- Home Based
- Childcare & Education
Fun Science was started in 2011 with the aim of providing high quality, practical science activities to children aged 4-11. Our branch owners work mainly with primary schools and the parents of primary aged children to provide practical science workshops, birthday parties, after school clubs and holiday clubs. Our franchisees also provide occasional entertainment at festivals, events, theme parks, libraries and we even have links with an indoor skydiving company! Some franchisees also take on tutoring and 1:1 work with children with additional needs. Some companies we have worked with include BBC Bitesize, Butlins, Merlin Entertainments, Camp Bestival and Waitrose.
Our aim is to show children that science is loads of fun and to make it accessible to all. Activities include making robots, rocket launches, slime making, fizzing potions and more.
Fun Science has been offering franchises since 2013 and our first branch was located in North Yorkshire. The owner of this branch later moved to Texas, USA and took her branch with her before reaching retirement age in 2020. Since then, we have started many branches across the UK. Our franchisees come from a range of ages and backgrounds. We have had franchisees join us straight after graduating university, come to us from a performing background and we have many franchisees who were previously working as teachers. Some choose to keep working on other projects on the side (supply work, performing, other small businesses) but most choose to run Fun Science full time, working at after school clubs in the afternoon, home education groups and workshops in the morning, parties at weekends and festivals and clubs in the holidays. Franchisees choose if they want to offer the full range of services or whether they’d rather stick to weekends only or weekdays only. Many of our franchisees have taken on assistants to work the days and hours that they would rather have off whilst still earning money for these services.
All training is undertaken on a 1:1 basis, giving new branch owners the chance to take things at their own pace, ask questions and go through things with our managing director. We start with a day of training, working through marketing, basic operations, safeguarding, employing staff and the use of key equipment. For example, how to launch a rocket and make perfect slime! Next, is our launch event. This is a marketing opportunity but also a chance for the new branch owner to test out activities with members of the public in their area with our scientist on hand to give support.
After this is an opportunity for additional face to face training. This is optional and a chance to go through anything from the initial training.
Finally, when the new branch owner reaches key stages of their business journey (e.g. employing their first staff member) we are able to provide virtual training or a helpful phone call to guide them through this.
In term time, most franchisees spend an hour or so each morning, responding to emails, ordering kit, checking bookings via the booking system, calling parents and schools and updating social media. Next there may be a workshop booking or a home education group, a meeting with staff or a chance to take a few hours off in the middle of the day. At around 2.30pm, most franchisees either head to a school for an after school club or one of their assistants heads there instead. These clubs run from roughly 3.15-4.15. Branch owners then finish at 4.30pm and head home.
At the weekends, franchisees may choose to run birthday parties. These last for 45 minutes – 2 hours and, with travel, we expect branch owners to be able to run up to 4 per weekend though some do occasionally squeeze in 5 or even 6! Some branch owners may choose to work one day of the weekend, weekend mornings only or employ someone to run parties for them.
In the school holidays, franchisees may choose to run their own holiday clubs, attend festivals, run workshops at libraries or work through HAF (Holiday Activities and Food) funding. Franchisees with children often choose to run sessions that their children can also attend.
‘Supersonic’ Sue was working for Telford college before she joined us but decided to make the change to have a more flexible job and be able to spend more time with her daughter. Sue started Fun Science Shropshire in August 2018 and ran her first party the week after her launch event and her first holiday club in October 2018. Two years on, Sue runs clubs in a number of schools as well as parties, holiday clubs and workshops in Telford, Shrewsbury and surrounding areas.
During the COVID-19 pandemic Sue adapted to lockdown by selling home-kits to families in Shropshire and, once lockdown eased, ran a fully booked holiday club in October half term.
Sue says her favourite thing about running her branch is “the flexibility that it gives, and the buzz I get from every party, assembly and club that I run. It is a rewarding and refreshing career change"
Regarding the support from Fun Science HQ during the pandemic, Sue said “During this difficult time I have been overwhelmed by the support provided by Cress and her team, constantly coming up with new ideas to keep our businesses afloat and offering tips and advice to keep us motivated.”
