Layla Riches, Lingotot Rugby, explains how the COVID-19 crisis did not stop her from starting her franchise
What’s your career background – what did you do before you joined Lingotot?
I am a qualified CELTA teacher, teaching English as a foreign language to adults. I currently work at Coventry University, teaching on the semester courses led by the MFL department. I have also taught on a one-to-one basis, teacher trained volunteers who would like to become tutors and I have mentored many students with their MA studies.
In addition, I have experience marking exam papers for the British Council and contributing to a number of research projects in global testing.
How did you first hear about franchising and what made you choose Lingotot?
I have always had a passion for teaching foreign languages and when I discovered Lingotot by searching the website and came across this franchise, it ticked a lot of boxes for me.
How does Lingotot fit into your daily life?
Lingotot is just perfect for me. Apart from working in education in the week and having the flexibility in my current job, I can definitely fit Lingotot in my daily life. This can be by carrying out classes at primary schools, nurseries and the community. Now that online classes are offered, I will be able to work from home more and to include them on the weekends too.
What have been your challenges and highlights so far?
Starting off with the challenges was not knowing if my business was going to be a success, especially due to the current climate. However, the highlights have been getting virtual training and not being kept in the dark. I was always aware of the face-to-face training, but Lingotot made it work to welcome me to the team. Another highlight I would like to mention is the May Marketing Challenge, where I had the opportunity to meet the other franchisees and interact with a number of tasks in which has given me more motivation to build on my business.
What are your future goals?
I plan to grow Lingotot Rugby even more. I would like to support the children in the community in many different ways through teaching languages and to provide them with future development, grow their confidence in learning a foreign language and to make it fun at the same time.
I would like to be running a good range of classes in my territory and to be comfortable with all the settings I have put in place. I would also like to build a strong and good relationship with the schools and nurseries and to offer my support to learning.
What advice would you give to other people looking for a franchise?
To follow your dreams and to make sure you have done your research before committing. Teaching is such a lovely and dedicated profession, so knowing that you can help the younger generation out there is definitely a gift all teachers have and to bring foreign languages to the table is even a bigger gift for all.
Bearing in mind the COVID-19 crisis, what made you decide to start a new franchise at this time?
In honesty, I had learnt about Lingotot prior to lockdown and COVID-19. I began my research in and around February 2020 and the thought of teaching children a foreign language at a young age is and has always been a passion for me. With teaching foreign languages since 2011, I believed that transferring my skills and knowledge to the children of today is definitely an exciting journey I wanted to take and start in my career.
So, I decided to make a decision and contact Lingotot to get the ball rolling. Again, this was all before COVID-19 and then lockdown happened! Did it put me off continuing my research? No, it actually gave me more motivation and in a way time to learn to see how this would work remotely as Lingotot is very popular with face-to-face classes. My passion to teach foreign languages grew even more and with the excellent support and online training, I managed to launch my business in the second month of lockdown.
I believe there is so much potential in growing my business further and to introduce languages to our children in a fun way.