I started Movers and Shakers back in 2009, and it became such a huge success story in my local area that I wanted to expand. After doing some research I decided that a franchise model was the best way to achieve this, but I wanted to make sure that any potential franchisees would be able to replicate my success in their own area. So I started searching for my first guinea pig!
Erica Bartrum had all the qualities I was looking for in the perfect franchisee: a warm and bubbly personality, a confident singing voice and a strong business sense. She became my ‘pilot franchisee’ just over a year ago.
Erica recently sat down for an interview to talk about her experience of running a Movers and Shakers business franchise. Her positive and inspiring answers will give anyone confidence that Movers and Shakers Franchising Ltd has a wonderful future ahead of it! I’m now searching for my next few franchisees, so please if you think it might be right for you or if you’d like some further information.
Gabi Maddocks br>
Here is what Erica said:
Has owning a franchise been good for you? br>
Absolutely! I really love being my own boss, but it’s great having the support of the franchise and all the materials and advice that comes with it so I wasn’t starting a business on my own from scratch. When I was at school, I used to want to run my own performing arts school; I always knew I wanted to be my own boss. Once I found Movers and Shakers, I realised this was the dream job I’d always wanted!
The biggest complaint of franchisees is that they aren’t given enough support. Do you feel you were trained properly and given enough pre- and post-launch support? br>
Very much so! Gabi gave me lots of support and training in the lead up to launching. Gabi has always been only a phone call or email away whenever I need advice or support, which is so helpful when starting your own business.
How long did it take before you started making a profit? br>
I broke even on the franchise costs after only four months of trading.
Do you feel you are making great money out of your franchise? br>
Yes I do, for the hours I work I feel I earn enough. I earn a steady wage from this which is great after years of freelancing as an actress and drama teacher! In terms of expanding and moving forward, I would like to be able to afford to hire another teacher so I can share more sessions out among employees and take Movers and Shakers to more local nurseries and children’s centres.
How many hours each week do you work on your franchise? br>
It depends how many sessions I run each week; on average it’s between twenty and thirty hours a week. This includes all admin work and travel to and from venues.
What’s been your biggest challenge? br>
I feel I’ve been very lucky as my classes have built up well. The biggest challenge so far has probably been finding and securing stable venues that don’t charge too much to rent out their space so I can still make a profit from the classes. Also, making sure I look after my voice as there’s lots of singing involved and it’s easy to lose your voice is you don’t take breaks and rest.
What’s your favourite part of running your own business? br>
Having the freedom to make decisions about what hours I want to work. It allows me to choose which sessions I want to teach myself and gives me flexibility to take holidays and arrange cover so the business can run when I have time off.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a Movers and Shakers franchisee? br>
Definitely seeing all the babies and toddlers’ faces enjoying the class, all the parents smiling and singing along to the songs and knowing it’s my job to entertain them all! It’s a great feeling when you have a couple of really fun sessions, it actually doesn’t feel like work when it’s so much fun. A bonus is coming home knowing you’ve made a good profit and being finished for the day before 3pm!
If you could give advice to someone starting out, what would it be? br>
Most importantly, you have to fall in love with the classes in order to really love this job. Then it will all be worth it and you’ll have the most rewarding job in the world. Save as much as you can before you start so you can enjoy the first six months without too much pressure on yourself to earn too much, that way you can focus on making your classes really good and popular. After all, word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Also spend time finding secure venues that will be the perfect location for classes – this is not always easy, but once you find the right venue it’s really rewarding. Be prepared to run some free taster sessions/small classes to get the word out there. Once people find out about your Movers and Shakers classes, they will quickly realise how brilliant it is for their children!
If you were to do it all over again would you choose the same business and the same franchisor? br>
Absolutely – I have loved every minute! It’s tiring some days but always rewarding and fun. I always feel like I’ve accomplished something to be proud of when parents are so grateful that I have entertained their little ones at classes and birthday parties. Movers and Shakers is a brilliant concept, and Gabi has supported me throughout the process 100% – so no regrets at all.
If you would like to find out more about matching Erica’s success story in your own area, please for more information.