MAD Academy Franchise

Introducing Karen Morgan from MAD Academy Epsom & Leatherhead

22nd May 2016


Karen Morgan talks to us about starting her MAD Academy business in Epsom & Leatherhead and about how she has been getting on with her classes.

MAD Academy - Karen MorganWhen did you start your MAD Academy Business?

Launched in January 2009

What made you choose a MAD Academy franchise?

I had discovered the website whilst researching song lyrics for the pre-school I was working in, liked what I saw, and saved it in my favourites. Many months later, out of the blue, I found the site again and asked to go to a presentation.

I then slept on the idea for almost 12 months but was finally in a place where I could convince myself I was brave enough!

I had not looked at any other franchises or business ideas and haven’t done since.

What makes your MAD Academy classes different? Tell me what you do to bring your own special personality to your classes.

I am obsessed with detail and always memorise every child and parent’s names so that I can sing the hello song to everyone individually without the need for sticky labels. The parents really appreciate that I demonstrate how much I value them and their child.

I use a wide variety of music during the classes and every week always have a different genre of music playing as children arrive, between classes and as they go home. This often results in spontaneous singing and dancing.

Why do you think your customers come back each term to your classes, particularly when family budgets are tight?

They value the importance of music, I give them lots of child development information during the sessions and THEY HAVE FUN themselves.

What do you think your fans (both children and parents) would say about you and your classes?

They all have fun. Parents learn too. I hope they feel valued and important to me (because they are).

I keep the classes fresh, exciting and work very hard at my lesson planning and play lists. I always arrive 100% prepared but am prepared to adapt class according to circumstances on the day.

I use good quality instruments, and movement / dance related props.

What are the highlights for you of running MAD Academy classes?

When parents tell me how excited their children are when they tell them ‘It’s MAD day today’

When I’m told ‘that was the best party we have ever been to’

Having fun with children without the responsibility of their care.

What have you learnt during your time running classes?

Just because some adults look like they can’t wait to get out of the door they do continue to attend year after year, while others, who give you very positive feedback at their free trial session, who dance and smile throughout, are often the ones you never see again!

Have fun and class members will too.

Adapt and shift on the day if circumstances require it.

How do you manage to juggle all the work, particularly with family-life?

My children (now aged 18 & 14) were 10 and 14 when I started so already fairly independent. I would not have taken on a franchise with young children. It was a conscious decision to wait for the right time for me and my family.

We often all sit together doing our home work on lap tops at the kitchen table. When I do a Saturday or Sunday morning party my children are just getting up when I arrive home so they haven’t missed me!

During term time everyone leaves the house in the morning before me and I’m usually first home. Easy!

What is your favourite MAD Academy element/ activity/ song and why?

My favourite song is Max the Greyhound.

I love musical instrument time and have invested a great deal in a wide selection of musical instruments. The guitars are a firm favourite particularly with the older boys who instantly become rock stars!

I have particularly enjoyed introducing the new instrument time songs this term.

It’s a relaxed time in the session when every child is guaranteed to participate and I find it’s a great time to observe parent/child interaction whilst circulating.

What has been your proudest and / or funniest moment so far as MAD Academy franchisee?

Hearing that my sessions at a particular sure start centre are so popular that they only put the notice on their website when there will be someone free to ‘man the phones’ to take bookings.

The manager said “did you know that within a couple of hours of advertising your sessions, we are fully booked which I think, makes you more popular than Robbie Williams ha ha!

What top tips would you give to someone looking to buy a franchise?

Expect to learn not earn in your first year.

You will have to work harder than you have ever done in any other job, but the rewards are all yours.

While everyone around you will tell you how they do it and how it works for them, take the advice but you eventually have to find your own way that works for you.

What is the hardest part of running your own business?

It is all consuming. Every waking hour, weekends and holidays can, if you let it, be taken over with business thoughts and deeds.

Income can fluctuate.

What is the best thing about being part of the MAD Academy franchise, rather than running an independent business?

The website, MAD material and training.

What advice would you give others on running their own business?

Wait until your family doesn’t need you 24/7 then you can give your energy to your business. It’s no good educating other people’s children at the expense of time with your own children. And that way you won’t run yourself into the ground.

Be patient building your reputation and goodwill.

Go the extra mile to meet your customer’s needs and requests wherever possible.

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MAD Academy Franchise

Further Information

Franchise Information

BFA Membership Status
UK Years Established
5 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?

Rewarding, proven, expandable business opportunity with MAD Academy

What Our Franchisees Say

The support I get to help me run my business is great. I can ring or email MAD Academy HQ with any questions and know that there’ll be a friendly and helpful voice at the end of the phone!


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