MAD Academy Franchise

Meet Sophie Hill from MAD Academy for Oxford and Bicester

4th June 2017

Sophie Hill talks to us about why she chose MAD Academy and running her business in Oxford and Bicester

Sophie Hill – MAD Academy Franchisee for Oxford and Bicester

MAD Academy - Sophie HillWhen did you start your MAD Academy Business?

I started my first classes in April 2011.

What attracted you to franchising?

The great benefit of franchising is being able to see that the business model already works. This means that you get off to a great start as some of the groundwork and product development has already been done and it has already been tried and tested in the market.

What made you choose a MAD Academy franchise?

MAD Academy offers something different to most of the music classes out there for young children, and this is absolutely key to finding space in a crowded marketplace. I also knew from my experience with my own children that young children like to be active and can’t sit still for very long - MAD Academy gives them the opportunity to have fun through dancing and moving their bodies.

Tell me about your interest/involvement in music, dance, performance etc

I started dancing lessons at the age of 4, studying ballet and modern dance up until the age of 16.

I play the piano and saxophone. At school I was in the school Swing Band, in addition I regularly supported school musical productions either playing the piano or saxophone – my favourite was West Side Story.

Whilst at university I played saxophone in a band which played in pubs in Manchester.

What makes your MAD Academy classes different? Tell me what you do to bring your own special personality to your classes.

I theme my classes each week and try to make sure that I include information to help children learn about animals, their bodies or the weather. I also like to include the latest dance crazes such as the Gangnam Style dance!

In addition I always try to include something for the parents – if the parents are enjoying the class then their children will enjoy it more and get the most out of it.

What are the highlights for you of running MAD Academy classes?

One of my favourite things is hearing the feedback from parents about the children talking about MAD Academy at home. I only see the children for 45 minutes each week but so many parents tell me about how their children ask every day if they are going to ‘MAD’ today or about how they will be singing the songs or doing the actions at home – the ‘Hello’ song is one of the most popular songs for this.

How do you manage to juggle all the work, particularly with family-life?

MAD Academy allows flexibility around family life as the classes take place during school hours. I do the admin work in the evenings once the children have gone to bed.

You can choose the days and times of the classes to suit you and also whether to work in school holidays or not.

What has been your proudest and / or funniest moment so far as MAD Academy franchisee?

One of my best moments was when one of the Mums told me that their child was very quiet and hardly spoke, and since coming to MAD Academy has started to speak and copy noises and that it was as a result of coming to the classes and gaining confidence.

What top tips would you give to someone looking to buy a franchise?

I think it’s important to research your chosen market and understand where the franchise will fit into the market. It’s also really important to find out not just about the initial training but also ongoing support and training to help you as your business grows.

What is the hardest part of running your own business?

One of the hardest parts is decision making. I used to work in a large company and if I had to make a decision there was always a manager (and manager’s manager etc) to ask for support. With your own business it’s up to you to make the decisions. This is really liberating but also there’s not really anyone else that can do it for you, it’s up to you.

What is the best thing about being part of the MAD Academy franchise, rather than running an independent business?

The support from MAD Academy, particularly our Franchisee Manager (Trish) is absolutely fantastic and there is no way I’d be where I am today with my business without the ongoing help and support.

In addition there are other franchisees out there facing the same challenges as you which gives you a great community of friends and colleagues, rather than being on your own.

What advice would you give others on running their own business?

The most important thing is to have self-belief. There are some really hard times running your own business and you’ve got to believe in yourself to get through it.

If you would like to find out more about MAD Academy Franchise then click below to request your FREE franchise information pack

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MAD Academy Franchise

Further Information

Franchise Information

BFA Membership Status
UK Years Established
5 years
Current UK Coverage
Franchisee Support Staff
Personal Investment Req.
Total Startup Cost
Home-based business location Home-based business location
Business to consumer services Business to consumer services
Franchisee operates individually Franchisee operates individually

Why Choose Us?

Child early years development in action for all to see

What Our Franchisees Say

I chose a MAD Academy franchise because it offers something different from most of the music classes for young children out there and I believe this is absolutely key to finding space in a crowded marketplace.


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