- Changing Your Career Joining Tumble Tots
In today’s expert podcast Carla Lett chats with Charlotte Bedford the Franchise Development Manager at Tumble Tots, they talk about becoming a franchise owner for Tumble tots, what it entails, the benefits and also the financial aspects too.
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[00:01:35] Hello, and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK to answer your questions on everything, pregnancy to preschool.
[00:02:00] Today I am joined by the lovely Charlotte Bedford from Tumble Tots. Charlotte is the franchise development manager, and today we’re going to be talking all about joining Tumble Tots, the process, the benefits and everything you need to know if you are interested in joining the team. I hope you enjoyed this episode.
[00:02:26] Hello everybody. And welcome to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert podcast. Today I am joined by the lovely Charlotte Bedford the franchise development manager for Tumble Tots. Hi Charlotte, how are you?
[00:02:42] Charlotte: I’m good. Thank you. You?
[00:02:44] Carla: Yes, very well. Thank you very well. So today we’re going to be talking a little bit about flexible working, going back to work, and then finding a business that works around you and your family.
[00:02:56] So I’m really excited to talk about. Because obviously with My Bump 2 Baby, I started that business during maternity leave. And I really didn’t want to go back to my full nine to five job.
[00:03:08] Charlotte: Not many people do.
[00:03:11] Carla: I know that’s the thing. Do you know what though? I always thought I always thought, oh yeah. Yeah. I’ll definitely go back full time. And as soon as I had my little boy, I was like, oh no. And when you look at childcare fees as well, oh, my goodness.
[00:03:25] Charlotte: A lot of my friends now they are, they are finding that they are working just to put their children into childcare. And it’s just a bit like, well, what, why am I even doing this? It’s it’s crazy. Isn’t it?
[00:03:39] Carla: It really is. Honestly. And then if you have another one as well, throw them into the mix blooming hell it’s like having another house.
[00:03:50] Charlotte: It’s crazy.
[00:03:51] Carla: It is. So we find a lot of our parents that come on My Bump 2 Baby to find local groups and classes. Um, a lot of them are kind of open to the idea of running their own business and finding their own thing that works for them and around the family. So we’re going to touch on, also the benefits of becoming a Tumble Tots franchise owner. Now, first of all, I just want to say if you’ve not been to the classes and you’ve got a local one in your area, Honestly, they are brilliant. My little George absolutely loved them and do you know they tired him out as well, which was even better because I got a hot brew when I got home
[00:04:29] Charlotte: They are brilliant. And, you know, we find that a lot of parents are like. I’m exhausted. now as well, so, and it’s, it’s a great, it’s a great sort of parent child. I know I’m very biased, but it is a great parent child activity. And like you said, it just wears, wears them out. We get so many pictures of little ones in their car seats after Tumble Tots. Just clonked out. Because they’re just exhausted, but it’s great.
[00:04:55] Carla: It is. Can you tell us a little bit about the classes for people that haven’t been to your classes? And so we can cover that.
[00:05:02] Charlotte: Yeah. So, um, Tumble Tots, we’re a physical play program. So we basically run 45 minute classes, for, um, children for specific ages and development stages. So. Babies start when they’re six months and we have our sort of baby class and then they work their way through until they go off to school in their different classes. So the way, it’s so hard to describe Tumble Tots as sort of one sentence, but the best way I think is, is like it’s a PE lesson for your toddler where they’re having fun, they’re playing, but then also you’re actively as the parent involved in the class as well.
[00:05:38] So it’s, it is great fun for children, for parents. And I always say for the staff and franchisees as well. I, whenever I get the opportunity to work in classes. I love it. I’m always like a Duracell Bunny, that I’m wound up and wound up and I just throw everything at it because it’s, it’s impossible not to have fun in our, in our environment. And whatever’s going on sort of at home or in the outside world. Soon as those doors open to the classes, the music’s playing. And the children come in, beaming and full of energy. That is the best, the best feeling, it really is.
[00:06:13] Carla: Oh, amazing. That is a really good way to describe it. So, so, um, with, um, obviously flexible working around maternity, obviously Tumble Tots, you are a franchise, so people can actually buy into a Tumble Tots business. So could you. You’ve told us a bit about Tumble Tots as a class. Now, can you tell us a bit about being a franchise owner of Tumble Tots?
