Franchisee, Rebecca Mitchell, served in the Navy before leaving to set up her own business. We asked her about how she came to select Turtle Tots.
Can you tell me about Turtle Tots?
I was actually still in the Navy when I had my little boy, Austin, in July 2013. I’m an avid swimmer; I used to swim for the Navy so I really wanted to get him into a pool as soon as I possibly could so I looked at different classes that were around in Glasgow.
I came across Turtle Tots and I liked the whole ethos; that they were family-friendly. I found their whole customer service really good. I started taking Austin when he was about six or seven weeks and it really just took off from there – I was really impressed with what I saw from my teacher, who happens to be the owner of Turtle Tots Glasgow and I started looking into it.
Well funny you should say that because hopefully my husband is going to come on board! A lot of my weekend classes are attended by dads. They bring their babies in to the pool. So I think it would work for a man.
Did you consider other franchising areas?
I had a look at different swimming businesses because swimming was what I really wanted to do. So I did look around into different companies and what different franchises could offer me but really what Turtle Tots offered was massive.
Did you find any difficulty acquiring the finances as an inexperienced businesswoman?
That’s the best reason to buy into a franchise; you are buying into something where they already have a name for themselves. I think it’s very difficult as a mum to take that step because taking that risk you’re putting your family on the line. Me and my husband are both ex-Navy so we’ve come from jobs where we are guaranteed a wage every month so it was a big financial commitment to make and it has not been an easy process. I’m not going to lie to you – and it still isn’t an easy process. I’m in my first year of running my own business but so far I’m loving it and I would recommend it to anybody.
Are there things that women do differently or better than men when it comes to business?
I don’t really know to be honest. I think it depends on who you are as a person, rather than if you’re a male or a female and yes, you’re always going to get discrimination. You’ve got to be headstrong to get over that whole ‘every guy thinks they’re better than me’ because the fact is that I can probably do that job just as well as a guy – just because I’m female I shouldn’t be ruled out of doing a job.
I think you’ve got to be able to stand up for yourself in any line of work. You’ve got to be willing to say ‘look I can do this as much as the next person’. You’ve always got to think that you can achieve a lot more than what you are achieving now and I think that’s how I’ve got myself in to the position I am now.