Edd Gorton is an ex-primary school teacher who is based in Exeter and has worked in schools across Devon. Like many teachers, Edd absolutely loves working with children and, before becoming a Fun Science Franchisee, had worked in a few different schools. Edd also loved the long holidays and flexibility that teaching gave him, meaning he had time to spend with his young family. However, like a lot of teachers, Edd was looking for a new challenge with more time spent engaging children and less time spent planning and marking.
In his search for something a bit different, Edd came across Fun Science – a low cost franchise opportunity that gives branch owners the chance to start their own business with very little business know-how and absolutely no business experience. Fun Science branch owners run science themed birthday parties, workshops, after school clubs and holiday clubs. Because Fun Science offers lesson plans and risk assessments, there is no need for any planning and no targets to reach except the most important target of ensuring children are having fun whilst learning naturally. Fun Science has branch owners from a range of different fields including acting, further education and some branch owners who have taken on their own business straight out of university but Edd is certainly not the first teacher to swap the classroom for rockets and robot building!
Fun Science Exeter launched in June 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic! Whilst this has not been the easiest time to launch a new branch, Energy Edd (as he is now known) has been very busy. Edd now runs 5 after school clubs a week himself and has taken on an assistant to run even more. He also offers workshops, birthday parties, runs a very successful home education group and has reached his initial financial target.
Kinetic Kate launched Fun Science Dorset in August 2015. Before joining us, Kate worked as a teacher and as the head of an outdoor education trust.
In the five years that Fun Science Dorset has been running, Kate has forged strong links with the home education community in Poole, Stourpaine and the surrounding areas, with long running groups in these areas.
During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, Kate adapted to the change in circumstances and now sells home science kits and runs socially distanced birthday parties. Kate was also very pleased to be able to return to running face to face sessions. We know her home education and after school groups were very pleased to have her back too!
When asked what her favourite thing about being a Fun Science franchisee is, she said “The excitement of the birthday parties and sharing experiments with a large group of children is great. I really enjoy visiting schools and working with them to build on the science topics pupils have been learning about in the classroom. Plus I love the challenge of creating workshops to answer the different questions and interests of my home educated groups”.
Fun Science Sheffield has been running successfully since 2016. As well as a full set of the Fun Science start-up supplies, the Fun Science Sheffield is an established business that has been running successfully since 2016. As well as a full set of the Fun Science start-up supplies, the business also comes with a range of additional STEM equipment, including a second set of science party kit (allowing for multiple party bookings to run simultaneously) and around £3,000 worth of equipment for the World Educational Robotics (WER) curriculum.
The Sheffield branch has an excellent reputation, rated 5* by customers on Facebook, and was a runner-up in the Hoop Awards 2019. The branch was shortlisted again for the Hoop Awards 2020, before the awards were cancelled due to the pandemic. Fun Science Sheffield is also a registered Children’s University Learning Destination and is a WER UK Ambassador and accredited provider. The branch has an active presence on Facebook and Twitter and is listed in the Sheffield Directory and Google My Business.
Any purchaser of the branch will be introduced to our existing regular customers, which include local schools, holiday club providers, parents of children who regularly attend our WER and STEM clubs, libraries, children’s charities, and to our contacts at the local councils. We are also able to provide mailing lists of parents and schools who have given permission to receive information from us about relevant events or offers.
At present Fun Science Sheffield does not have any formal staff, so there is no-one who would need to be paid right away, but the branch is enrolled with HMRC as a PAYE employer. Several previous staff members have expressed interest in continuing to work for the branch and they may well give permission to pass on their details on to the new owner.
Despite the pandemic, Fun Science Sheffield has been active running online clubs. Session plans for these will be available to the new owner, alongside contact details for the parents and access to an established online booking system, PayPal account, and Zoom account. Several of our customers have chosen to postpone bookings until their events can be safely held in person and the details of these bookings with be passed to the new owner. Once in person sessions are safe again, it would be expected that the branch will quickly return to pre-covid levels of activity (please get in touch for more information about the branch’s past performance, profits, etc). Several of our regular customers have continued to book events whenever covid restrictions have allowed and many more have expressed interest in resuming their use of our services in future.
There is also significant potential in Fun Science Sheffield for further growth. For example, a recent relationship has been established with a trust that books after school clubs for 13 schools within the branch area, none of which Fun Science Sheffield has worked in previously. Several of these schools are keen to arrange science clubs when possible.
Get in touch for more information about the opportunity to purchase this exciting, established and flexible business!