[00:06:39] Charlotte: Yeah. So franchising is a great opportunity whereby you buy into, as a franchisee, a well-known brand, a concept that works really well and thats established. However, what it does provide you is the opportunity to run your own business. You’re a business owner and you drive and push and develop that business as much as you want to with our full support, our advice, our expertise, and in terms of sort of a Tumble Tots franchisee, um, your sort of responsible for running the classes with a team. So you have your own, your own staff. But then also you’re responsible for sort of the operational side of it.
[00:07:21] So how are you going to develop that business? How are you going to get the Tumble Tots name out in your local area and how are you going to sort of keep those little ones keep coming in and coming in? So it’s, it’s a great franchise opportunity in terms of the, it uses sort of two aspects. So, if you love working with children and you get a real buzz from that, you’ve got that side of it, but then you’ve also got the other side of actually running your own business and what that takes as well. And combining the two. And actually it really does give a good balance, whereas you’re not stuck behind a desk all day, running a business. Actually for the most part of the day, you’re in classes getting in amongst with the children, the parents, and then you do have the other sort of aspect where you actually, yeah. You do need to sit down sometimes at a desk, but not, not as much as you wouldn’t necessarily within the businesses.
[00:08:16] Carla: I suppose it’s, it’s good in some ways, cause people have different personalities. Don’t they? See I am a desker and I, I, you know, that side of things, but then, you know, as, as they grow the business, I mean, I imagine, you know, they could have staff looking after different classes and they could be a bit more behind the scenes or they could be more up front depending on what they, they want to do.
[00:08:37] Charlotte: Yeah and it very much depends on their own circumstances as well. So we’ve got some franchisee. Um, with very young children. So they might work in their classes maybe three days a week, and then their team look after the classes for two days a week. Knowing full well that the franchisee is very much still in control very much in the business. However, that’s, that’s one of the flexibilities of Tumble Tots is that, you know, we understand, and a lot of our franchisees have young children.
[00:09:09] So actually it works really, really well for them. And going back to sort of childcare is that, you know, if they, if they only want to put their child into nursery, maybe two days, then that’s fine. They operate those two days. They might have their child one day and it’s a, it’s a good juggling act. So you’re not having to fork out all of that money for childcare, as you would sometimes with sort of like a typical nine to five.
[00:09:33] Carla: That’s great. So you can kind of get it to work for you can’t you really?
[00:09:37] Charlotte: Yeah for sure.
[00:09:38] Carla: I think the great thing about having a franchise is, you know, it’s proven method. It works, you know, look how long Tumble Tots have been around. I mean, when did it launch?
[00:09:47] Charlotte: Yeah, so we’re, we were established in 1979, so we’re touching 43 years, which is amazing. And w when you say that you just think, oh my goodness, what, look at what has happened in those 43 years. So we’ve, we’ve got through a few recessions. We’ve got through COVID and we’re still here. We’re still going strong and. And I think that’s credit to a the classes what we actually do for children, but also our business model, our business model works. We’re a good franchise. And actually, you know, it’s, it’s a franchise that people trust as well. Parents trust to come to classes. But sort of potential franchisees trust the name because they understand that we’ve been going for so long and that we have got some amazing opportunities available.
[00:10:38] Carla: Absolutely. Yeah. So, so with the, um, with, when you decide, right, I’m interested in a franchise, you obviously you’d have to check that your area is available cause you get a territory don’t you? Um, so, so what, what’s the process from then, then? How do they, how do they make more enquiries?
[00:11:00] Charlotte: So the first point of call you rightly said Carla, you go onto our website tumbletots.com and it will show the available areas that we have. Now we do have quite a few opportunities available all around the country. Um, in Wales and Scotland as well and in Northern Ireland. So there’s this great potential all around the UK at the moment. Um, then we would start by sort of giving you a brief overview of Tumble Tots. So you understand exactly what the program is and a little bit about the franchise in general. Then, what we would generally do is we would look to meet to potentially franchisee and this would involve taking them to see some classes because there’s like I said, there’s no, it’s really hard to pin down exactly what Tumble Tots is.
