The past powers the future. Giving that adage life is the very talented Helen Gillies who started her franchise, Tots Play in 2009. Helen had previously worked with babies and young children as a franchise holder and when she moved to Saudi Arabia with her family she used this experience to develop the Tots Play concept.
Luckily for UK parents Helen moved back and started Tots Play 9 years ago. Focussing on the bond between child and parent the very talented Helen established a programme which combines the best of music, massage, sensory play, yoga and baby sign language. As she puts it: ‘Children grow and learn so fast that every minute together is precious. A regular class is a great way to spend focused time playing together, learning new things and enjoying each other’s company.’
By 2014 there were 10 franchisees on board. At that point Helen decided ‘new challenges’ were needed and she decided to sell her own franchise and work to further develop the business. This tailored approach ensured those looking to grow their franchises benefited from Helen's experience. Through marketing more efficiently to developing the programme, Helen was able to add momentum to Tots Play. This effort was rewarded with further growth.
'Be passionate about the product. If you’re franchising, it’s a different role than running your own club so be sure to understand the responsibilities, but it’s rewarding.'
Helen Gillies, Founder Tots Play
As she explains: ‘By 2016 we had expanded including locations in Scotland, Isle of Wight, Essex and Kent. Dealing with enquiries, managing finances and general day to day admin though was causing a great deal of stress with franchisees.’ At this point Helen decided an automated solution was needed. And that’s when ClassForKids became part of the Tots Play story.
Helen was methodical in her approach and took time to find the right solution. She put the booking management system through its paces and compared it to the competition to make sure it suited not only her but her franchisees too. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive ‘The system was so simple to use and did what we needed. Overall it made life so much easier and was less time consuming.’ Helen said.
The ClassForKids platform was gradually rolled out across the Tots Play network and the result? Well, now Helen and her re-energised team have more time to spend with family and enjoy a better work/life balance. And the story doesn’t end there; further growth is on the horizon. The ClassForKids system has given Helen back time to spend planning for the future.
Sounds like a win-win. For your own win-win get in touch today for a free trial.