New franchisee Chrissie Rolls was delighted to find an opportunity that enabled her to combine her ambition to be her own boss with her love of music.
Music has always played an important part in Chrissie’s life. She trained as a classical singer and worked in the Welsh National Opera community choir but it wasn’t until she decided to invest in a Musical Minis franchise that music became her main source of income.
Chrissie’s musical background is unusual, since most of the franchisees in the network do not have formal music training nor is it necessary. Musical Minis’ comprehensive training teaches franchisees all they need to know to run the sessions and to have a successful business.
Chrissie explains: “I obtained a music degree at the Welsh College of Music and Drama but my working career saw me heading down the path of recruitment, retail and the hotel industry. Despite being my main passion, singing and music became more of a hobby.”
She wanted to work closer to home in a business that would complement her family life and decided that being her own boss would provide the ideal work-life balance. Her initial search for the perfect opportunity began with the internet and it wasn’t long before Chrissie focused on franchises, as she recognised its benefits and advantages.
“In addition to becoming my own boss it was important to have support from somebody when I needed it,” explained Chrissie. “The franchise I was looking for needed to have a proven background with a friendly approachable owner.”
After much research Chrissie narrowed her final selection to three franchises, contacting the owners directly to find out more, particularly to ensure that full training, business materials and support were in place. Chrissie continued: “When I found Musical Minis I was very pleased to discover that this is a business that would fit in around my family commitments and, also, where I could use my music talents and involve my children.”
Chrissie attended Musical Minis’ classes in Wales to see the music sessions in action and was impressed by what she saw. She said: “It gave me the opportunity to talk first hand with parents and obtain some feedback about what they thought of the classes, all of which was positive.” The friendly support and advice offered by Karen Sherr, founder of Musical Minis, gave Chrissie the confidence to embark on setting up her own business.
Securing the Swindon franchise ensured that Chrissie received all the equipment she needed to start the business, as well as thorough training in preparation to start her Musical Minis’ classes in January 2009. “I started by offering some free trials for Health Visitors and advertising in my local area,” explained Chrissie. “The initial attendance has been very promising and already I have been thinking about how I can expand the business.”
The franchise has enabled Chrissie, aged 31, to spend more time with her young children, whilst also gaining family support in the business. She said: “My mother is a silent partner and on occasions supports me as my assistant. Her help is invaluable. My husband has also been roped in with the paperwork!”
Chrissie’s long-term goal is to expand her franchise into other areas and recruit her own team. “Many people might think that you need a musical background to start a franchise like Musical Minis, but that is not the case,” she explained. “However, I feel extremely lucky to be able to work with children and enjoy music while earning money to support my family.”