I joined the commuters on Tuesday this week and hopped on board a train for London. It was the Mum and Working Academy and Awards Ceremony on 6th March, it clashed with our franchisee training so my usual partner in crime, Alex, stayed at the training whilst I went ahead! I felt a little nervous when I got into the building where it was taking place, as I didn't know a single person, but all those nerves flew away when I got in, as they were the nicest group of people I've ever met! And it turned out that I did actually know somebody, because George and Kate from ClassBiz (the whizzy admin system we use) were there so it was lovely to catch up with them!
It was such an inspiring morning listening to successful business owners, knowledgeable social media gurus and bloggers. I think there is so much that we can learn from other businesses and business owners I tried to absorb as much information as I could. I talked to lots and lots of people, it was so refreshing to meet people from all over, running all different types of businesses.
When we broke for lunch Alex came to join me for the award ceremony, we were so excited to be there and I filled Alex in on everything she'd missed out on that morning, and before too long we were ushered into the award ceremony.
The super smiley Lucy Piper was hosting the awards ceremony, and all the judges and sponsors talked too. We opened up the programme to realise that our award was the first one to be announced! I was slightly nervous at that point as I thought I'm not going to know what to do, where to go etc... but I pushed that to the back of my mind thinking we aren't going to win anyway so it's pointless thinking about it! The founder of Diddi Dance Anne-Marie Martin had sponsored our award, and the lovely Ali Golds had judged it. They both came on stage and Anne-Marie listed the nominees, my heart was pounding so much I thought it might actually jump out of my body and you can imagine the completely shock when they read out the winners; 'Sounds Right Phonics Classes for Kids' I think I screamed but I can't really remember!
Luckily we managed to find our way on to the stage without any incidents, and had a couple of pictures! Then just as I was about to leave the stage to sit back down, Lucy Piper turned to me and said 'do you want to say a few words?' I honestly thought she was joking! I just froze for a moment thinking, oh my goodness what am I about to do! But it was an opportunity I just had to seize no matter how nervous I was, I hadn't planned anything but I think I talked pretty naturally, (here's hoping) and before long we were back in the safety of our own seats!
I couldn't stop smiling throughout the whole of the award ceremony, we celebrated some amazing business and heard some fantastic stories. Afterwards we had a glass of wine, and me and Alex then had to rush off to continue the celebrations with our franchisees who we were meeting for a social.
It was such a fantastic day and it meant the absolute world to us to win this award! Looking back I think I was so nervous because it meant so much to me and I really did hope we would win. We have grown so rapidly in our first year of franchising, starting with two franchises in January 2017 we now have 14. We are growing bigger and bigger and we are so passionate about spreading our love for phonics. We wouldn't be where we are today without our superb franchisees, who are real stars and put in so much hard work. And also our customers who have believed in our classes since day one. Thank you to everyone!