Post # 1
I have a daughter who is almost 18 months and have taken her to a baby signing class since she were 6 month old.
Immediately after starting the classes I realised that I would very much like to be a part of it and looked into how to set up my own baby signing class. After speaking to the lady who runs the class in my area I found out that the business is franchised. I have been seriously thinking about buying into this franchise and starting classes in an area close to where I live where there is currently nothing like this available to parents.
After researching the business further and reading testimonials from other franchisees I really think it is something worth doing.
I currently work part time, 3 evenings a week. I could keep that job and still do this a few morning a week once my daughter starts preschool.
There are obviously the initial fees i would need to pay and an annual renewal fee, i would need to find a hall to run the class and think about insurances if the halls do not come with their own liability insurance and be accountable for my own tax returns etc, but I think its doable.
I wouldn’t be primarily be doing this to make money although i dont wants to make a loss either. I would love to be able to share the joy baby signing has bought to mine and my daughter life to others. It really is an amazing thing to watch. Any profit made would be a bonus.
Am i crazy? Could this work?
Have any of you embarked on buying into a franchise or know anybody that has, how did it pan out?
I appreciate your thoughts.
Post # 2
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
I don’t have direct experience, but it sounds like a neat program. Do you already know sign, or enough to teach the baby stuff? I’d wonder if you could start doing some less-formal classes, maybe through your pre-school, religious community, stuff like that to see how much interest there would be and what people would be willing to pay. IE before you jump in and put out all that money, see how popular it would be and what it’s really like to teach the classes.
Post # 3
I would suggest running a little math.
Pencil out the first 24 months in a spreahsheet if you can. You will get revenue from # students * $ per class and you will have expenses. Expenses include all the things your listed – the initial fee, rental cost of the building, insurance cost, business adminstration costs like taxes, and renewal costs. How many students can you expect each month and how much can you charge? Then deduct your expenses each month. Does your revenue cover your expenses? How many months does it take you to pay back your initial fee?
The answer is probably that it takes many months to get your money back / before you make a profit (or can stop funding losses out of your pocket), unless you ramp up the # students very quickly. Are you prepared to really hustle?
This is how I would think about it.
Post # 4
- Wedding: May 2015 - The Fairmont, SF
From the sounds of it, my response may not be relevant but here goes: my FI owns several franchised restaurants in two major chain restaurants and it is a LOT of work. He starts working at 8AM and sometimes doesn’t finish until 11PM, on bad days. For it to remain successful, he really can’t just work on it “a few mornings a week”; it’s constant. And since he’s the big boss, he has to deal with EVERYONE’s complaints, concerns, questions, etc. Again, your intended franchise may be different from my FI’s situation but some make you pay chunks of your profits to the head company in addition to paying a large downpayment to start up.
That being said, if you’re interested in this and you’re passionate about it, go ahead. I’d try to do as much research and talk to as many people as possible before making a decision and try to chart out your projected finances. As Jamb mentioned, you’ll need to take into account that marketing costs a lot and it may be a while before you get consistent clients. Make sure that your franchise won’t have TOO much trouble breaking into the market with the existing and established centers in your area.
Post # 5
soontobeMrsBoo: Yes I already know enough Makaton and baby signs to run the course. I had already thought about approaching local pre schools and toddler groups where i can see what the interest is like.
The great thing about this is that the company is already well established and everything is already set in place. there is a sylabus which is followed strictly with all paperwork and class materials supplied ready to go.
I know that the group we go to has a waiting list with 12 babies hoping to either find a place or for a new class to start in the area.
I have worked out in excel that if I had 10 babies per session and offered 3 sessions per week at the cost advised by the company I could recover the costs of the start up fee, insurances and hall hire and still make £6000 before tax in the first year. There are clearly things i havent included in that but its a starting point.
I will crunch some numbers properly over the coming weeks.