If you love dance then running baby and toddler dance classes might be a great business option for you, check out Emma’s story of doing just that.
What’s your business called?
Can you describe it in one sentence?
A unique and captivating baby and toddler dance classes, for babies and toddlers and their parents/carers.
When did you start it and what inspired you?
I started training in January 2015 and started running classes in April 2015.
I used to be a Primary school teacher which I loved. I worked in two Outstanding Primary schools with children from aged 5 to 11. After having my two girls I really wanted to work part time during school hours so that I could still spend some time with them. A friend of mine was starting Tappy Toes and she suggested that I look into it as she knew I loved teaching and enjoyed sport. Once I researched Tappy Toes I knew it was the one for me! I loved the syllabus and was confident with the teaching. I also thought the challenge of running my own franchise would be a great opportunity.
How did you fund your starting up your toddler dance classes?
I had to borrow money to buy the franchise and the equipment I needed.
How do you manage working around your children?
My Mum has been a great help looking after my youngest daughter one day a week. She also goes to nursery for 3 half days a week. My eldest has just started school so Tappy Toes classes fit perfectly into the school day. I manage to do my accounts and admin work in the evenings and I do my planning for the week at the weekend. As my children get older I will have more time in the week to run more classes and do my planning during the week. Tappy Toes is fantastic for me, not only because I love the teaching but I can choose my class times and make it work for me and my family.
Can you describe a typical day?
My Mondays are always ‘go, go, go!’ I start by getting myself ready, making breakfast for my family (and packed lunches for those who need them) and then I wake the girls and get them ready. After breakfast we pile into the car and take my eldest daughter to school. On return, I tidy up while my youngest plays (or tries to help!) and then I get my Tappy Toes bags ready. My Mum arrives to look after Emily and I go off to run my first two classes. I then have an hour for lunch where I grab some shopping from a supermarket or take my neighbours dog for a walk. My afternoon class starts at 1.30pm and then I am back home at 2.45pm. After a quick change and a goodbye to Granny, we go and pick up Daisy from school and take her straight to gymnastics. We arrive home by 5.30pm, the girls have tea and a bit of down time. They are usually in bed at 7pm and I eat with my husband when he comes home from work.
Wednesdays are very different as both girls are at school/nursery. I then run Tappy Toes at two different nurseries which I really enjoy. The classes are much larger but the nursery teachers join in too and I love being part of the school family again. I have a little time to play with Emily when I pick her up before the afternoon school run.
What have you found hardest?
The hardest thing at the beginning was finding the time to advertise the new classes and respond to every call, email and message. I have learnt to manage my time better and as my girls get older, this is getting easier.
What’s the best thing about Running toddler dance classes?
I love being part of the Tappy Toes team but also being able to make my own decisions on when and where I run classes so that I can give my best to them. I am pretty self motivated and have high standards which I think is important if you are self employed.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to open more classes in other areas so that even more little ones can enjoy Tappy Toes! Also to do more parties as the few I have done so far have been fantastic fun.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out?
Make sure you have at least a whole term for training, planning, preparing and advertising before you actually start your classes. I did this and it was a huge help.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
The best thing about Tappy Toes really is the difference I make to the children and their parents. I see so many happy faces, children having fun, little ones gaining confidence and parents proud as punch as they watch on.