HOW TO GROW A THRIVING BUSINESS ON A HIGH NOTE
When Kirsty Savides needed to support her young family and find music classes for her youngest child, she launched classes of her own,) which she now franchises,
DRIVEN out of desperation to find an inspirational music class for her toddler and earn an income while based at home, Kirsty Savides’s entrepreneurial journey began 10 years ago and resulted in a successful business.
Savides, based in Fish Hoek, is the founder of Wriggle and Rhyme, a proudly South African music and movement programme developed for children aged from six months to six years. Savides, a mother of three, is a musician with experience in corporate marketing.
“The business started in October 2008. I was a young mom with kids aged one and three.
“My husband was taking a career change and studying full-time, so I needed to find other ways to find money just to contribute to the income. “Basically, I was looking for a music programme for my youngest to join. International companies were coming here and franchising their programmes,” said Savides.
She could not find a local programme at the time and decided to start one herself, which killed two birds with one stone – income and music classes for her child.
“There was a gap in the market in our area in Fish Hoek, as well as a need for personal financial relief.
“I grew up musical but ended up in marketing, so it all just came together. It started with one class in my lounge in Fish Hoek with six moms attend.
Savides said she put together the music programme by identifying themes children could relate to.
“For example, one theme would be a trip to the seaside, and we would do a whole half-hour around an imaginary trip to the beach, which most children can relate to.
“We talk about the subject through music, what we’re smelling, what we’re seeing, what we are touching.
“They learn songs through that with lots of movement and I give them little percussion instruments to play,” said Savides.
In just a few years the programme had gained popularity in Fish Hoek and people started approaching her to ask if they too could run the programme.
“I had taken on a staff team, but I was running everything, and what happens with a small business when you start growing is that you start stacking things on to your business, but not very strategically.”
Savides said things started mushrooming out of control and she contemplated closing the business.
At that time, in 2013, she realised that she needed help and had a conversation with her father-in-law, a businessman, who said her programme was great but she needed to fix the model.
“The upshot was that we relaunched the business under a new business model. What we opted for was to re-license the programme.
“What it meant was that anyone could then take it anywhere in Cape Town.
“We started building a bit of a brand, and started doing a bit of marketing.”
Savides compiled eight programmes and training manuals as well as CDs, and put together a product package, so people could license that with the training and with the brand support.
She hired a lawyer to draw up a licence agreement for the business.
Savides said there were challenges with the quality of the licensees.
For people wanting to start up a franchise, it costs about R55000, which includes five sessions of training, all the start-up equipment and marketing bundle for the area, with an amount allocated for social media or print media.
“Basically, it’s a business in a box that you buy and license to run for as long as you want, and the return on investment is very good,” she said.
Savides said currently there were seven franchises in Cape
Town, including Melkbosstrand, Panorama, Rondebosch, Claremont, Meadowridge, Constantia and Fish Hoek. Her dream now is to offer the business outside of Cape Town over the next few years.
KIRSTY Savides ventured out on her own many years ago, and though the journey was not always smooth she has finally achieved success.