Meet Catriona: New Franchisee for Leeds

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What initially drew you towards BabyBeats and Mindful Movers?

I found BabyBeats classes online when I had my firstborn. I attended with a group of NCT friends and instantly loved it. It was always my favourite class because it was mum and baby focussed. I felt like I was allowing myself time to exercise, recover, and heal as well as time to bond with my son and learn massage techniques, all with an element of baby sensory.

I knew I had to come back when I had my second child. After attending a couple of sessions and wanting a career change, I knew BabyBeats was for me. The vision for the brand is totally mum and baby-focused and really supports working mums. I wanted to keep working with children, as in my previous career, but I wanted a change and to include my passion for exercise: BabyBeats was the perfect balance for this.

Did the initial training course meet your expectations?

I found the online training easy to access and enjoyed that I could work as and when I wanted to whilst looking after my two children. The training was very detailed and provided lots of vital knowledge for the role and I enjoyed studying knowing I was going to have earned a qualification. The team at Diverse Trainers was supportive and available for any questions. The BabyBeats training was arranged face-to-face over two days, with other new franchisees which was a great opportunity to meet others in the same position as me. The training was engaging and practical learning lots of different exercises, how to teach them, how to lesson plan and overcome any challenges that may arise.

There was a business-focused session providing key guidance on finding venues, the booking system and social media sites and marketing. It was really beneficial to have the time to discuss these topics as a group and ask questions along the way.

Have you had opportunities to interact with other teachers or mentors in the initial months? How has that support benefited your onboarding experience?

As I have attended the classes myself, I have had lots of opportunities to meet other teachers and work closely with them. I was also given the opportunity to speak to another franchisee, in a different area, to gain an insight into her business before joining myself. This was a great experience as I could ask a range of questions and address any concerns. That conversation along with meeting Rose face to face, really helped with my onboarding experience. Completing the training face-to-face with other new franchisees was really helpful and supportive; it was great to meet and get to know each other.

How does our ongoing training align with your career goals, and how do you see it benefiting your long-term professional development?

My long-term career goal is to be running a successful BabyBeats business and to have expanded to Mindful Movers and Before Birth so I can offer a full journey for Mums to experience. I would like to potentially complete further training qualifications in Yoga and Pilates as well. This professional development is supported through the ongoing monthly team training which allows everyone to get together online.

This has been a good opportunity to network and discuss any questions. . There are also opportunities for ongoing business calls and meetings as and when needed, with set goals to achieve and areas for improvement, to keep driving your business forward.

What support mechanisms, such as ongoing learning resources, do you feel are crucial to continuing your growth and development after completing our initial training program?

The ongoing learning resources include the Teachers Facebook group. It contains lots of information, posts, and training advice. The franchisor regularly provides guidance to follow which may include an updated document to read or feedback from a social media audit demonstrating ways to structure and word ad copy for success.

In your opinion, what sets our training program apart from others you’d research in the field, and how would you recommend it to franchisees?

The BabyBeats training programme is very comprehensive. I like that I have two recognised qualifications; Level 2 in Exercise and Level 3 in Pre and Post Natal, as well as the specific BabyBeats training. This provides me with qualifications that could be used to expand the business in the future. I found it very helpful that all of the training and resources were provided within the initial franchise fee and it was made clear what was included which was pretty much everything apart from my insurance. I also like the flexibility in the weekly lessons I teach. I can plan for the Mums to attend and adapt the classes to suit their needs for them to achieve the maximum benefits.

When researching other franchises they were very prescriptive and did not allow for much flexibility and there were no qualification opportunities available.

Do you feel you have received support from your franchisor?

I feel very well supported by the franchisor. There are regular opportunities to speak and meet to discuss business plans and answer any questions. The monthly online meetings are very supportive as well as the Teachers Facebook group and What’s App messaging services. The support at the start of the process is fantastic especially when new to running a business. For example: my website, area name, Facebook page, and log-ins for the necessary applications were all set up and provided for me.

We had a thorough face-to-face meeting to go through all of the systems and how to use them and the franchisor had set up draft examples for me to use. The franchisor is very knowledgeable about the business, answers all questions, and can signpost to further support if necessary, for example, which insurers to use and which music license to purchase.

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