Running baby and toddler classes is a popular choice for Mums who are looking for a business that will fit around their families. Weather you want to run them independently or through a franchise, here’s what you need to know.
It’s about the parents as much as the children
The classes might be for the children but it’s the Mums who make the decision to come. I attended a music class with my son for a couple of years. The class itself was pretty rubbish but it was such a lovely group of Mums that I kept going. If you can foster a nice atmosphere and discourage cliques, you’ll get more parents coming each each term.
If there is time during, or at the end of, your session for parents to chat that can help to develop a friendly group. Less formal meet ups at parks or soft plays during the school holidays also help. Mums of under 5s are often left with nothing to do when classes stop for the holidays.
Finding the Right venue is key
Venue hire is an odd business. Mostly it’s done as an add on to an organisation’s real business (church’s hiring out their halls, school’s hiring out their gyms) and that means price and terms vary massively. This means that shopping around is key.
For running baby and toddler classes you’ll need good parking (make sure that the car parking won’t be used for something else when your customers will want to use it), baby changing and a room without hazards. A cafe and are near by park are also bonuses.
You’ll also need to be happy with the person that you’re dealing with and their reliability. I viewed a hall which was perfect but rejected it because I found out that they cancelled all bookings if a funeral was taking place. I also moved on from a venue because the person I was supposed to collect the keys from was so often not in when I arrived.
Facebook is your frieNd when running baby AND TODDLER classes
When I ran baby and toddler classes, I got very few bookings until I started using Facebook. If you only have a small advertising budget then this is where you should spend it. I paid a lot for adverts on parenting websites and in parenting magazines. They were all wasted money when compared to the number of bookings I got through Facebook.
There are also lots of free ways to advertise on Facebook. Every area has lots of Facebook parenting groups where you can post about your classes (just not enough to annoy people). You can also get your friends on board with spreading the word by asking them to share your posts
You’ll get recognised in the street (aNd you’ll feel a bit famous!)
Who knew that running baby and toddler classes could make you famous! The baby and toddler world is surprisingly small. I would often run into my customers when I was out and about. There’s nothing quite like having a toddler run up to you in the library and give you a big hug because they know you from your class.
Your own children will love it
When I first started developing my classes I would try my ideas out on my kids. Soon I found myself running baby and toddler classes everyday at home because my baby and toddler loved it! It was a great way to practice my songs but it did get a bit old in the end.
If you think you might enjoy running baby and toddler classes then have a look at the stories on our classes and education page or, if you think you’d like to go down the franchise route then you can check out our franchisees stories.