After the arrival of child number six, Michelle Reeson decided that it was time to find a career that suited her busy family life. A few months later she took the reins of her own business when she became the franchisee for Musical Minis in East Midlands (West).
Before this change of career direction Michelle’s focus was in the financial sector working as a cashier for a high street bank. She also tutored family and friends on the piano in her spare time, something that she continues today.
Whilst on maternity leave Michelle started to assess her work/ home balance and explored the possibility of becoming her own boss. “Financially I needed to return to work after having the baby as my husband and I have a large family to support, but it was equally important to find something which gave me flexibility,” said Michelle. “Being there for my family was a high priority and running my own business seemed like the ideal solution.”
Over the next few months Michelle spent time researching opportunities on the internet. She soon realised that with existing business models and an established brand, franchising ticked all the boxes. “My first port of call on the internet was NetMums who publish lots of information for mums wanting to work from home,” continued Michelle. “I homed in on music and children, then came across Musical Minis, a full bfa member. I requested an information pack but in the interim I also visited the East Midlands franchise show at Leicester racecourse.”
Armed with a selection of franchises to consider, it was Musical Minis that became the frontrunner. Michelle attended a Musical Minis session and was very impressed by what she saw, so she duly completed the application form to become a franchisee. She said: “I like the philosophy behind Musical Minis and Karen Sherr’s (founder) approach to the business. The fact that Karen is a trained child play therapist gave me the confidence to invest. This franchise is all about making sure both the customer and the franchisee are happy.” With training complete and her range of musical equipment received, Michelle organised her first session in September 2008.
“There is some competition in preschool activities within the area but I’m pleased to say that the number of children attending my classes is increasing week on week,” said Michelle. “It’s all about finding out what works.”
With a home and six children to organise, Michelle and her husband Jamie are certainly kept busy. “Jamie is a fantastic support behind the scenes and the whole family get involved with leaflet distribution. I’m enjoying Musical Minis so much that it almost feels like a hobby!,” Michelle enthused.