[00:11:46] So we find let’s take them to classes, show them what we do so they can see for themselves how amazing the classes are. Then we would follow that with an investment meeting. So we’d lay out what the investment entails. Um, and then sort of go, go from there. Really. So you probably looking, don’t get me wrong. It’s not sort of a, right I’m going to do it in a month, and that’s how we get started. You’re generally looking at between six to nine month process because it’s an important decision and we want to make sure that potential franchisees make the right decision and that we can offer sort of advice, support, and guidance in them getting to the best decision that suits that suits them.
[00:12:31] Carla: Um, yeah, that makes sense. It is. It’s a big decision, isn’t it of kind of going for a franchise? Cause you want it to be a, long-term a long-term thing, a long-term success, not just for you, but also for the person involved as well. Um, so that really sounds great. So, so price-wise then in terms of the franchise, how much does a Tumble Tots franchise cost?
[00:12:54] Charlotte: So you you’d be looking at about an investment about 25,000 pounds. It’s not all one lump sum. So we break that down and once a franchisee says, yes, I’m ready to go. We then provide them with the financial timeline. So they know exactly what is expected when and included in that is sort of a payment plan towards some of their equipment.
[00:13:19] Carla: Oh great.
[00:13:20] Charlotte: So we, what we want to do is make sure the, our franchisees can start trading before they have to keep paying us, that investment because you know, it’s a lot of money and we appreciate that. So, and we, we know that franchisees, they’re just so eager to get the classes started. So we do offer again some flexibility int that. And it’s very much dependent on a territory as well. So, um, we look at statistical information, demographic information, um, and all of that, that financial breakdown is provided to franchisees before they take that, that leap as it were. Um, franchisee would require some working capital as any small business would do.
[00:14:03] Um, this is sort of, you know, to start paying staff, their wages and hall hire and things like that. But pretty soon the money starts rolling in because obviously parents book. So the minute they book, they start paying. So actually franchisees see an income to the business pretty much straight away, which is great. That’s what we want.
[00:14:27] Carla: Yeah, that is really good. I mean, you can certainly say as well that you are everywhere. I mean, in terms of you sponsor, My Bump 2 Baby, obviously we see you all the time on our website and stuff like that. But I mean, in terms of brand awareness, if you’re thinking of starting a baby and toddler group, you know, you’ve certainly got, you know, people know who Tumble Tots are, which massively would help as well. Um, so. If someone wanted to do it, could someone do it with someone or do you?
[00:14:58] Charlotte: Yeah.
[00:14:58] Carla: Oh, right. So if you had a friend?
[00:15:01] Charlotte: Yeah. We have a few partnerships around the country that work really, really well. And again, partnerships can work well because you generally have two different types of people, which is great, so they can bounce off one another. The only thing we always say is that when you go into a partnership, your income or your profit is halved, straight away. So that’s something that you have to bear in mind. And as long as you’re both happy with that, and you both understand the objectives of the business, that’s, that’s absolutely fine. And the, um, the few partnerships that we do have around the country work brilliantly, they absolutely do so it’s not something that is uncommon at all. Um, and it just depends how you want to run your business as well. For me, I’m quite a control freak, so I’m like to no I’m doing it on my own I’ll have my team with me, but we do, we have a partnership in, in the Newark area and they work really well. So they very rarely actually work on the same day in classes.
[00:16:04] So that’s again, another option that you can sort of mirror each other. And one is better in the classes and the other is better sort of do the operational stuff. So that’s great. That’s utilising your skills and they both get exactly what they want out of the business opportunity.
[00:16:21] Carla: That’s brilliant. Yeah so there’s a few options. So if you kind of thought, you know, oh, I don’t like that. Like operational side of things. I want to do the classes. If you’ve got two people that are really kind of work well together. That that’s a great option as well. In terms of when, you know, people change don’t they, as time goes on, someone might, I mean, I’m sure you’ve got franchise owners that have been there years. But if they say came to retire and they said, right, it’s time to sell my business, they can, it is theirs to sell. Isn’t it?
