Children’s Franchise Enterprise Interview
Our founder Kelly took part in an interview with the Children’s Franchise Enterprise which focused on the Beaming Babies franchise opportunity and we wanted to share it with you here too! We are letting you in on our April secret early…read on to find out more
About The Franchisor
Kelly Jenkins is the founder and franchisor of Beaming Babies, working from the Head Office premises which is based in South Wales. The Head Office is run with the support of an outsourced technical, legal and marketing team to ensure a smooth running and professional operation.
Kelly is an active member of the children’s activities sector, being the Director of the Wales Children’s Activities and Services Awards. She has previously written the regional article for Wales for the Institute of Children’s Activities Professionals 2020 report as well as being a judge and panel speaker at the Club Hub UK 2021 awards.
- FIRSTLY, WHEN DID THE BUSINESS START AND HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
I started developing the programme in 2018 and launched the first ever classes in January 2019. Until this point, I worked at management level for a FTSE 100 company in the financial services sector throughout my adult life but after having my twins, I realised that I needed more flexibility than my employer was able to offer. Whilst I was on maternity leave, I noticed a distinct gap in the market for baby classes in my local area. As a passionate reader and writer, I longed for a programme that combined the magic of story time and sensory exploration for babies and this simply didn’t exist. The benefits of introducing stories and books from the very beginning of life are clear, so with a lot of research, studying, training and enlisting the consultation of a panel Early Years providers I created the Beaming Babies programme and have never looked back since!
- WHAT AGE GROUP DO YOU WORK WITH? AND WHAT SPECIFICALLY DO YOU OFFER?
We work with babies from birth to 14 months. We have a two-phase journey which takes babies through our Tiny Beamers class (0-6 months) to our Bouncing Beamers class (7-14 months). Our classes are focused on storytelling and bringing the stories to life through multi-sensory experiences. We sing, play, dance, explore a huge variety of props and have lots of fun! All of our activities are underpinned by research into baby development and this is all explained to parents, so the classes are not only engaging but also empowering for parents who are learning more and more about their babies.
We create an immersive experience through all of the senses and the environment we create at each class; it really is magical, and our class leaders are exceptional at this! I visited a class last year during the under the sea week and walked into an underwater world! The class leader had dimmed the main lights, set our sizeable sensory lights to blue and hung inflatable fish and sea plants all around the room! It was humbling to see the awe and wonder on both babies and parents faces as they walked into the room.
What makes us truly unique though, is that our stories are written exclusively for Beaming Babies, by myself. We are the only programme in the UK with our own range of stories just for babies under 14 months old. We love that we can offer such a unique concept to our customers, who comment time and time again about how memorable and distinctive our classes are.
Our books are big, bright and colourful and loved by our customers, plus they make a great additional income stream for our class leaders.
- WHEN AND WHY DID YOU TAKE THE STEP TO FRANCHISE?
Within the first 12 months of running the pilot for Beaming Babies I knew I had found my forever job and it had found me! The customer response was amazing in my local area and my classes were ever growing. With my business background, having spent 9 years in the corporate world, I was savvy enough to know that I couldn’t grow the business without a fantastic network around me. I knew that franchising the business would be the best way to find with a team of people who would be as passionate as I am about Beaming Babies and what we offer for new parents and we launched the franchise in early 2020. Not only are the team surviving the challenges faced by the global pandemic, but they are in fact thriving!
On a personal level, it is also incredibly important to me to be able to offer people a ‘way out’ if they find themselves in a similar position that I found myself in after having my children. Sadly, it is the reality that far too many people are still experiencing inflexible and restrictive confines of employment. But following my own experiences, being family friendly and flexible as well as giving people an outlet to do something for themselves (whilst earning a healthy income too) really is at the heart of what we offer our franchisees and that will never change.
- FOR YOUR FRANCHISE, WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU THINK MAKE AN IDEAL FRANCHISEE?
At Beaming Babies, the ideal franchisee should above anything else have a genuine desire to support new parents and their babies throughout the first year of life. We are looking for people who are genuine, warm, welcoming and fizz like a bottle of pop – making people feel fantastic in their presence and giving the best possible customer experience every time!
They should also share our passion for children’s stories and baby development (although prior experience in this is not needed, as we provide full training). As the beating heart of each class, our franchisees also need to have confidence and great communication skills – and they shouldn’t be afraid to tell our adventurous stories like an Oscar winning performance and be happy to sing and dance their way through our activities. High energy is key to keep everyone engaged!
And like any business owner, self-motivation and drive goes without saying!
- WHAT ARE THE HOURS LIKE? HOW FLEXIBLE ARE THINGS?
The great thing about Beaming Babies is that the hours you work are flexible and family friendly. This was incredibly important to me after my personal experiences of returning to my corporate job after having my twins where I was unable to work flexibly. Our classes are delivered throughout the school term, but you can choose your days and the hours you work. There is no requirement to run classes during the school holidays, but you may choose to run extra sessions or special events. You might even choose to offer our pop-up parties on the weekends to increase your income. The choice really is yours.
