This week I wanted to share with you a day in the life of an award winning franchisee – in the spotlight is the winner of our Achievement & Innovation award 2020, Helen Isaac. Helen kindly shared her thoughts with me in 2020 and I shared her words at the time within our emails and social media! Fast forward to 2022, she has opened another centre and due to family circumstances she is now in the process of selling her franchise but still remains a very special member of our Little Voices family. I hope that you enjoy reading Helen’s story.
What is your typical day like working on your franchise Helen?
So fun! I rarely get a full day to work as my son is only in nursery for 3 mornings a week, but in the time I get I always have lists of things to achieve. I try to use at least an hour of that time working on something to grow my business as I find its really easy to get bogged down in the day to day running and not actually achieve anything to help me grow. I also find that I work so much better if I have a ‘project’ to complete in a certain amount of time.
If it’s a Tuesday then we have our lessons. They’re my favourite day as I just love being around the energy of my amazing pupils and tutors. I love it even more since COVID as its so nice to see actual humans! When I’m at the centre I tend to do meet and greet, entertain any early comers / late to be picked up, sometimes get on with a bit of admin, clean! But mostly I love to go into the lessons and just join in. I really miss teaching, but for me it is the sensible way to manage my business and my life! Plus my tutors are the best ever, so I know my pupils are getting an amazing experience.
What have been your highlights being a franchisee at Little Voices?
Obviously winning the award – best feeling ever!! But my favourite memory was at the end of my first ever theatre week and the next day I travelled up to Lancashire for a Principles meeting (kind of like the symposium, but smaller) and I was just buzzing! I’d had the best week, launched my first centre and got to the end of the 1st half term with some actual pupils and I felt such a massive sense of achievement and pride! I was then was spending the day with like minded people all celebrating how lucky we are to be running these businesses. It really stands out for me as a highlight of my life, never mind just Little Voices!
What are the challenges that you have to overcome?
I think for me it always boils down to balancing my life and Little Voices. Before I had my son, I found working on my business alone all day really hard and I had to use Grace to give me plans to follow and goals to achieve as I really found it difficult to motivate myself. I still work so much better with the sales reporting as it makes me accountable!
I have always hated talking on the phone. Honestly – I don’t even speak to my best friend on it! When I had to delegate some things in the business as I didn’t have time, that was the first thing I did. It makes such a difference for my anxiety levels to know that I have Jo (Principal of Buckingham) who calls all my free trials. 😊
A year into the business, I got pregnant somewhat unexpectedly (I’d given up!) and had my beautiful son James. James has been a challenge and now has an ASD diagnosis but this presents in lots of challenging ways. He is low functioning, non verbal and really struggles in lots of ways with day to day life. He needs lots of help and trusts very few people to give it. There have been at least 2 occasions where I have decided to give up the business because I simply couldn’t see a way of balancing the two parts of my life. BUT there is always an answer! And I am a firm believer that if you ask, the answer will be given. For me, the answer was to employ Jo to do all the free trail contacting and organising and to do my social media posts.
Little Voices brings me so much joy and everyone needs something that makes them truly happy in their lives! It’s still a challenge, but it’s one I overcome every single day 😊
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m married to Kevin. We have 1 child who’s 3 and this is my second marriage. I spent 13 years in secondary schools as a music teacher and Head of Music. I also teach singing privately to adults and MD North London Military Wives Choir.
Why did you become a franchisee
I was so disillusioned with schools and the music education they were providing. I wanted control of my life and what I was going to teach. I wanted to provide education that was worth something and not teach to simply produce results. I hated what schools had become and I hated the pressure that was on me. I had a rant on Facebook one day and my old school friend Jane Maudsley contacted me to tell me about Little Voices. I went up to a discovery day a few weeks later and I was sold! I love what we offer and I could see immediately that it was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to do.
What would you say to people who are intrigued about Little Voices and want to consider this as an opportunity
Do it! NOW! I’d say to remember that it is a business and you do have to treat it as such, but it is fun! Plus the great feeling you get because you are honestly giving the world a wonderful gift and really changing these children’s lives. I’d also say that the level of professionalism throughout the network is outstanding and if you are prepared to listen, learn and implement, you can’t help but be successful!
If this story resonates with you and you would like more information about teaching with Little Voices or running your own franchise please click here. I look forward to hearing from you.