What makes Tots Play special is the individual business owners who run they classes. They create welcoming, safe and fun spaces where mums and babies feel comfortable to learn new skills and spend quality time with each other. These business owners specifically chose to invest in a Tots Play franchise because it was right for them and their lifestyle. If you are trying to ascertain right now if it's right for you too then why not take a few moments to read Kate's story. She has been part of the Tots Play family for 4 years now and this is her experience.
My past life
I used to be a Certified Accountant and was working as a Management Accountant for a company in Cardiff. I didn’t enjoy my last job at all but my biggest challenge was that my last employer rejected my application to reduce my hours from full time after my maternity leave, even by half a day a week. Part time roles in Management Accountancy were very hard to come by then. I wanted to work more flexibly around my daughter Chloe and be able to spend more time with her than just weekends
My introduction to Tots Play
I used to take Chloe to Tots Play classes in Cardiff when she was a baby and I can remember telling Helen (Tots Play Founder) that she had a brilliant job! It looked like so much fun, but also with a chance to be creative in making Sensory Play items which really appealed to me! The main thing that attracted me though was the opportunity to work around Chloe and, for when she was bigger, to only work during school term time, something I knew would be invaluable in the future
Taking the plunge and deciding to go for it was a pretty easy decision for me and my husband to be honest – I needed a change and was very determined to join Tots Play and make it work! I was very lucky to have his full support – he knew how much I wanted to do it!
The only thing that I was worried about was being able to earn an income as I was earning a very good salary as an Accountant. I wasn’t expecting to match that but I wanted to make sure we could still pay the bills and not lose our house!
The early days
The training on Tots Play was fab! Helen guided us through what we needed to do to get ourselves up and running and beyond. The training was very thorough and hands on, I loved it! There weren’t as many Franchisees back then and we have a private chat group where I got to know each of them really well. Their support was invaluable during those early stages!
I was very, very nervous on my first class, I hadn’t slept much the night before from worrying and had practised the classes at home so much I had nearly lost my voice! When the big moment actually came, they went by in a bit of a blur!! I can remember one lovely Mum coming up to me at the end of my first class, Social Tots, and saying it was good! That was a relief!!!
My Tots Play Business now
Its awesome!!! I love meeting so many different grown ups and I LOVE watching the babies grow into toddlers! I am so very lucky, I love my classes so much and have so much fun!! Getting cuddles from the kids is one of the best things, I genuinely build up bonds with the Tots and I love seeing them each week! I always miss them when they leave! I am very lucky to have made so many friends and I love bumping into everyone when I'm out and about! I keep pinching myself that it's going so well!! I see on average 150 Tots per week and my classes are thriving! I'm very grateful to everyone for their support, reviews and recommendations, I couldn’t do so well without them! Within 6 months I was able to start paying myself a salary and as classes have grown and I haven’t had lots of ongoing expenses, I am doing ok!!
My life is totally different now. I used to be very unhappy and even cried most days about my job. Once I had Chloe I suffered with PND and knew I needed a change career wise.
Now I have another little one, Emily who is nearly two, and my life is so very different to how it would have been if I was still an Accountant! I have so much freedom, I work part time and I am my own boss! I never thought I would enjoy being self employed but I love it! I love my job so much and feel very, very lucky!
Freedom and Flexibility
The best thing about my job is the freedom and flexibility!! I only run morning classes at the moment as I know how invaluable that will be in the next year once Emily starts pre-school but I know that after that I will be able to add more classes around school pick up and drop offs! I used to run classes one afternoon a week but decided to have two days off a week with Emily rather than the one day I had with Chloe, so the flexibility and being able to adapt my business around my family is really great!
Behind the Scenes
There are challenges though, there is a lot more to running the classes that I first thought. There is a lot of work behind the scenes and I have to be careful to make sure I have down time and step away from my phone and laptop! There is a fair amount of admin and I spend a lot of time making things for class too. It also takes time to keep all my equipment clean and that’s usually how I spend a big chunk of my Friday nights in term time. Rock and Roll!
It's easier now that I know what I'm doing – there was so much to learn and remember in the early days but it does gets easier.
If I had one piece of advice to a new Tots Play franchise owner it would be to put your heart and soul into it, to be friendly to everyone and to be yourself – really put your own personality into it and don’t try to copy anyone else!
Kate, franchisee for Cardiff North.
Thank you Kate for sharing your success story, and you can find out more about her classes in Cardiff North HERE.
if you are interested in following in Kate's footsteps then learn more about our competitive franchise programme HERE,and you could soon be making the change your life needs too.
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