1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 38 years old. I have 2 children (Olivia is 10 and Finlay is 6) and am married to a secondary school headteacher. I studied PE at Uni. I love running and keeping fit. I have done lots of jobs – waitress, fitness instructor, bank cashier, marketing officer…
2. What did you do before joining Music Bugs?
I was a primary school teacher and special needs co-ordinator.
3. What attracted you to Music Bugs?
I knew I loved the classes because I was lucky enough to attend them with Jo, who I bought the franchise off 2 years ago. When I left my full time job, I was looking for something that had the potential to fit with my family, the needs of my children and my husband’s headteacher role. I knew the classes were relaxed and friendly. Although they have a gentle structure, I liked that they allowed children to enjoy music, be active and learn and develop without it being too formal. I love being with children and being part of their growth and development. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am when a little one wants to sit on my lap or be up dancing with me in a class!
4. Did you consider other franchise opportunities?
No, although we have looked at franchises in the past as we have always been keen to run our own business.
5. What territory do you cover?
6. What training and support have you received to establish your franchise?
I had my initial training for a few days in Swindon (plus 2 years attending classes with Jo!) I have all the support I ask for. There are regular catch ups with Claire (our Managing Director) and Kim (our PR Manager), plus the other franchise holders/class leaders are always there for advice or moral support.
7. What future plans do you have for your business?
I am aiming to develop the classes that are already up and running. I want to extend them to 2 or more classes at the venues I use. I am also considering employing a class leader to help me expand across my region.
8. Tell us about your typical working week.
Monday – Jumping Bugs and Mini Bugs in Verwood, then Giant Steps Nursery in the afternoon (babies first and then 2 – 4 year olds)
Tuesday – Family Bugs in Amesbury. Some weeks I have a pre-school session in the afternoon, other weeks I catch up on paperwork.
Wednesdays – I have several pre-schools in the area who I visit once per term on a Wednesday (6 times a year). On the odd week I have nothing booked in, it’s a good chance to catch up on paperwork, go for a run or catch up on household chores!
Thursdays – Family Bugs at a Soft Play venue in Christchurch in the mornings and then I have a regular private booking from a group of mums in the afternoon back in Salisbury.
Fridays – Jumping Bugs, Mini Bugs and Family Bugs in Salisbury. This is a jam-packed morning and I always squeeze in a coffee (and cake) in the afternoon!
Weekends – there is usually at least 2 parties booked a month.
9. What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?
I like the fact that I can fit the business around my family rather than the other way around. It means that my children can have friends back for tea after school and there is plenty of time to take them to after school activities.
When I don’t have a class, I can be flexible about catching up on paperwork, going to see my children in something in school, meeting a friend or just going to Tesco!
I have learnt a lot about marketing and business finance.
10. And finally, what was your favourite nursery rhyme when you were a child?
Round and Round The Garden!