Jill has been running children’s classes in Essex through the franchise Kidslingo since last year, she teaches preschool children French and Spanish.
Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
Hi, I am Jill. I have a 7 year old little boy called Enzo and I am expecting my second child in June. I also have a step-daughter called Eevee. She is 8 years old and she lives with my fiancé Leigh, Enzo and I 4 days a week. Leigh is a firefighter and his shifts are very family friendly, which will come handy with my business once the newest addition to the family has arrived.
What’s your business called?
My business is part of a franchise called Kidslingo.
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Based in South West Essex, I teach fun French & Spanish classes for little ones from age 0 to 11 years in a variety of venues such as nurseries, primary schools and in the community in Soft Plays etc…
When did you begin running children’s classes and what inspired you?
I was approached by my son’s headteacher to give French classes in the curriculum from Year 2 to Year 6 last year. I also set up Spanish breakfast and after-school clubs there. I was then approached by another school to do the same, at the recommendation of one of my Year 3 pupil, whose mum is also a headteacher! I started looking into ways of expanding without compromising my life-work balance and came across Kidslingo. I researched many other franchises but Kidslingo really stood out for me so I started just before Christmas 2016.
How did you fund your start up?
The start up costs are very affordable so I managed to come up with the initial fee by putting it on my credit card.
How do you manage working around your children?
I set up my classes at times that suit me, which also happens to be times that suit my clientele. It is just perfect! My son comes to my French After-School Club despite being bilingual already and he attends my Spanish After-school club so he learns Spanish now, which is another bonus.
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
Every day is different but I get to drop off the children at school and pick them up, be there to take them to their gymnastics and Badgers clubs etc. I used to work full time in London and commute so I really appreciate the difference of work-life balance I am able to achieve now. Some days, I am at home ringing and emailing nurseries and schools to let them know about the Free Trial I offer and the fun children have when learning French and Spanish with Kidslingo. Other days, I run classes in a Soft Play called Monkey Madness in Basildon or in a lovely little independent bookshop called the Chicken and Frog in Brentwood and I am adding more classes as the demand grows. Every week, I go to nurseries and do the classes in their settings or I have classes for older children, sometimes in Primary Schools, some days for home educated children.
Once my children are in bed, I spend my evenings online, advertising on Facebook and other websites, replying to enquiries and getting all the toys and props ready for the following day.
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
The main challenge is being able to speak to the right person in the schools and the nurseries. The only way to overcome this is by being patient and persistent. I am learning a lot about Social Media advertising but for any questions, doubts and advice, we have a fantastic support in Head Office and a Facebook page for all the franchisees so any question is answered within minutes. Seeing how well all the other very successful franchisees in the network are doing just keeps me going.
What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
The best thing about being Mumpreneur is being able to work around my children and meeting parents who like me, believe that introducing languages to their children from a very young age is an invaluable gift. Even though I spend long hours working, it doesn’t feel like I am working because I work for myself and love what I do. It is all worth it: I just love coming into the schools or nurseries to hear children welcoming me with “Yaaaay! The French teacher!!’ or “Yaaaay! Spanish!!”. Giving them the love of learning languages is so satisfying!
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to get more and more nurseries and schools onboard and employ tutors to teach all the fun classes I can’t personally deliver. All the lesson plans and materials are provided so I can train and employ someone to carry on teaching my classes whilst I take a little bit of time off in June when my newborn arrives. I’ll be able to take him/her to my baby classes as well, which will be great. The future is very exciting!
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
I would advise to have a clear plan and be organised from the start. It takes a while to be established so don’t give up! There are very good days and not so good days but keep your goal in mind and all the positive reasons why you started your business in the first place.
If you’re interested in running Children’s classes have a look at our Education and Coaching stories.