Karen Sherr the founder of Musical Minis music classes, tells us how she franchised her company.
Why did you pick the franchising business model/what are the benefits of the franchising model?
Musical Minis was already operating very successfully, providing a valuable service in a very small local area. Soon we started receiving enquiries from further afield and realised the only way of to provide more Musical Minis classes was to franchise the business. We recognised that the costs involved for an individual of obtaining the music rights, trade mark etc. would be prohibitive and that the know-how needed to operate a business, focused on child-development through music, would require a set of skills not many people had, meaning our business was ideal for franchising and that we could deliver a proven business model with considerably cheaper start-up costs.
What are the biggest challenges of franchising a business?
I’d say setting up everything legally, making sure the system can be easily understood and readily followed. Nothing can be left to chance and we needed to be certain that franchisees could earn back their initial investment and make a good profit from following the business model.
What will franchisees get for their money?
When someone buys a Musical Minis franchise they get everything they need to run their business including training, nearly 100 instruments, stories, puppets, prepared lessons, music, manuals, policies and equipment to run their sessions. They’re also provided with an advertising spend and insurance.
“When someone buys a Musical Minis franchise they get everything they need to run their business.”
Do you offer training and support?
One of the key strengths of the Musical Minis franchise is the training and ongoing support we offer. We undertake the training ourselves, concentrating on running classes, marketing and sales. We maintain a hands-on approach and offer support through various modes of communication and face-to-face meetings. Annual franchise meetings provide further opportunities to train and our franchisees are encouraged to support each other both directly and through a dedicated franchisee forum.
What is your vision for the future of the franchise?
With a survey of UK childcare workers recently calling for pre-school children to have more social than academic skills, we feel the future for Musical Minis is very bright. Our aim is to be the first choice franchise for anyone looking for a flexible and balanced working life. For us this means creating a network of up to 30 franchisees, all of whom are performing well and making a positive contribution to the network.
What has been your proudest moment in business?
Luckily for us this is a repeated experience for us; every time we visit a franchisee running a local classes we feel proud that something we developed 24 years ago, is now being delivered throughout the country, with tens of thousands of children benefitting our classes. We’re also proud of the longevity of Musical Minis as a franchised business; a number of our franchisees have renewed their licenses for a second time and been with us for over 10 years. We must be doing something right!