‘My Franchise Journey’, with Jane Maudsley

Jane Maudsley is the Founder and Franchisor of Little Voices, one of the UK’s leading organisations for ‘performing arts training’. She is also a mother, a trained opera singer, and an active and supportive member of EWIF (Encouraging Women Into Franchising). Danbro recently caught up with Jane to discuss her career, the challenges she’s overcome, and her advice for new franchisors.

‘Franchising really suits women’

“Franchising really suits women,” Jane said, “including those looking for alternatives when returning to work after having children. It can fit around family life and it gives you choices. For instance, you can still juggle commitments like school runs and caring for elderly parents, while running your business.”

“There are some fabulous organisations out there that are challenging the ‘usual approach’. The industry is growing because of that and it will continue to grow year upon year. As a result there are lots of suppliers who see the benefits of working with franchise networks; it’s very exciting!”

“While it’s by no means easy, running your own business is flexible and delivers huge opportunities. As part of a franchise network, you’re never alone; there’s always someone to help you. The systems and policies are all there for you, so it removes some of the challenges that starting a business can present.”

While Jane is enthusiastic about the opportunities that franchising can bring, she does offer a caveat for potential franchisors.

“Franchising is not a ‘fast-tracked’ way of being in business and it’s important to dispel that myth. Running a business demands passion, commitment, positivity and determination. Of course, as a franchisor, there are all sorts of challenges; every single day. But I live by the motto ‘there’s always a solution to every problem.’ And, quite often, those challenges help us to learn and develop. So bring it on, I say!”

‘Inspiring children to achieve their full potential’

Little Voices was established in Blackburn, Lancashire, back in 2007, starting with just 12 pupils. The business’s subsequent growth has been organic and, following the introduction of a franchise model, Little Voices now has 26 franchises across the UK. What’s more, each franchisee runs multiple locations in their exclusive territory, giving children access to approximately 90 centres nationwide.

Through ‘traditional methods of teaching for drama and singing’, the company’s highly successful training programme enables children and young people to pursue careers on the stage, helping them achieve outstanding exam results year on year. Though developing the next Broadway sensation is always an objective, the main priority for Jane and the team is to increase confidence and encourage potential in all areas of their pupils’ lives.

‘Franchising is a way of achieving your vision at a national level’

“Franchising found us, as a way of achieving our vision at a national level,” said Jane. “The process is really interesting.”

“To become a Little Voices franchisee you need to meet our expectations. Through being true to our values, we’ve maintained our high standards and outstanding reputation. Our recruitment process is stringent. We do turn away people if we believe them to be the ‘wrong fit’ for us. We’re very passionate about our culture and by following that ethos – in all stages of recruitment and support for our franchisees – we have the foundations for a global franchise network.”

So, what tips does Jane have for those looking to franchise their business?

“Do not be deluded about franchising,” Jane warns. “Ensure you take the right advice. There are lots of people out there ‘winging it’. Do your homework and be careful who you take advice from. Great franchisors will happily share their expertise with you, even those you may perceive as competitors.”

“It’s also really important to do something you love. If you don’t love it, if you’re not passionate about it, it’s not worth it!”

Your specialist franchise accountants

If your franchisees are following different advice from different accountants, it could be hindering your business’s opportunity for growth; creating problems where there needn’t be, and doing significant damage to your profits.

When it comes to franchise accountancy, consistency is key, and a united franchise is a productive one. Your franchisees need to be working towards a common goal, with a service provider who can handle the demands of a national network.

At Danbro, you’re part of the family. We offer reliable, industry leading Management Information to franchise networks of all sizes. This includes providing coaching, reporting, feedback, and benchmarking analysis, to help companies like yours achieve their absolute potential.

We also offer high-quality training on everything from taxes and accounts to specialist programmes and software. You’ll be assigned a personal accountant, someone who’ll take the time to understand your business. They’ll help you measure performance levels, and share best practices across your network. Our industry expertise and outstanding track record highlights our ability to improve results and drive revenue.

So, whether you’re an established franchisor, or if you’re considering franchising your business, click here to see how Danbro could help your franchise flourish.

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