Amy Thatcher wanted to run a flexible business around her family. Six years ago she found the perfect fit and became a Monkey Music franchisee
With the end of maternity leave for her second child approaching, Amy Thatcher wasn’t sure she wanted to go back to her role as an area manager at a well known high street fashion retailer.
Her job was varied and interesting, but the compromises she felt she would have to make in terms of family life were more than she was comfortable with.
Finding the balance
With a good work-life balance in mind, Amy investigated the option of running a franchise. She was already familiar with Monkey Music, as she had enjoyed classes with both of her children.
Amy says: “My background is commercial, not musical and it was the idea of growing my own business that appealed to me, so I wanted a franchise that would give me the product, structure, support and flexibility to do that while looking after my young family.”
Initially, Amy was concerned that she might not meet Monkey Music’s requirements musically, but after speaking with other franchisees it was obvious this would not be an obstacle.
“The Monkey Music teacher training programme allows franchisees to engage teachers to deliver classes if the franchisee doesn’t want to or can’t deliver them themselves,” Amy says. “That said, for me teaching the classes is one of the best bits and fortunately the Monkey Music teacher training is excellent.”
Becoming a franchisee
The application process is thorough and has been refined to ensure franchisees share Monkey Music’s ethos and values, as well as assessing their business and musical skills. This protects the brand as well as ensuring that those who make the investment have what it takes to thrive.
“Thoroughness is a thread that runs through all elements of the business,” Amy says. “Protocols and policies are all documented and clear. Franchisees get both ongoing musical and business training opportunities organised by the head office team and a team of consultants.
“The business has that lovely family feel you get from an ownermanaged operation, but it’s also highly professional with an excellent head office team.”
Family is core to the Monkey Music brand. In addition to having a franchise support manager, franchisees also provide a support network for one another, sharing knowledge and experience informally and through training forums, where teachers share ideas and ensure they are planning and delivering the best classes to keep ahead of the competition. And, of course, the business has been set up with the expectation that franchisees will also likely be parents.
Building the business
“As my children have grown, I’ve been able to expand the franchise and currently teach over 30 classes each week during term time, not including parties, when I choose to do them.
“It’s a full-time job, but I can flex it around school pick-ups and holidays to suit my needs. I love the creative side of lesson planning and delivery and watching the children grow and develop is incredibly rewarding. But I can also stretch myself on the business side, while still getting to spend quality time with my family.”
At a glance Monkey Music
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01582 766464. firstname.lastname@example.org monkeymusic.co.uk/franchise