Talking Tots Franchise

Introducing Claire Conby from Talking Tots in Southend

14th October 2013

Claire Conby tells us why she chose Talking Tots and about her business iin Southend

Claire Conby tells us why she chose Talking Tots and about her business iin Southend.

Why did you choose franchising?

I was looking for a local business idea that I knew had an established business model with a strong support network. I wanted a challenge but couldn’t afford to take the risk of setting something up from scratch. The initial investment required was reasonable too.

Talking Tots - Claire ConbyWhat did you do before taking up a Talking Tots franchise?

Global Business Manager for a Private Bank in London.

What in particular attracted you to Talking Tots?

With two children aged 12 months and 3 years I have a strong interest in pre-schooler development, particularly language and social skills. With activities structured by qualified speech therapists I love the fact that there is a theory behind the programme which gives the classes credibility and added value for those attending. The learning potential is amazing!

What do you enjoy most about running your Talking Tots business?

The contrast of the challenge of marketing the classes and managing the business versus running the classes and meeting so many lovely little ones and their mums, dads and carers - no day is ever the same! The great thing is that the majority of the work is flexible so I can fit it around spending time with my children....which was the prime reason for taking this step in the first place!

What Initial Training and support did/do you receive from Head Office?

Through a structured training programme we learnt about the operational aspect of running a pre-school class business, introduction to accounting, marketing techniques and delivering the actual sessions too. Going through every single activity gave me the confidence I needed to be able to run effective and enjoyable classes. With no background in teaching this was the bit I was the most nervous about!! Head Office are also there every step of the way - being able to refer to their knowledge and expertise is a great reassurance.

What Challenges have you faced so far?

One of the main messages I took away from the initial training was that you only get out what you put in. With this in mind, I knew that I had to work hard to build the business and to focus on marketing the classes - so far I feel that this has paid off as I have a good number of classes with strong attendance and am already looking to expand through two class leaders.

The challenge has been the ongoing hard work (which extends into the evenings, usually because that’s when mums grab a few minutes to go online) but as it is what I was expecting I don’t feel too hard done by! I now need to prepare myself for the usual ups and downs of class attendance and know that I will need to focus my marketing accordingly.

Having overcome my initial nerves of running a class and receiving positive feedback that the activities are making a difference I have full confidence in the classes - I just need to make sure that I spread this word to the right people and continue to do so. I need to be as creative as I can with my approach to marketing. With lots of other pre-school activity classes out there I need to make sure that Talking Tots stands out from the rest!

What might a typical working day involve?

Three days a week I run classes in the mornings - a different location each day. These are the only hours that are set in stone and I am able to work quite flexibly around this. I might work in the afternoon on these days or I might decide to take the afternoon off! This work would typically include responding to enquiries about classes, marketing the classes through social media and arranging attendance at relevant promotional opportunity events (e.g. NCT Nearly New Sales). If there is a Talking Tots campaign running then I also spend some time organising events and contacting local media. The time spent on ‘non-class’ work really depends on current marketing initiatives and the volume of enquiries coming in.

What advice would you give to someone considering buying a franchise?

Don’t underestimate how much time and effort you will need to get the business up and running. Even though a franchise is an established business it is likely to be a new business in your area and so a considerable amount of marketing will be needed. This may also involve spending on local advertisements but don’t rush into anything - it is quite surprising how effective free marketing can be.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Starting my classes with an unprecedented number of people signed up at launch - it is really rewarding to have received such a positive response from the outset.

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Further Information

Franchise Information

BFA Membership Status
UK Years Established
4 years
Current UK Coverage
Franchisee Support Staff
Personal Investment Req.
Total Startup Cost
Home-based business location Home-based business location
Business to consumer services Business to consumer services
Franchisee operates individually Franchisee operates individually

Why Choose Us?

Talking Tots franchisees receive a comprehensive package of business materials including administration software

What Our Franchisees Say

Now I look forward to going to work every day. Talking Tots gives me the freedom to fit work around my family, and I love seeing how much the children get from my sessions each week.

Talking Tots, London

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