Falmouth-based franchisor expands into the Midlands
'n' Fun Kids, of Falmouth, is celebrating the
recruitment of a new franchise outlet in Coventry. This follows
the success of the company's pilot franchise in Addlestone,
Surrey, and the opening of a retail children's clothing
outlet in Falmouth's Market Strand, both launched with
help from Business Link Devon and Cornwall.
The Fit 'n' Fun Kids concept offers children
under 12 a structured programme ranging from mobile physical
development classes to children's entertainment and
support creches for corporate, private and charitable events.
The company also runs a runs a 75-place nursery in Falmouth
where it provides a full range of childcare including pre
and after-school and holiday care.
It is less than five years since former child national gymnast
and legal secretary Rachel Jones took the plunge by buying
a second-hand Transit van and opening her first Fit 'n'
Fun Kids classes in a church hall in Falmouth. She and her
fireman husband Stephen sold their house and moved in with
her mother to fund the start-up of the business.
"As a working mother with two children Oliver,
12, and Amy, nine, I was motivated by the lack of sufficient
childcare and activities for my own children and those of
my friends," explained managing director Rachel
who was named Child-Care Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.
The company employs 23 people at its Tregoniggie Nursery
in providing day care and mobile services and also in the
new retail unit. Seeking to expand, Rachel decided to franchise
the business and was advised by Business Link Devon and Cornwall
personal business adviser Clare Whitney who sourced funding
to produce extensive franchise and training manuals.
"Clare supported me to launch the franchising
venture and was involved from the start," explained
Rachel. "She put me on the right track and continues
to do so – a great deal of my success is due to help
received from Business Link. She is now helping me to develop
further by franchising in Cornwall and to expand the clothing
side by finding a designer and manufacturer to create my own
Rachel added: "The nature of the franchised business,
which can be flexible and where most services are provided
during school hours, with administration carried out at home,
particularly suits mothers with school-age children who may
be looking for a fresh challenge. Our contacts and knowledge
mean that there are immediate earning opportunities for those
who choose to franchise our mobile services while the ranges
of children's clothing and party outfits at our retail
outlet are also available to franchisees who are successfully
selling it via party plan. Again, this activity suits mothers
seeking self employment with flexible working hours."
Clare Whitney said: "Rachel Jones has displayed
remarkable business flair. A mother of two young children,
she originally developed the business to suit herself but
it has proved so successful that it provides fantastic opportunities
for women nationwide to get back into business on their own
terms with extensive support and training from the franchisor."
Looking to the future, Rachel forecasts a continuing and
growing demand for good child care, fuelled by the Tax Credit
system which supports many parents returning to work with
childcare costs: "There is still a great need for
childcare places," she said. "We have
a waiting list at our Falmouth nursery where an expansion
For further information please contact Carolyn Daw on 01566
771863 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in Business Link through the
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European
Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service
via an information gateway on the web www.bldc.co.uk
and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and
those considering starting a business. Additionally, it provides
impartial business advice and support through a network of
partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register
of independent business practitioners.
Business Link for Devon and Cornwall delivers the national
Business Link service to the region under contract from the
South West of England Regional Development Agency, which was
established by government in 1999 to promote the long-term
economic success of the region. It does this by working with
others to give people the skills they need, encourage enterprise,
improve infrastructure, help communities with regeneration
and promote the strengths of the region.
Business Link has received Objective One investment (European
Regional Development Fund and EAGGF) to help companies improve
performance and grow.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439