Helen Webster – Talkfirst Franchisee

Helen WebsterYour Name and age:
Helen Webster, age 35yrs

Company name and nature of business:
Talkfirst Ribble Valley, Hyndburn and Pendle.

When did you start your business?
September 2007.

What type of jobs did you have before you started your business?
I hold the NNEB certificate in childcare and prior to starting Talkfirst I worked in a school with children who had additional needs.

How does your business fit around your family life?
I started when my daughter was 8 months working just 1 day a week. Gradually I have built it up and now work 3 days whilst she is in pre- school.  I am looking at it becoming full time in September when she starts school.  It means I can drop her off and pick her up, be with her in the holidays and I have spent the most quality time with her before school starts. Any additional work i.e parties and professional training can be done at weekends or evenings when my husband is home from work to look after her.

What has been the most challenging part about running your business?
Marketing and advertising to keep new parents coming through.

How has your business grown since it started?
I started with 1 venue, running 2 classes in a morning. Gradually and at my own pace I have expanded to running private classes at 4 venues with up to 7 classes between them. Also running classes at numerous children’s centres and private nurseries during the term.  I am also now taking bookings for birthday parties and professional training.

What advice would you give to someone else wanting to start their own business?

  • Research your area: what other baby groups are there, venues and prices.
  • Would you be able to reach new families easily regarding advertising?Ensure you have a good back office’.
  • Keeping up to date with your books, contacts etc.
  • A supportive family and friends is a big help especially if you have young children.

Do you have any tips for success?
Work hard but enjoy yourself. Never give up, and always keep your eyes and ears open for a possible contact. Think big!

Your website link and contact details:
Helen Webster Talkfirst Ribble Valley, Hyndburn and Pendle.
Website: www.talkfirst.net

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