Dai Alford

Dai has been with Tatty Bumpkin since March 2010 and has already seen great successI have been practising yoga since I moved to London almost fifteen years ago. I generally practise about three or four hours a week and couldn’t live without it. After I had my two children, Daisy and Poppy, I realised that I really wanted a more fulfilling job than the one I already had and so I looked into franchising. 

I looked at a few different options but it was a friend of mine who told me about Tatty Bumpkin. I researched it a lot before I decided to buy the North London franchise (Winchmore Hill) and the more I learnt about it, the more I wanted to be a part of it. Before signing, I was asked to put a business plan together and I presented it to the company with some trepidation. I was so nervous, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing but the whole process has been a great experience and a massive learning curve for me. I have owned my franchise for seven months now; from November I will be running twenty classes per week and hopefully a lot more by Christmas time.

I have taken on a teacher and feel that I am really successfully running my own business.  I am very confident with the classes and have a great rapport with the children. I struggle a little with the business side of things sometimes but I am learning all the time and miraculously I haven’t deleted anything of major importance yet. The team at head office are so very supportive and kind. It’s a good feeling to know that I am working for myself but at the same time if I need a little help or support all I have to do is pick up the phone, they are always there to help. Also, there are twenty one other, very supportive, franchisees and we all share our advice and ideas on a closed network page, a great way to stay in touch.

I work long hours at the computer in the evening and run around from venue to venue in the daytime but the rewards are massive. I have never been happier, I get to play with children all day long, whilst all the time helping them with physical development which makes me very proud. As well as the CACHE (Council for Awards in Childcare and Education) accredited Tatty Bumpkin training, I have taken my qualifications a little further and am also studying to be an official yoga teacher, I wanted to do that just for myself, I don’t see myself ever wanting to do anything other than run my Tatty Bumpkin business and I really hope that I will be able to buy the franchise next to mine possibly in the next year.

If you work hard then you will win contracts, there is a little bit of luck involved I think but I think out of all the taster sessions I have given I have only not secured contracts with five of them. I am passionate about yoga in schools and I think that helps to sell the sessions too.  There are so many ways into a school with Tatty breakfast clubs, after school clubs, Nurture Groups, reception classes, Healthy Schools Week and many more. It has a lot of scope within a school and I try to maximise that.

A couple of months ago, I also undertook two further days of training to become a qualified Baby bumpkin teacher. These classes are just so popular that I have hardly needed to advertise it. It’s very focused on bonding and nurturing and again it makes me feel lovely.

I always remember how I felt coming out of my last session of the first week of my Tatty classes. I felt giddy with excitement; this is a wonderful way to feel at work I thought and the best part is that I still feel like that. I am really glad I bought this business. I am proud of what I do for a living and I am proud of myself.

 

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