As the UK’s
biggest paediatric first aid provider, Mini First Aid teach a lot of parents
and children! But it is not as well known that we also teach all sorts of
qualification courses such as Paediatric First Aid and Emergency First
Aid at Work. We chatted with Mini First Aid Sussex’s Jen Fisher, who told us
how she’d made qualification courses work for her . . .
Hi Jen, what made you decide to take on a Mini First Aid
franchise, and what was your background beforehand?
Prior to Mini First Aid I worked for the local authority for 15 years in both children’s services and adult social care. I started working more with micro businesses and support settings and wanted to use these skills to start my own business but didn’t know what that could be! Then I spotted Mini First Aid and the baby & child first aid classes which sounded perfect. As a special care mum myself I felt a real connection with the class and wanted to learn first aid for my child as well as offering it locally.
When did you decide you wanted to take Mini First Aid full time?
In April 2021 I quit my job. I had been working 3 days per week in my day job following maternity leave but was finding myself increasingly stressed and unhappy. A huge portion of my wage was eaten up in childcare, I was getting up at 5am to get out the door on time and felt like I was failing on all fronts. I had been fitting in my 2 hour Mini First Aid parent classes on evenings and weekends but realised that if I increased my availability I could work with schools and offer qualification courses as well. This would exceed my previous income and mean a better quality of life too.
Sounds like it was a good decision Jen! Can you describe what it is like running your Mini First Aid business full time?
My timetable is really varied week to week which I love. I usually have one evening out of the house to teach a class each week and one weekend day at some sort of event per month. I can have anything from 1 to 5 classes a week depending on the time of year and I do at least one monthly networking event to promote what we do. I also do around 2-3 hours a day of admin and marketing. A lot of my social media happens on the sofa in the evening in front of the TV. My income is variable but I now always exceed my previous income and we have just had our first £5k month in revenue! Honestly, I ended up being so busy I recruited 2 additional trainers into my franchise who have taken over most of my evening and weekend classes, and I’m actually in the process of recruiting another two trainers having expanded again!
You've obviously made the qualification courses a success Jen - what is involved in becoming a qualification course instructor?
I had to complete a Level
3 in teaching which I did online in my ‘spare time’ (well, what spare time but
you make it work don’t you!). I spent time going through the Mini First Aid
qualification course lesson plans that are available from Head Office and I
used franchises near me for advice on things like pricing. I also had to
purchase more kit and manikins but this paid for itself very quickly. In the
end I bought a shed to store all my kit in!
What is the demand for qualification courses?
The demand is huge. At my first networking event I booked a group of 5 gym instructors because just being there reminded them that they needed to renew their first aid! Professionals should be doing this every 3 years (creating a constant demand) and they are usually pleasantly surprised by the competitive price we can offer whilst still being a great income for myself. I’ve just trained a team of 16 school staff on an INSET day (with the help of one of my additional trainers who came with me).
What are your favourite things about being a Mini First Aid franchise owner?
I can make a difference and be recognised for what I do. As a business owner when you work hard you reap the rewards financially. I have also been nominated for a local business award which just feels amazing. It’s also drastically improved my lifestyle. I have even dropped 2 dress sizes! Last year I was diagnosed with a genetic heart defect and although running a busy franchise isn’t without its stress, the flexibility has allowed me to improve my lifestyle in a way I just couldn’t have done in my old job.
Wow Jen, an unexpected extra benefit! Finally, could you tell us about any especially rewarding moments during your time as a Mini First Aid franchise owner?
We have had a few amazing success stories from parents who have come to a class and then saved their child’s life when they are choking and turning blue. Just one parent telling us this would be amazing, but we have had a few now which is just incredible.
We trained the staff in a local play centre in emergency first aid at work. A few weeks later a child had a febrile seizure and stopped breathing. The staff had to perform CPR and fortunately the child was breathing again by the time the ambulance arrived and was discharged from the hospital the same day. I was so overwhelmingly proud of them for saving a child’s life. We also regularly run our classes for parents in the centre so I love that they can offer such a high quality of first aid during their play sessions too.
On a more personal note, my Mini First Aid franchise has recently been nominated for a business award. We are the only first aid company that are finalists and there is a black tie event in the Autumn to announce the winners which I’m really looking forward to!
Jen, it has been fantastic to get an insight into your life as a Mini First Aid franchise owner, and fantastic to hear that the delivery of first aid qualification courses has been so successful for you. We wish you all the best for your business award nomination, you deserve the recognition!
If Jen’s story has inspired you to take on a Mini First Aid franchise, or become a trainer for Mini First Aid - especially if you have a background in delivering first aid qualification courses - we would absolutely love to hear from you! Just click here to request one of our enquiry packs!