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Nicola Bize-Spalding wanted to get back to work, but needed the flexibility to work round her kids. That’s where the Mums in Control franchise came in…
Nicola Bize-Spalding finished work ten days before giving birth to her son and then stayed home as a full time mum for over six years.
With her son now at school full time and her four-year-old daughter attending playgroup every afternoon, she decided that she wanted to get back to work.
But she wanted a job which fit around her children and allowed her the flexibility she needed.
She responded to an advert for an editor on workingmums.co.uk for the Mums in Control franchise, a national franchise set up by businesswoman Rachael Taplin to provide advice, support and business opportunities to mumpreneurs. Her background was in sales and customers services and much of her role as editor of the Coventry edition of Mums in Control magazine is about selling advertising space and promoting the publication.
To join the franchise, she says, she had to pay out £3.5k. She also pays a monthly fee to cover print costs for the quarterly publication. She says franchisees usually only break even on their first issue and it is important to be realistic. “I don’t expect to make a profit for the first 12 months,” she says. “Otherwise I could end up being very disappointed.”
She says some people who are franchisees do it on a part time basis and supplement their income through other jobs in the early days. She has a “savings buffer”.
She has now published two editions and broke even on her first publication and made a £3.5k profit on her second. She says the current economic climate means she is having to work harder now.
She normally has eight weeks to sell and spends the first four on the bigger companies. She has approached a broad range of businesses, including nurseries, theatres and fitness clubs and says it is a good chance for many to advertise locally. She sells the magazine in supermarkets and primary schools.
Nicola says the job allows her to take care of her children during holidays and her husband can also work from home when needed to cover this period, for instance, when there are deadlines for the magazine. She says her worst moment was when she was in a sales meeting and got a call from her son’s school to say he had had a fall. She had to choose between closing the sale or leaving to collect him. Fortunately, her client understood.
Her best moment, though, was when her children saw her first magazine and told her that all their friends had seen them in the magazine. “They thought it was great,” she says.
Her typical working day starts after she takes her son to school and gets her daughter settled with a game. This allows her to get on the phone and emails. In the afternoons she takes her daughter to school and goes to meetings and appointments. She stops work after school, but puts in another two hours after they have gone to bed. She says she doesn’t work during the weekend, but does check emails and reckons she does around seven hours a day Monday to Friday.
“I took on this role because of the flexibility,” she says, adding that she feels there needs to be more support for working mums and more flexibility.
For more information about how to be a franchisee, visit Working Mums’ FranchiseZone.