The coronavirus pandemic came and hit us all like a bus. So the last thing you’d expect to be reading is that one of our franchisees has managed to grow her performing arts business by an incredible 527% over the past 12 months.
Yet for Laura Hanlon, who took over the Little Voices franchise in Bolton, Bury and Worsley in April 2020 with just 14 pupils, that’s exactly what’s happened.
And although the prospect of investing in a franchise just as we were all heading into our first lockdown was, on the face of it, pretty scary, this didn’t put Laura off or faze her in the slightest.
Instead, she grabbed the reins with both hands and made her dream of running a performing arts school come true!
From primary school teacher to Little Voices franchisee
For 11 years, Laura was a full-time primary school teacher with a passion for drama and singing.
However, once she’d bought her Little Voices franchise, she soon decided that that was where she wanted her focus to be.
And so she left her teaching job and made the leap to making Little Voices her full-time role.
There for children throughout the pandemic
Laura is passionate about improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Which is why, when face-to-face classes couldn’t run throughout the pandemic, like lots of other Little Voices franchisees in our network, she was still there to support the children and young people in her community by running weekly online lessons and workshops.
And when the day finally came that we could open our doors and run classes in our venues once more, Laura was inundated with enquiries. Parents had seen the positive effects our online classes were having, and how much their children loved them, and wanted to build on that by bringing them to in-person lessons.
Parents want quality classes for their children
Laura says Little Voices’ popularity has been down to a powerful combination of word-of-mouth and parents desperate for quality classes for their children to take part in during the week.
With so many youngsters missing out on so much during lockdown, parents and carers were quick to recognise that it was just as important for their children to reap the social benefits of face-to-face interaction that had disappeared from their lives for so long, as it was to improve their singing and acting skills.
Going from strength to strength
Laura has now built a fabulous team of tutors who work closely with her to deliver outstanding lessons, and her performing arts franchise continues to go from strength to strength.
She’s earning more now than she was as a primary school teacher – and what’s more, she absolutely adores her new role!
After what has been a difficult year for young people, she’s grateful that she now has the opportunity to give each and every child the individual attention they need and deserve, and help them rebuild their confidence and social skills through her inspiring drama and singing lessons.
Nurturing with care and attention
There’s no doubt that Laura has done some amazing marketing to help build her business: she secured some fabulous local press, and works hard on her online presence and reputation.
But ultimately, she puts her success down to nurturing the parents and families that attend Little Voices with such care and attention that they simply can’t stop telling other parents just how good we are!
An incredible job during a difficult crisis
“Laura has done an incredible job during a very difficult crisis,” says Jane James, CEO and Founder of Little Voices. “We are so proud of her achievements and it’s an absolute pleasure to have her in our Little Voices family of franchisees.
“She consistently upholds our ethos and beliefs in every area of the business, and her success is testament to her hard work – her love of the brand shines through in everything that she does!”
Could you be our next franchisee?
Little Voices franchisees come from all walks of life, but they all share one common passion: to improve the lives of children and young people through the highest quality of drama and singing training.
So if Laura’s story has inspired you, and you’d like to explore owning and running your own performing arts franchise in your area, please just get in touch.