Kelly Monksfield was our first franchisee and this month celebrates two years of owning Sounds Right Phonics Classes for Kids in Chelmsford. In December 2015 Kelly took a huge leap and bought the first ever Sounds Right Phonics franchise. I can remember so vividly when we met her. We went to a local bar and, funnily enough that has been our go to for franchisee meetings ever since. Kelly seemed so warm, bubbly and fun and we instantly liked her. We were so excited at the prospect of franchising and, luckily enough, she decided to go for it and after a decision was made, she launched weeks later in January 2016. Kelly’s business has gone from strength to strength. When she first launched, she ran seven classes over three days as well as working two days a week as a teaching assistant. Fast forward two years and Kelly runs her Sounds Right Phonics business full time and has fifteen classes.
It seems only fitting that as Kelly celebrates her second birthday it would be good to know about her experiences from Kelly herself:
“It was the end of 2016, I was working as a Teaching Assistant and had recently moved to Chelmsford but was still commuting to my school. I knew I needed to look for work nearer home so started my search for jobs within education. I stumbled across a Facebook post for Sounds Right Phonics Classes for Kids. I was first intrigued by the concept of introducing phonics to children before school. I knew instantly that I and many of my friends would have benefited from a class like this when our children were at that age - for the adults and children to get phonics knowledge was a brilliant idea! I contacted them and arranged a meeting… That was the first time I met Alex and Charlie. They told me all about the classes and explained the franchise in more detail. I remember I practically skipped back to my car after - I had such a good feeling about it all. I went home spoke to my family and did a bit of research into franchising as I didn't know much about it. I was reassured to find that over 90% of franchises are a success as you’re buying into an established brand. I know that this fact wasn't a guarantee that my business would be successful, but I completely believed in the business model and I was ready to work hard and do my best. I decided it was worth the risk and I knew that I would regret it if I didn’t give it a go!!!
The first thing I love about running my own franchise is the children - their infectious laughter, the random things they say, that rewarding feeling every day - the little victories, knowing you’re helping to make a difference to that child. A close second best is the flexible working. Running my own franchise means I manage my own timetable. I decided what days I wanted to work, what time I wanted my classes to start and finish to ensure I am there for the school runs. I have the option to have every school holiday off and if I want to run holiday workshops during the half term I can, but I have the flexibility to organise my holidays when I want them. I choose to work only when the children are at school which I am very grateful for. I know I am very lucky to have this time with my family not only after school but during the school holidays too.After weeks of training and preparing it was time to start the classes. I was just so excited to get
going with the classes and for it to become familiar - I was naturally nervous, worrying that I would freeze and go blank in front of the class but I managed to brush off any nerves on the day by focusing on having fun and delivering the classes to the best of my ability. talking to my family and friends and of course Charlie & Alex who were so supportive. I just wanted to know the routines off by heart, but I had to remind myself it takes time and I knew that once I had that first week under my belt things wouldn't feel so new. From day one I knew I’d made the right choice and have grown in confidence so much since then.
I have always struggled thinking too far ahead - something I need to work on is setting goals to push my business forward even further. I hope for the future to open new classes and take on more teachers to satisfy demand in the Chelmsford area. Currently many classes are at capacity with waiting lists. I’m keen to add more nurseries to the timetable - ensuring children in full time childcare also have access to our award-winning fun phonics sessions!
We are working with several local businesses and events to bring many exciting specials to the local community this year, including World Book Day at Mace Playce on Thursday 7th March (booking opens 1st Feb.) We’re running sessions for 3 days at the amazing the 3FT Festival Hylands Park! Then there’s the Easter specials to look forward to and The Starting School 4-week course which will open for booking very soon, these short courses and one off specials are very popular with parents keen to give their child a boost with their phonics before starting school in September. “