When Vanessa Ayres found out about the growth of Mini First Aid across the UK, she knew it was the perfect way to combine business success with family life
Now running Mini First Aid Southampton, she explains how she has found the perfect work-life balance.
Why did you decide to join Mini First Aid?
With both my sons at school, I had more time on my hands and was looking for a fresh challenge, but I didn’t want to go back to a nine-to-five job as I needed to stay flexible for the boys.
How have you adjusted to your new career?
I ran my first class in May this year and I am loving every minute so far!
I really enjoy teaching first aid to everyone, especially the kids. After every class, I feel a real sense of achievement – it’s great to feel that you are making a positive difference in people’s lives.
Are there any challenges to running your own business?
I am still getting my head around social media, and how to use this to grow my business, but I am getting more confident all the time. I try different approaches and keep a note of what works and what doesn’t. Plus, there is amazing support from my fellow franchisees.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I am passionate about teaching first aid to as many people as possible. It is such a vital life skill.
What is your current working pattern?
I work part-time, probably an average of 10 hours per week, but it’s getting busier as my business grows. What I love about it is that I can choose how busy I want to be and still be there for my boys.
What would you say are the benefits of running a Mini First Aid franchise?
The flexibility of the work – I can choose my own hours and decide when to have time off with my family without asking permission. I can have a rewarding career yet I still get to do all the pick-ups and drop-offs at school and help out on school trips, which is really important to me.
Would you recommend it to others who are looking for flexible work?
If you’re looking for a flexible career, that offers great support from the head office and fellow franchisees, then this is the franchise to get. I love being my own boss and wouldn’t go back to an office job.
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
We were unable to run live classes during lockdown, however, Mini First Aid quickly responded by launching online classes so we could still teach parents essential first aid skills.
We are now running in-person classes again, and are already seeing a lot of interest from parents who are keen to get out and about with their babies.
We follow very strict protocols to ensure that our classes are COVID-secure and in fact, we have just launched our own Infection Control course for workplaces and children’s settings to help all providers to open safely.