Small Business Has Much To Celebrate This Spring

From Sales Manager To Singing Success In One Year Sophie Hill, who runs MAD Academy Oxford, has much to celebrate this month. Not only is she celebrating the one year anniversary of her new franchise business but her successful first year has been topped off with a nomination in the coveted What’s on 4 Little Ones awards.

Just 12 months ago Sophie was a Sales Manager for BT, a career she had been pursuing for 12 years. Now she is running high energy music and movement classes for preschool children each week, teaching them to dance and sing.

So what prompted such a drastic career change? As Sophie explains: “I had just had two children and I really wanted to improve my work-life balance so that I would able to see my children more often.”

She heard about MAD Academy franchises and decided to try running her own business teaching music and movement classes for babies and toddlers. “I was very impressed by the developmental benefits of MAD Academy and how much work had gone in behind the scenes to make sure that all the activities of the classes have specific demonstrable benefits for the babies and children.”

Now Sophie is bringing these benefits to the babies and toddlers of North Oxford and Bicester. In just a year her business has gone from nothing, to running 10 classes a week and working with local nurseries and children’s centres. “I love being my own boss! I worked for a large corporate previously where I could make very few decisions. Now I can make decisions myself and quickly too – it’s a great, refreshing freedom.”

It can’t have been easy, launching a brand new business in the current economic climate, but Sophie seems to be bucking the national trend and going from strength to strength. “It’s been a hard year, really busy,” says Sophie, “but the effort you put in does pay off. The highlight has been how many customers come back for a second or a third term. I’ve already seen tiny 12 week old babies grow up and move into my toddler classes, which is wonderful.”

Sophie’s customers are returning because they love the fun and energy she brings to her classes. Indeed, they love her classes so much they have now nominated her as the Most Outstanding Activity Leader in the South for the Under 5s in the What’s on 4 Little Ones Awards. “I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated! It’s really wonderful to know that the parents appreciate the classes so much.” Sophie is now hoping she gains enough votes in the coming weeks to win her award. “It would be an incredible end to a fantastic first year!”