Raspreet, a former RAF spouse, first took her daughter, Jiya, to a Puddle Ducks class at 18 months old. She absolutely loved it from the moment she got in the water! The teachers were fabulous, tailoring the activities to each individual, making them fun and interactive, whilst teaching very important personal survival skills.
Having been a competitive swimmer Ras always had a passion for swimming. This, coupled with her career as a pharmacist, has driven her passion to be involved in something that brings together all the elements of fun, water safety, correct swimming practices, as well as health and wellbeing… so she decided to take the plunge and bring Puddle Ducks to Essex with support from X-Forces and The Start Up Loans Company!
Ras Q & A…
What are the challenges you’ve faced in running your own business?
“The time it took to secure the funds was actually a lot longer than I had anticipated it would be. There were delays with the admin and lots of forms to be filled, each with very specific requirements. This part of the process did seem to drag on, and I hadn’t accounted for as much time to allow for this as it actually took in the end. A lot of the time at this stage was waiting around for the paperwork to be collated and sent to BFS for the loan approval.
However, with the help and support of the agents at X-Forces, we did eventually get the loan approved and it was all worth it in the end!“
What advice would you give to other people, thinking about becoming an entrepreneur?
“Do your research and be prepared for unexpected delays! I would definitely encourage people to follow their dreams and passion…the job is a lot easier when you have fun doing it! It suddenly isn’t so bad waking up for work in the mornings when you love what you do!”
How has X-Forces helped you?
“X-Forces has been brilliant. They have always been patient with me, happy to explain all the things I was struggling with when applying for the loan, and have always helped, supported and encouraged me. Both the agents that I dealt with have been a Godsend…Giles and Sharda…they have kept in touch and check in on me to see how it’s going, which is a lovely personal touch”
What made you decide to be part of a franchise?
“I decided to become a franchisee, as for me, I felt it lowered the risk. I liked the idea that the brand was already established and that I would have a support network behind me. Puddle Ducks are very good in that way, it’s like a family and everyone is there to help and support one another.
I would say going down the franchise route is good for someone that wants to start a business but isn’t sure on how to go about the logistics of it. I would definitely suggest that you do your research and meet the potential franchisors and use your own intuition and gut feelings when making your decision.”
Why did you choose Puddle Ducks?
“Puddle Ducks’ effective, instructor-led baby and child swimming classes are all about fun, confidence and safety in the water. Babies can join our fantastic classes as soon as Mum is ready to get in the water after giving birth. We also teach life-saving skills from six months old, so that should your child ever need them, they have a bank of invaluable skills that could save their life.
Each class lasts half an hour and provides a wonderful bonding opportunity for parents and their little ones. We’ve deliberately limited our class sizes to ten. This gives excellent teacher-student ratios and means we can offer truly individually-tailored swimming lessons for babies, toddlers and children that let them learn with other children of their age, all at their own pace. Quality of teaching has always been our top priority, and we’re constantly evolving our teaching programme and methods to make sure your children receive the very best swimming lessons out there.”
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