1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name’s Leanne Verduyn and I am the Southampton Music Bugs franchisee. I have been married for 6 years and have two wonderful little boys who are 4 and 1.
2. What did you do before joining Music Bugs?
Before joining Music Bugs I was a primary school teacher for a few years before going on maternity leave with my first child, discovering Music Bugs and never looking back!
3. What attracted you to Music Bugs?
I saw the Music Bugs franchise advert in a free magazine from my local library and the idea of running Music Bugs classes just grabbed me. I had a 6 month old baby at the time and was starting to consider alternatives to returning to a teaching role. I knew I wanted to work a few hours a week but wanted something flexible to fit around having a young family. I’ve always loved music and I’ve always loved spending time with young children, it just made sense.
4. Did you consider other franchise opportunities?
After spotting the Music Bugs advert, I researched what else was on offer in my local area (which wasn’t much at the time) and looked into a couple of similar franchises to compare what they had to offer but something just kept bringing me back to Music Bugs.
5. What territory do you cover?
I cover Southampton, Eastleigh, Romsey and the surrounding areas.
6. What training and support have you received to establish your franchise?
I received a fantastic weekend of training when I first started which was great fun and a brilliant starting place. I wouldn’t have known where to start without it. I’ve also attended franchisee meetups which were a really effective way of pooling resources, exchanging stories and experiences and building the feeling of being part of a team. We also do all of that in the virtual world of Facebook which has inspired new ideas in me too. Head Office are always a phone call or email away and provide a supportive ear and are happy to point you in the right direction.
7. What future plans do you have for your business?
In the three years that I have been a franchisee, I have had my second child. I have also employed an incredible class leader. We both have young families to work around and love the way that Music Bugs provides us with an incredibly rewarding and fun job that not only fit around our children but genuinely benefit them too. Once our young children are at school/preschool we are both excited about building the business further, offering more classes, nursery sessions and party opportunities and expanding into new parts of my territory.
8. Tell us about your typical working week.
I run classes on a Tuesday and Wednesday morning (3 classes per morning), Claire runs classes on a Monday and a Friday morning. We swap around when we need to cover holidays or commitments with our children (preschool performances etc). I also spend a couple of hours 3-4 times a week answering emails, processing payments, keeping accounts up to date, emailing registers to Claire, booking parties, planning sessions or parties, paying invoices etc. This is usually in the evening when my children are both in bed but sometimes I grab time during the day too.
9. What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?
The best thing about being my own boss is that I can see a direct link between how hard I work and how successful I am. My business can tick over nicely while I’m away (having babies and things!) but generally the more time I put in, the more benefit I get out. This is incredibly motivating but I have also got better at prioritising and remembering that the point of doing what I do is to fit around my family and I am pretty happy with the work-life balance that I have achieved.
10. And finally, what was your favourite nursery rhyme when you were a child?
I can’t remember that far back!! The only ones that I remembered when I had my first child were Row Row Your Boat and Wheels on the Bus. My youngest is benefitting enormously from the volume of songs that I now have to hand thanks to Music Bugs!