A better quality of life with Kids Party Club

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Name: Treasa Guerin
Location: Co. Kerry
Franchise: The Kids Party Club
 
Why I chose franchising
I had never really thought about starting my own business until I came across a Kids Party Club article in the paper. The piece was about a lady who was in a simular situation to me in that her kids were now going to school and she was looking for something that would give her a better home/work life.
 
After reading the article I looked at Kids Party Club on the web, and, liking what I saw, I sent off my details and arranged to meet for a quick chat. I was very happy with the people I met and thought the product was fantastic. It was also something I knew I could make work.
 
As this was a franchise opportunity I felt happier as I knew that I would have a good team in head office who would provide me with the required support and also other franchisees who I could turn to for help and advice.
 
What I did before taking up a franchise
Before taking on the Kids Party Club franchise, I worked for a number of different retail shops; from working in the local shop to being part of a large retail store. Most of the positions I had were at supervisor/ management level.
 
How I raised the finance
I initially considered using my savings but then decided that, as i wanted to keep my business seperate from my other finances, I would be better off borrowing the money needed.  I took out a loan with Ulster Bank who work closely with Kids Party Club. 
 
The training and support I receive from my franchisor
The Kids Party Club are a great team to work with. They provided me with all the practical training needed for the business; from stage set up to puppet skills and the all important magic tricks. They also went through all the computer skills that I would need to keep the business running smoothly behind the scenes. The support they offer is second to none and they are always available to talk you through any problems or worries you may have. I feel they are very commit ed to this business and there is a great "Family" like atmosphere when dealing with them.
 
The challenges I have faced
 Like any new business, the greatest challenge is getting your product out there and creating a demand for it. If you had no shortage of money then you could go down the route of advertising in the papers/radio/TV, however in the real world you have to be more creative. I go out and talk to people, even offer them "free show" in the hope that the quality of the product spreads through word-of-mouth and i get referrals through this. This works for me, word-of-mouth is definitely the best type of advertising you can get.
 
My advice to someone thinking of buying their first franchise
I think that you have to sit down and think about what you are buying. You need to believe in what you are selling or you will not succeed. With a franchise you have the benefit of being your own boss but you also have great support behind you if you hit a rough spot. Don't rush into anything, take your time, and if you are not happy with something talk about it. Remember it’s your choice and so you shouldn’t be under any pressure to buy.
 
My plans for the future
While it is early days yet for me I would hope that I will be running a successful business which will give me and my family a good standard of life.