[00:16:56] Charlotte: Oh yeah. Yeah. 100%. So we we’re it’s a great thing actually Tumble Tots because we have a lot of franchisees who have operated their business for 5, 10, 15, 20 years just before the pandemic, we had a business that sold and the franchisee had been running it over 25 years. And it’s just incredible. So when franchisees come on board, they, they generally do stick with us because they, they fully believe in the program of what it can offer and it suits different stages of people’s lives, which is great. But when, when it does come time to maybe retire your bean bags, um, franchisees can put. And we always say sell your business because they’ll all be, always be somebody who wants to take that business now and then continue developing it. So, and we do have areas around the country that are up for sale at the moment. So the classes are operating, they’re running. And actually some people really like investing in that because they’re buying an established business. So they don’t have to worry oh I need to find a team. I need to do X. I need to do Y they’ve got an established business. But it’s still got room for growth and development, which actually suits some people much, much better.
[00:18:13] Carla: Oh that makes sense. Yeah, that does makes sense. And in terms of selling price, is that a set price or is it based on a lot of things?
[00:18:22] Charlotte: So there’s a lot of factors involved, um, and franchisees would determine their selling price because it legally it’s their business. We would advise them on what we would think. Um, to price the business at, but ultimately it would, it would be up to them. And it’s very much dependent on how many children, they currently have attending classes.
[00:18:44] So if they have sort of five, 600 children, the business is going to be more valuable than a business that only maybe operates three days a week with 150 children. But the potential for that, for that particular business is huge. So you’re only operating three days, so you’ve got another two days to operate. Which you, could potentially double the children attending. So there’s, there’s pros and cons cons to it, for sure.
[00:19:08] Carla: That’s great. Gosh, there’s loads of options then. So if someone wanted to speak to you further about that, are you the lady. That would talk to them Charlotte?.
[00:19:18] Charlotte: Yeah so they can get hold of us via [email protected]. They come in into me. Um, and we sort of start to get the ball rolling with with that. But what we like to do as well Carla is we like to put potentially franchisees in touch with other franchisees, because what we find is that. People like to know about the nitty gritty the day to day stuff sometimes. Actually, what am I getting myself into? So we generally, we put them in touch with an existing franchisee. Who does quite well. But who has also been with us for quite a while. So has seen different stages of Tumble Tots. They’ve seen different stages of their business, and actually they can give a really good reflection on what it takes day to day. The work that’s required, but also then how it does fit in to family life as well, which I think is really important for people. Especially when they’re looking for a career change. How is this going to make my personal, my family life better than what it potentially will be if I go back to my nine to five after maternity.
[00:20:26] Carla: Um, absolutely. And the thing is, I think sometimes it’s just having that scope to be able to earn even more, but in less, but working less as well. It’s a great career opportunity. Anyway, anyways, the Tumble Tots classes, like I said, I’m a huge fan of them anyway. So, so Charlotte, could you tell people where they will find you? Um, and so they can get in touch with you for more information?
[00:20:53] Charlotte: So you can find us at tumbletots.com. Um, if you just click the franchising section there, that gives you all the information that, that you need, or you can, as I said, you can email us at [email protected] and that comes directly to me. And we could start to engage with you about opportunities that we’ve got available. All we ask is if you do email us, just make sure you put your address in there. So I know where you, where you are because sometimes we get inquiries coming through. Um, and oh can you tell me some more information about a franchise and it’s, like well let me know where you are so I can see, first of all, the viability and the potential, and if, if we’ve got an existing franchisee there, then there’s no point in me wasting your time. Um, and it’s always nice to know where people are and where we would potentially be moving into.
[00:21:43] Carla: Brilliant. That sounds excellent. So thank you so much, Charlotte, for joining me today.
[00:21:47] Charlotte: Pleasure.
[00:21:48] Carla: What we’ll do is we’ll put the links down on the bottom of this, so people know where to go to, to find more information. Okay. Thank you.
[00:21:57] Charlotte: Thank you. Bye.
[00:22:01] Carla: Thank you for listening to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to www.mybump2baby.com and you will also be able to find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, businesses, and services in your local area.