I had spent many years in the insurance industry before having children. When I had my Daughters, I then spent 6 glorious years at home with them. The time came for my youngest to start school, which wasn’t easy for me to then be alone in the day and so it was time for me to look for a new challenge and find a job that would provide flexibility around my family as my priorities had changed somewhat! A hard task to find this I thought!
The opportunity came about for me to become an editor of Raring2go! Worthing and it certainly ticked the boxes for me to work around my growing family. Although I had many years of experience dealing with the public and speaking to people, I had reservations with regard to being my own boss and making the business work. I knew that with anything new and especially starting up a business, it wouldn’t be a walk in the park necessarily, but the one thing that kept my spirits up was the backing and support of the team behind Raring2go!
I hadn’t sold to anyone before, which raised questions with me as to whether I would be good enough, what would I say, how would I present myself, the questions were ongoing. The process right at the start with Raring2go! was thought out and broken down into stages, so everything was covered, from me picking up the phone to contacts, to maintaining the database, how to go about selling and conducting myself, and covering everything that was involved in putting the magazine together.
I’m not afraid to admit there were some funny moments, saying to myself, I can’t do this, this isn’t for me, but it was all new, a new challenge for me to take on something, make it my own and have an income that didn’t sway me from being there for my girls and THAT was my motivation.
For some, cold calling is not for them, but I do enjoy it! I enjoy the challenge of speaking to people about their business, conducting myself in a way that I don’t scare them off and introducing an invaluable resource, which provides a guaranteed reach to their target audience. I do work from home, which for me there are positives and negatives. The positives, which certainly outweigh the negatives, are I plan my day to suit me, working as much or as little as I need to, I’m here for my girls, whether they are ill and need to come home from school, or they may have forgotten their books or pe kit(I still question if they leave them at home on purpose!) but just being around is a wonderful feeling.
The negatives, which are easily solvable, are working alone and some days not seeing another adult! That just means visiting various cafes, drinking copious amounts of coffee, to have a meeting with my clients or catching up with a friend, either way it’s great to get out and about, plus you can’t beat face to face! I have found networking groups a great way of being out of the house, having that social element and getting in front of businesses to have that face to face experience and I have formed some great friendships over the years as a result of this, most of which I still have today. The only other negative is sometimes being distracted with what needs to be done in the house, although I can admit that hanging out the washing is more therapeutic for me than being on the laptop!
The network of the other editors, and there are many of us, is invaluable. There will be invariably a network around you and your area and therefore all editors support each other with selling, meeting up and going through ideas for the magazine. There is also the facebook editors page, which is a godsend! I doubt anyone has good days, one after the other and whether you want to moan, laugh, tell a joke, shout from the rooftops of a booking you have just secured, there is always someone there, which is reassuring and makes you feel you are working with others, albeit they are not with you in person.
I am now in my 9th year, which is unbelievable really as the time has flown so quickly. My girls are now in their teenage years and whilst I miss the days of taking them to farms and parks etc especially in the holidays, I am still very much involved in what’s happening in my area to help other families to keep in the know. I enjoy building up new relationships with businesses and providing a great variety of what is out there for the local families to enjoy. There is still a need (not as much now!) for me to be there for my girls when they aren’t well, the odd book or PE shirt is still being forgotten but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I look back on my journey into my franchise business and I really don’t regret a single second of it. Without doubt it has delivered to me on both a personal and professional level. I often wonder what I’d be doing now if I hadn’t have bought my Raring2go! business; quite possibly back in insurance and probably not enjoying it half as much as I enjoy Raring2go! Perhaps more significantly though, I often wonder how much of my daughter’s childhood I would have missed out on had I not taken that first step and enquired about the Raring2go! franchise.