My background is not in this area. I studied fashion and textile design and then I went into the world of buying, and then I had my twin girls and I just got a little bit more bothered about their education and that they were needing to achieve their potential more. I had heard about this from other mums at the school gate and heard how fantastic it was and I looked at it as a thing for my own children to study. But the more I looked into it the more I thought actually I can’t wait to be a part of this myself.
I think you’ve got to look into it thoroughly, you’ve got to talk to everybody who is involved, who you can talk to, because you’ve got to really believe in it. It’s got to be what you want to stand for in your community. I’m happy to talk to anybody who I meet on the street as I’m out and about, about what I, do. I’m very proud of what I do and it means an awful lot to me. You’ve got to speak from the heart. As a franchisee we are at the cold face of speaking about Kumon, so we’ve got to speak with heart and with true belief of what we do.
From the business side of things, I looked at it and saw that it was well established, it’s global, they’ve got over 50 years of experience, more than I had bringing to a new business so I could rely upon that to support me in my early days of setting up.
The support has been outstanding from the very first moment that I went for an interview; at first I saw the excitement and quality of the staff, you know they are very inspirational people and it just made me want to be part of the team. You want to join in because you know that they are doing a good job and you think actually, I would really like to do a good job too. So that started it all off. From then on I’ve been able to grow my business at my own pace. You know there is no pressure it is just support and I know that I am part of a really good team. I know that everybody who works for Kumon is of a really high standard and they set high standards themselves. It’s quite hard for us ‘cause we are always having to strive for something better. You do have to always want to be the best and continually improve yourself, so self-study and self-improvement of your business structures and your instructional capabilities is something that we are always working on, it’s not something that you can just sit back on your laurels and relax about.
I couldn’t have come up with this programme on my own; it’s impossible, I don’t think any single person could have done that. There is such a massive team behind the build-up of this programme; from Toru Kumon in those first early days, writing out those worksheets by hand to what we do now. They are so finely tuned, there’s no way I could’ve produced that, and started up my own business and marketed it myself. It’s just not something I could’ve done on my own, so actually buying into the business makes an awful lot of sense. It makes a lot of sense as far as the bank is concerned because there’s the history there, you know they’ve got the track record of what people have done before, they understand Kumon as a business model, so it just makes sense.
I think the most rewarding thing and the thing that almost every Kumon Instructor will say is that the students themselves are the most rewarding aspect. You get to class and somebody’s mastered something that previously they found really hard and they’re buzzing and their parents can’t believe they’ve done it and that just makes it all worthwhile, that’s why we do it.
I’m opening up a permanent centre in the next few months, so I will be based in a proper Kumon shop and I will be able to open for more sessions each week and I will be able to spread the word further in the community, help more students, so I’m really excited about it. I can’t wait!