musical minis

Franchisee focus: Louise Emerson (Musical Minis)

Do you want a business that you can fit around other commitments with the added bonus of three months holiday each year?

Musical Minis franchisee and mum of three Louise decided to take the plunge and now runs her successful business with her sister-in-law Rachel in Durham.

Musical Minis assists pre-school children in their early development through interactive musical sessions. Louise brought her business one year ago, she shares her story.

How did you decide franchising was right for you?

“I’d given up my job as an English teacher when my eldest daughter was born, seven years ago and hadn’t really considered what I’d do next as I had my second daughter two years later.

“We had attended Musical Minis in Durham for a few years and loved it. I’d not long had my third daughter when Jacquie approached me about buying the franchise. I was reluctant at first as I wasn’t sure how I’d cope running a business with three young children.

“Jacquie assured me it was very flexible and that there was no pressure from Karen, the franchisor, to run a certain amount of sessions. After a lot of thought, and a few conversations with Rachel, my sister-in-law, we decided to go for it.

“Our priority is our children and getting to see as much of them as we can and buying into this franchise seemed to offer us the best of both worlds. A job we could adapt to suit our lifestyles,which means that we can make every school run, Christmas concert and assembly.

“We can even take the youngest children to work with us! Yet we also have the independence of being able to run our own business the way we want”.

What sort of training and support did the franchise provide?

“Jacquie gave us training before handing over the franchise and we had many phone conversations with the franchisors. They are always an email or phone call away if we ever need them.

“We have an annual meeting each year where all the franchisees meet with Karen and Rob and get to talk through any matters on the agenda, which we are encouraged to contribute towards.

“There is also the opportunity for a one-to-one meeting with them if any of the franchisees wish to do this. They are a great support.

“We have recently set up a new online registering and payment system and they did most of the groundwork for that. There is never any pressure from them – just advice, support and encouragement.”

What is the best thing about being a Musical Minis Franchisee?

“It’s the opportunity to work with young children.

“I love seeing the children grow and develop from what are, in some cases tiny babies when they start, to confident little pre-schoolers when they leave.

“It can be something simple like seeing one of them blow a whistle for the first time or start joining in with the words of a song or dancing when they haven’t previously.

“I also love chatting to the carers as we get some truly lovely parents, grandparents and carers that come to the classes and it’s always great to talk to them.”

What difficulties did you face and how did you overcome them?

“For us, the biggest difficulty was stepping into Jacquie’s shoes as she was great at what she did. She had been running the franchise for ten years prior to us and so was a master of her craft!

“The children and adults adored her so we felt a bit inferior at first. It has just been a case of persevering and  trying our best and becoming more confident with each term.

“We now have lots of people continuing to come back each term which is reassuring as we must be doing something right!”

What advice do you have for others looking to take on a franchise?

“My advice would be to research your market – see what competition is out there as sometimes it can be difficult if you are in an area where there are several other franchises all offering the same product or service.

“Secondly, make sure you feel at ease with the owners of the company as you will need a lot of support from them – particularly in first year.

“Finally, speak to a few other franchisees to get their perspective as they have gone through everything you are about to and will be a great source of advice.”

Want to find out more about becoming a Musical Minis franchisee?

Take a look at their franchise profile and, if this seems like the right business for you, submit an enquiry to the franchisor and move one step closer to owning your own business.

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Sandy Purewal

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