One of Stagecoach’s most established franchisees has shared the story behind her almost 15 years of running her very own business.
Heather Salvador knew from a young age that she wanted a career in the world of performance. So, when the opportunity arose to become a Stagecoach franchisee, she leapt at the chance.
The classically trained singer began working as a Stagecoach singing teacher aged 19 while studying in Glasgow and continued her role after moving to Leeds. After three years, Heather and her husband Cris began to see how becoming a franchisee could offer them much more than just teaching. She explained,
“It felt like a natural progression for myself and Cris to invest in our own territory. He’s also a classically trained singer and, although he hadn’t worked for Stagecoach before, he could see how much I enjoyed working with them. I fully believed what you were buying with a franchise was completely worth it. Stagecoach manage everything, from child protection and lesson planning to marketing and PR support. It meant I could concentrate on the development of the children and leave the rest to the experts.”
The children’s franchise helped the pair to research their preferred territory before they took the plunge and, in 2005, they became Stagecoach franchisees (just four weeks after Heather gave birth).
“I cannot tell you how exceptional that early training was, we got so much out of it. Although it was beneficial that I had a few years of previous experience with Stagecoach, it was Cris who came away from each session with so many ideas for our own school. The initial training sparked ambition in both of us – we couldn’t wait to get out there and make a start.”
Heather now runs Stagecoach classes in Leeds, Chesterfield, Barnsley, Halifax and Pontefract, though she still makes time to attend ongoing training sessions.
“Every time I do the training, I feel like Stagecoach has worked on the programme – it’s progressive and they work hard to keep up with students’ ever-developing needs. The ongoing support with Stagecoach is fantastic too. The Regional Franchise Managers are really helpful. They give knowledge and support in a number of different areas, and we’ve worked with our franchise manager to build a structure which will maintain our business growth. With multiple territories, there’s always a lot to do.”
Heather recounted endless highlights from her Stagecoach journey, including performances at Disneyland Paris and live with Robbie Williams at the Leeds Arena. She explained just why she loves her role as franchisee so much.
“I love running our Stagecoach business. If I were to give advice to anyone looking into doing the same, I would say ‘go for it’. You must be passionate and love what you do. At the end of the day, it’s about providing the best experience possible for the children, that should be your driving force. Make sure the children are happy and excited, and the rest will fall into place.”
Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©