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A Year in the Life of a Hartbeeps Franchise Owner

Date Posted : August 14,2014

Hello, I'm Anna and I've been running my franchise since March 2013. If you've ever considered running your own baby business and are looking for a franchise opportunity then I can't recommend Hartbeeps highly enough!

Where it all began

I say I started in March but that's not strictly true. I actually bought my franchise in December 2012 when my daughter Thea was just 5-months old.

I knew I couldn't go back to being an editor - that world was all consuming and though I loved it, the passion had definitely waned.

I had initially thought I might just be a stay-at-home mum but 5-months in I was pretty sure that wasn't for me - besides all my baby buddies were going back to work and I had visions of lonely days spent pacing the parks, stretching infinitely ahead of me. Nooooo!

I'd been going to Hartbeeps since Thea was three months and I thought it was spectacular. It's creative, funny, witty, amazing, inventive, developmental and super cute.

I figured I could provide good customer service (I found a distinct lack of that in my experience as a customer of other baby groups) and I was fairly certain I could pull off a reasonable version of twinkle, twinkle... I'm no Mariah but then you don't need to be - Hartbeeps is mercifully performed to a backing track most of the time!

So it was basically on a whim that I decided to investigate and, a week later, buy a Hartbeeps franchise of my very own. Yes, I was that much of a super fan!

Starting out

After my meeting with Sarah and the signing of the contracts and handing over of the wedge (eek!) I was good to go... but where to begin?

Hartbeeps Franchises come with an instruction manual. Everything you need to get yourself up and running. I found it quite tough finding a venue at first. It took a couple of weeks and for a while I thought I'd never get anything suitable!

I tried pubs, community halls, restaurants, cafes, churches, yoga studios, anything I could think of! Eventually I got a break in a back room of a gastro pub near the station.

Then there was assembling my kit! I loved this part - imagine free reign to indulge your online shopping habit all in the name of a fab new business. Everyday fun things would arrive which I'd let six-month old Thea test out for me!

You have to be careful and watch your budget but it's so exciting getting packages of sparkly parachutes, soft blankets, funky puppets and other cool bits and bobs delivered to your door.

Learning the scripts was a bit daunting but as the classes are timed to music you're never looking at your watching wondering what you should do next! And you quickly learn to adlib and pour out facts about babies and why what do at Hartbeeps is so good for them!

Launch day

I started my very first class with a launch party and invited down a load of other local baby providers to have stalls at my "event". I ran two taster classes (Beeps and Bells) and was so nervous I almost vomitted!

I was utterly poisonous to my husband and everyone else who loves me until the doors opened and - hooray - it was a roaring success.

I had some serious apologising to do after that one but from the next week I was just excited and the nerves disappeared. Every time I did a class I felt elated, happy and content in a way I had NEVER experienced in any other job.

Growing the business

Within three months I'd opened four new classes - two more at my existing venue and one at a new venue who actually approached me!

I was doing all I could to make my business a success: trekking about the parks with flyers, standing outside baby weigh ins, putting up posters in maternity clinics, shops and cafes, joining mummy groups online and posting adverts on all the baby websites!

Again this was all in the manual and there's an amazingly helpful Facebook group of franchisers who answer your silliest questions and pick you up when you have a bad day.

Thankfully bad days are few and far between... I've had about two since I began!

Developing Hartbeeps

In just over a year I have grown my Hartbeeps franchise to eighteen weekly classes run by three contractors and I do the admin at home. I'm able to spend more time with Thea and I love the freedom I get to develop sessions, add to the suggested scripts and buy the coolest props I can find!

Hartbeeps has been a lifeline in terms of income coming in and is now supporting my family while my husband returns to study.

I never thought I'd be running my own business and being the main breadwinner but here I am!

It's hardwork, it can be tough but Hartbeeps is far and away the best job I've ever had and I've honestly never known job satisfaction like it.

What are you waiting for? Buy your franchise now!

 

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