Brisbane Mum Goes from Bump to Business | Little Kickers
Local Brisbane Mum, Karen Tannoch-Bland ‘kicked’ off the Australian ‘Little Kickers’ classes after the birth of her first child in 2009 going from ‘Bump to Business’.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am married with a 2 year old girl and 6 year old boy and our dog Archie. We live in a house filled mostly with laughter (the children), some tantrums (the parents), and lots of play, despite running separate businesses and intermittent renovating as well! I was born in the UK and my husband Colby, a builder, was born here. After 7 years together in London I didn’t need any convincing to move to gorgeous Brisbane.
Little Kickers is a soccer based play programme for boys and girls from 18 months to 7th birthday. Little Rugby is a programme for children aged 2 – 7 years based on tag rugby and is run on the same principal as Little Kickers: non-contact, non-competitive play. Our motto is “Play not Push”
How did you get started?
I heard all about Little Kickers when they first started up in the UK as I have known Christine (the CEO) for many years. When I was pregnant with my first child I wanted to change career as I knew that I wanted to work in a more flexible environment than my previous roles and I approached Christine to see if she was looking to bring Little Kickers to Australia. When my son was a 1 year old I launched the first Little Kickers classes in QLD in Bulimba at the same time that my colleague Dan launched the first classes in NSW on the Central Coast
What does the future hold for the business?
Since we launched in 2009 we have grown from 2 franchises to 36 (and counting) across Australia. In QLD we have 10 franchises currently covering Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast and have territories still available in Ipswich, Toowoomba and North QLD from Sunshine Coast upwards so we have room to grow. Little Rugby is also growing nicely.
What is the best bit about what you do?
I have an amazing team in Queensland – all of the franchisees are passionate about what they do and I feel truly very lucky to be a part of this fantastic group of people. Watching the children grow up and develop their skills in our classes is another amazing part of the job.
What are the challenging bits?
My only challenge would be making sure that people understand the huge difference between the International Little Kickers and Little Rugby programs and other companies that have popped up along the way. We have been running classes for 12 years in the UK, almost 5 years here in Oz, and I know hand on heart that our programme is the best. The customers transferring to our classes can attest to that.
How do you fit work around family life?
I work hard during the week and make sure that when the kids come home and at weekends that we spend quality time together. In an emergency or a busy week, my husband takes over and runs the house and looks after the kids. We have a good balance as we both run our own businesses so have more flexibility to do this. We both feel that we’ve been able to be more involved in our kids early years than we would otherwise.
What advice would you give other mums looking to work for themselves?
Keeping kids happy and running a busy house is huge – the skills that you gain from motherhood are immense and can definitely be used in running your own businesses. Working within a proven franchise business is a good route to take – particularly if you have back up from a good Head Office and an experienced person and group to work with and bounce ideas off.
Karen Tannoch-Bland, QLD Director, Little Kickers and Little Rugby
07 3299 3361
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