What I love about this job is that if I want to spend the day with my children instead of working, or if I have an appointment or I simply want to take a couple of hours for myself – I can! And there’s nothing to stop you enjoying this same level of flexibility too. Of course, our classes are based on a set structure each week so sticking with these if a must (althoug days and times decided by you) but things like admin, marketing or prepping for your classes can be easily moved around to suit you. This kind of flexibility is what I dreamed of and I could not be happier to be able to offer this opportunity to others who may find themselves in the position I did.
- WHAT’S INCLUDED IN YOUR START-UP PACKAGE?
Our start up package is really generous and gives you absolutely everything you need to hit the ground running! The highlights for us include;
- Full training from myself in each area of the business from the operations to the marketing and everything in between
- An Operations Manual giving you everything you need to know about running your business
- All of the Beaming Babies book comprising of 40 unique stories each with their own theme and intricately written lesson plan
- Branded uniform
- Professional demonstration doll with branded vest
- Marketing and stationery materials such as roller banner, flyers, gift vouchers, class certificates
- Access to commercial photography and branding for your own branding
- Core kit of props to deliver classes including our pink and yellow foam mats
- Beaming Babies email address
- Booking system for your classes making data handling and admin easy
And so much more. It really is a business in a box for you to take and run with! I want every franchisee to reach their full potential and be the successful business owners they deserve to be. Therefore, make sure I give you the right tools to do this every step of the way is key.
- TELL US ABOUT THE TRAINING YOU OFFER. HOW DOES THAT WORK?
The training we offer is at our Head Office in Neath Port Talbot, South Wales. It’s a two-day training course always delivered by myself. The two days will cover everything you need to know about running your business from the operational side of things to marketing, social media, finances and even mindset in business. I have used all my vast experience in training, coaching and mentoring to create a training programme that is in-depth, interactive, engaging and most importantly empowering so that you finish feeling like you are ready and equipped to take on the world!
- LET’S TALK MONEY. WHAT ARE THE INITIAL AND ON-GOING FRANCHISE FEES?
The cost of a Beaming Babies franchise is £5,995 and there are of course ongoing franchise management fees. However, during the month of April 2021 we are offering a £1,000 bursary to all new franchise partners! I am so excited to be able to offer this and make the opportunity more affordable for the right people at this time. Essentially, you can join the franchise for just £4,955 during the month of April which is excellent value for money within the market.
We can also offer the option to pay just £2,4995 up front with the remaining balance split into interest free instalments. I understand how hard it is financially to set up a viable business and bringing the right people into the Beaming Babies network is by far the most important thing to me so options and flexibility on the finances is always going to be something we offer.
The Financial Information Memorandum is disclosed early on in what we call the onboarding process (this is where you get to see potential earnings and fees etc) and the first step is to book in a 121 chat with me so I can tell you much more!
- WHAT AREAS DO YOU COVER AT THE MOMENT?
At the moment we cover Neath Port Talbot, Swansea and Carmarthenshire in South Wales with classes run by myself, our class leader Zoe and our franchisees Danielle and Shelley. The team are outperforming the financial forecast even during a global pandemic which makes it even more exciting to anticipate their performance in their second year of business. I can’t wait to bring more franchisees in to the network to reach even more babies and their parents with the Beaming Babies magic, but maybe even more exciting to know that our franchise partners will benefit from transforming their own lives with our tried and tested business model.
- WHAT CAN FRANCHISEES EXPECT OF YOU AS A FRANCHISOR?
As a franchisor I am there to support, offer guidance and advice and to be there at your side when you face challenges and equally there to cheer you on when you win. I love helping people to develop themselves and being part of this journey with the team is so special to me. Watching them flourish from training to fully fledged business owners who are smashing their goals is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
I take my responsibilities and duty of care to them very seriously. During the global pandemic we have looked after the team by not only checking in on their wellbeing and providing constant support and leadership, but we have made significant changes to their franchise fees in order to make sure that they have not only survived this challenging time, but they are thriving. I’ll be happy to tell you much more about this on a call!
One thing that strikes me though, is the culture we have built as a team. The culture is open and honest, respectful and kind, and I have to say, we have so much fun along the way! The team are friendly and welcoming and are as passionate as I am about growing Beaming Babies further and becoming an even bigger team, they are looking forward to welcoming more franchisees in! I see them day in and day out offering each other support and advice, being there as a shoulder to lean on, and that is incredible. Franchising really is a fantastic way of running your own business independently but with the backing of what feels like a small army always in your corner!
If you would like to know more about the Beaming Babies franchise opportunity, please download a prospectus from the “BUY A FRANCHISE’ page of this website and we’ll be in touch soon!