A Franchise For Happy Families

As coincidences go, two franchise owners from the same network giving birth on the same day comes in right at the top of the list. Gareth Samuel looks at how Photography for Little People supports its franchise owners, putting family life first

Photography for Little People welcomed two new little people into the family when two members of the franchise network gave birth on March 13. Of course for any business owner or franchisor, the time (and energy) that having a baby requires often means financial security is endangered – this could not have been further from the truth with the Photography for Little People team.

“This was an especially happy day,” says Franchisor, Melanie Kemp. No sooner had she received a text from Sian Zalick, franchise owner for the Hertfordshire region with the joyful news, than another message arrived from Erica Cook, owner of the Teesside franchise, to say she had just given birth as well. Melanie continues: “Two boys born on the same day – what are the odds of that happening!”

Of course, as overwhelmed with delight that Sian was when she first fell pregnant, the inevitable worries, that any business owner faced with a prolonged spell away from the company would have, set in. “The minute I knew I was pregnant with my second child, my first thought was ‘Yay!” says Sian.

“My second thought was ‘How will this affect my business?” Sian had been a franchise owner for two years when she became pregnant and feels that having a stable business before introducing a baby to the mix was crucial to her success within Photography for Little People. The support Sian received from the Photography for Little People head office – and her strong client base – allowed Sian to work right up until the end of her pregnancy before taking a three month maternity leave comfortable in the knowledge she could re-energise the business again when she was ready.

Working with families throughout her pregnancy – with an ever-expanding bump – only added to the strength of the Photography for Little People brand. Sian currently is enjoying time out with her newborn son, Oliver, and his older brother Jack, although it wont be long before you will find her behind the camera in her home studio. What has enabled these franchise owners to develop a happy work/life balance with their families is the philosophy of the business that puts families first. Melanie adds: “Families are always the main focus within Photography for Little People: those of our franchise owners and those of our clients.”

This was very much the case for Erica, who was able to create a schedule that worked for her while she was pregnant.

“Pregnancy and motherhood teach you how to delegate more effectively,” says Erica. “You don’t know what kind of pregnancy you’re going to have until you are actually having it!”

Running her own business, with support from Head Office, meant that Erica had to adjust her workload and expectations. But through collaboration, she continued to grow her business over the past nine months.

The role of a Photography for Little People franchise owner means that working with families on a daily basis is a prerequisite and in many ways, Erica’s pregnancy was a talking point with customers – which she relished: “I couldn’t wait to let people know I was pregnant,” she exclaims.

As professionals particularly well-versed in this field, expect to see many new photographs of the new additions to the Photography for Little People family in months to come.