I could always do more, I should take a step back and see these awards for what they are. A sign that I am doing just what I was hoping to achieve... scaling with heart.

These awards are testament to the dedication, care & commitment of the whole uSports team and to see that every single person who works with uSports is contributing to making uSports one of the leading businesses in the UK is something that I can not even express how proud I am to say. As a sports coaching business, we are absolutely a people business. Without the managers, administrators, coaches, parents, children & schools we would be nothing. Together, we are becoming something quite amazing.

A message on my recent LinkedIn post I think sums up this feeling perfectly...

It's not about how fast you reach the finish line, it's about how much heart and soul you put into the race. Jordan Jones | uSports Sales Manager

Not Just A Pretty Logo

How Did We Get Here?

The short answer... a lot of hard work!

Anyone who has ever spent a day in the uSports office will know just how much goes on day to day within the business! There is a whole team of amazing people working behind the scenes to get uSports to where it is today.

To share with you just a few key reasons, I would say:

  • FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful

  • Putting You First: Keeping to our philosophy

  • Innovation: Always looking to adapt and expand in new ways

    • uSports Partners is a fantastic example of this, find out more about this career opportunity

  • Recruiting Good People: If someone is a good person, we can teach the rest!

  • Team Work: uSports really wouldn't be where it is today without Steph; my wife and business partner. Steph is the organised one who makes sure that everything runs. I am the one with all the ideas which I get Steph to put into action! Neither of us alone would have got uSports to where it is today, but together with our different skill sets we have been able to. Team work really does make the dream work.

So, Do You Want To Get Involved With One Of The Top 100 Businesses In The UK?

Small Business Owners Looking To Scale Up Their Business

Launch into Growth: How uSports Can Fuel Your Small Business Success

I have recently expanded my own personal brand where I am helping small service based business to do just this. I am offering a free online course as well as a range of business coaching packages.

For Sports Coaches & Teachers Looking For A New Challenge

Use Your Passion, Expand Your Potential

The uSports Partners expansion programme is a new career opportunity with unlimited earning potential for experienced sports educators to build uSports in their own area with the help and support of myself and the wider uSports team.

If the partners programme isn't quite right for you, we are always looking to recruit sports coaching into the team who fit the uSports philosophy! We currently provide sports coaching services in the Thames Valley, Bristol & Welwyn.

Schools & Nurseries Looking For Reputable Providers

Elevate The Experience & Delivery of Sport in Your Setting

We are proud to work in over 100 schools & nurseries delivering sports coaching, alternative curriculum & one to one support to children. To find out more about what we can offer your setting, have a look at our website!


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