What’s your name?
Tell me about your business?
My business is based in Nottingham running TinyTalk Baby Signing public and private classes (www.tinytalk.co.uk) to teach families how to use baby sign language with pre-verbal children. We also teach TinyTalk Toddlers to slightly older children promoting language and communication development. I am also qualified to deliver adult training to private daycare nurseries and childcare professionals
How old are your Kids?
Ella is 7 and Ruby is 4
Where do you work? Home/office?
I mainly work from home but run my classes in church and village halls.
What childcare suppot do you have?
Ruby has just started school this month but for the last few years I’ve been planning and running my classes when she was at Pre-School. I was really lucky that her preschool ran a lunch club as well as morning and afternoon sessions so I had enough time to run a double session of classes before having to pick her up.
What inspired you to start your own business?
Seeing other women doing it! I was, and still am, incredibly passionate about my product and that was the main reason I started investigating the opportunity. Once I started chatting to others who were doing a similar thing it gave me the confidence to do it myself.
When did you start your business?
I bought my first Franchise in July 2007 followed by a second in January 2008.
Any start up fees?
Yes, the initial franchise fee of around £2000. There was also a cost for the second franchise although this was different as it was an ongoing business and I split the cost with someone and went into partnership.
What are your aims for your business?
I sold the first franchise earlier this year allowing me more time to spend on the second larger business. There is still room to grow this area particularly with Nurseries, either through training or running further private classes. The organization will be 10 years old next year and it’s a very exciting time!
Have you got 3 tips for any mum thinking of starting a business on a budget?
1. If you are going to spend a substantial amount of money on a new venture research it properly and be confident that your money will be returned.
2. Look after and maximize your profit margin and keep your costs and outgoings as low as you possibly can.
3. When starting out advertise for free anywhere and everywhere you can. Identify your target market and reach them through the cheapest method possible. Networking with other businesses in your area is a great way to get your word out there.
Do you have a blog /facebook page/ twitter account? Do these help promote your business?
I blog at www.signandthecity1.blogspot.com about what’s involved in running a franchise business. We have a facebook page at www.facebook.com/tinytalksouthnotts and I tweet @TinyTalkJen www.twitter.com/tinytalkjen. They really help to promote the business, and they also help to keep the clients we already have by engaging them in everything baby sign language related. Many of our mums and families return to our classes with their second and third babies and social media plays a big part in keeping them us in touch with them.
Thanks so much Jen for sharing how you do it!