Leanne had been a primary school teacher for 20 years when she realised she needed a career that could balance with her family life.
Leanne’s longed-for little boy arrived in October 2020, as we started living through the second lockdown. When she returned to teaching in September 2021, much had changed. “I went down to three days a week, but teaching is not a 9-5 job. I was spending a lot of time working and a lot of time worrying about work too. My priorities had changed, and while I loved being back in the classroom, the pressures and expectations had changed due to COVID,” explains Leanne.
Leanne decided it was time for a career change. “I wanted to set something up on my own. I had this idea about setting up a phonics-based class for children, but as I looked into it, I realised I had no business knowledge, and I hadn’t a clue where to start.” A friend suggested looking into franchising, and that was a light bulb moment for Leanne – the opportunity to have her own business, but with all the support when it came to the business side of things. “I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of franchise I was interested in, but sleep sparked an interest in me. My son had been a great sleeper, so all my mummy friends would ask me for advice, and I’d give them tips. Plus, I found the whole topic of sleep really interesting.”
This interest continued when Leanne saw an ad on Facebook for a sleep consultancy. After doing some investigation, Leanne decided it wasn’t quite the right opportunity for her, as something didn’t feel quite right, and she would not get the support she felt she needed. But soon after, when she was visiting Devon, the Little Dreams Consulting Devon & Cornwall page popped up. From there, Leanne navigated to the franchise page and quickly had a phone call with Fay.
“I had a brilliant chat. Fay was very friendly, and I liked that she’d come from a social worker background. She answered a few initial questions I had, and I signed up to come along to a discovery call. The rest, as they say, is history. I got really excited during the discovery event, something really clicked for me, and I couldn’t wait to sign up and become the Little Dreams Consulting Birmingham franchisee.”
After being awarded a franchise after the interview stage, Leanne became the fourth Little Dreams Consulting franchisee in June 2023. Like all new franchisees, Leanne undertook a bespoke programme designed and delivered by the Little Dreams Consulting team, including world-renowned sleep expert Professor Michael Gradisar. This mix of classroom and virtual training empowers franchisees with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to run a successful sleep consultancy, plus all the skills needed to run a business too.
Then, for the first 12 months of the business, a weekly support schedule ensures franchisees receive one-to-one time with both Jenna and Fay. From in-territory mentoring and roundtable workshops to specialist refresher courses and customer shadowing.
“I have loved becoming part of the Little Dreams family…and there are so many advantages to being part of Little Dreams. We all know each other, and I feel comfortable reaching out to anyone – Hannah was the one who inspired me to look into Little Dreams Consulting thanks to her Instagram page, and Lucy is just a few months ahead of me on the franchisee journey, which is really useful. Gemma, a bit further ahead again, and that’s all really useful, to see where and how my business can grow.”
When the Little Dreams Consulting Birmingham website was live, Leanne experienced her first buzz as a business owner as the first inquiries rolled in. “It was a brilliant feeling, I was excited and nervous, all at the same time. And then, with my very first client, the little one slept through on night two. I was absolutely over the moon; I was as thrilled as they were!”
Another brand-new feeling for Leanne is having some autonomy over how her days look as she gets to manage her own time. As a teacher, she missed out on her own son’s nursery firsts because there was no flexibility around her family life, but now she can be present for every milestone and every event.
“It’s great that there are some constants each day, such as checking sleep logs and calling parents, but I also really enjoy the fact that every day doesn’t look the same. Some days I’ll be at toddler groups, others I’ll be working on blogs or my website, and it’s great to have that flexibility and that work-life balance that I was really craving since having my son.”
For further information on franchising opportunities with Little Dreams Consulting, please visit https://www.littledreamsconsulting.com/start-a-franchise/