News: My first year as a Rhythm Time Franchisee
By Sarah Scott, Rhythm Time franchisee for Sheffield and North Derbyshire
"I can’t believe I’ve been running my own Rhythm Time session for over a year now. Sometimes it feels like I’ve only just started, other times I feel like I’ve been part of the Rhythm Time team for ever!
Talking about the team, it’s so great to know that I have Head Office behind me whenever I need them. I am a worrier, as they all know, so when I wake up at 5am thinking about whether I’ve ordered my notes for the next term yet, or I’ve missed some other deadline, I can drift off again knowing that my colleagues at head office will sort me out as soon as they get in the office (not usually at 5am, but you can’t have everything!)
Buying a Rhythm Time music franchise was such a great process. From initially enquiring, through to visiting Kathy’s amazing baby classes (it was all I could do to sit still and not jump up and join in!), to meeting all of the other franchisees at my first franchisee meeting - I felt reassured that I had joined a brilliant group of people and that local mums in my area would love the great material provided. Now as long as they loved me…..
Of course, there have been challenges along the way. Finding somewhere to store all of my equipment was interesting, and preparing for the first sessions was scary and exciting at the same time. Going over to Solihull Head Office to see the team in person and perform the first lesson of the term was very scary, but I think that’s just me and my nerves!
Advertising my baby, toddler and pre-school classes was the bit I least enjoyed at first, but that's become much easier now, and talking to interested mums is lovely. Plus being able to show off my existing classes to new mums on free trials is something special. I can tell when some of my mums are showing off to the newbies and it makes me laugh! It's challenging to advertise and fill your classes, and my numbers were fairly small during my first term, but from my second term onwards, word of mouth kicked in and my classes soon became pretty bouyant!
I have particularly enjoyed developing a relationship with mums as well as little ones. It’s so rewarding to see shy, quiet mums come along on their own and gradually start to chat to me and some of the other mums in the class, soon making firm friendships and exchanging phone numbers! You usually find you have one or two confident mums in each class who ‘adopt’ those who seem a little shy, so no-one feels left out. Plus, I’m always ready to step in and chat to anyone who seems a bit lonely before or after class. Little ones, of course, have no trouble making friends with me and their classmates and that helps a great deal.
Organisation has to be the key to running a Rhythm Time franchise. Starting off and finding venues is hard, especially before you’ve run any classes, so you only vaguely know what facilities you want or need. Again, there’s so much help out there which is really appreciated, not only from Head Office but from the other franchisees as well. Which brings me onto Facebook. The Rhythm Time Facebook group for franchisees puts us all into contact with each other at the click of a mouse, and there’s never been a more supportive group of people. If you have a problem, and no-one else can help…..oh hang on isn’t that the 'A Team'?! Well, if the A Team aren’t available you will certainly get the help you need from the Facebook group, especially for those little problems you don’t want to bother Head Office with, like the best bags to carry your equipment in (I’ve got 2 sets now, thanks to fellow franchisees!)
Highlights for me so far? Well, the time I compared one of my regular Dads to Prince William (favourably, of course) and then found out from another mum that she’d seen him later on in the day in the sandwich shop, singing Rhythm Time songs without his little son! Every week when the lady OAPS from the lunch club at my venue wander about near our class entrance, just to get a little baby fix, I smile to myself. And best of all, when my close friend (and occasional voluntary assistant) told me she was expecting a baby by sending me a free trial request by e-mail! I leave my classes every week with a smile on my face and lots of great memories.
It's been an absolutely fantastic year and I cannot recommend Rhythm Time highly enough to everyone I know (they must be sick of me!) - it’s great to love my job so much and can't wait to see what the next year brings! If you want to know more, just go to www.rhythmtime.net/pr or call 0121 711 4224. Thanks for reading :-) "
Posted: 13th Jan 2015