INSPIRING YOU INSPIRING OTHERS
With her passion for business and learning, Chris Bartels is a natural at sKids
Chris Bartels is passionate about helping people to discover their potential. As she says, ‘If you believe you can do something then you can do it, but if you think you can’t – well, you won’t.’ As business development manager for Safe Kids in Daily Supervision (sKids), she is in the perfect position to help those who believe.
Chris knows all about the realities of business ownership, having started her career in hairdressing and bought her first salon when she was just 22. ‘I got off to a really rocky start,’ she confesses. ‘I came in as owner on my first Monday morning to find there were no appointments – the seller had simply taken her clientele and set up a salon in her home. I had no choice but to build a whole new customer base up from scratch, which was a real challenge but a great lesson.
‘This was at a time when I’d taken up motor racing. Through it I’d learned a lot about preparation, commitment and competition so I had a real sense of, “I can do this.” I’d been pushed into a nasty corner, but I built that business and a year later bought my second salon. I ran both successfully for six years.’
Marriage to one of the country’s top motorsport engineers followed, along with children, and then Chris went into the jewellery business. ‘The kids were small, interest rates were high and we needed another source of income,’ she says frankly. ‘It was totally different from the salons but the principles of building a good business were the same and it absolutely took off. I then started recruiting independent contractors so they could experience what I had.
‘It made me acutely aware of how it is possible to give people an opportunity to create a different life for themselves. It motivates me to this day: for me, business is all about helping people get the best results they possibly can.’
With children at school, Chris threw herself into the action with her usual enthusiasm. ‘I was on the school board, I helped in the lunch room and I did mother’s help twice a week. It gave me a core understanding of just how important community is to schools. At sKids, getting involved and getting other people involved is central to our philosophy. Some of our most successful franchisees were deeply engaged in their community before taking on the sKids programmes and that gave them a real framework from which to build.’
sKids is New Zealand’s largest private out-of-school supervised care provider, offering before- and after-school care and holiday programmes at over 165 schools throughout the country. Chris joined the company in 2006 as business development manager and is now a director.
‘sKids ticked all my boxes and I knew straight away I never wanted to go anywhere else. One of the things that gets me out of bed in the morning is hearing the success stories from our franchisees. Many were previously stuck in the daily grind with no meaning to life. We all get a great thrill from their personal successes, from sharing those wonderful “Ah Ha” moments that kids have in their care to buying their first home. One franchisee started with a very modest single programme and within only three years has built up to nine. That has made a significant difference in her life.
‘Or take LeeAnn Werner in Christchurch. She started with a single programme and now has four. She also fosters children, so she really has a heart for them, and the sKids programmes gave her the framework to build her business while having time for her kids.’
One of the sKids programmes that Chris is most proud of is FoodStorm, which teaches kids healthy recipes they can take home and share with their families. ‘Recently, we ran a competition in association with NZ Chefs and 16 sKids kids went to a grand “cook-off” in the finals. Helping kids find out what they are good at so they can believe in themselves is hugely rewarding. We offer music and sport programmes, too – these give expanded opportunities to our franchisees, and present parents with something of value, rather than just being an ordinary after-school supervising service.’
sKids still has many areas around the country crying out for sKids programmes. ‘If you’d care to help your community while having a real business of your own, opportunities start from around $45,000 +gst,’ says Chris.
What sort of qualities does sKids look for in a new franchisee?
‘You do need to love kids, of course – that’s a given,’ says Chris. ‘But we also look for strong leadership and organisational skills that will enable you to build a strong, well-trained team whilst growing your business by connecting with the community. The skill set required is often middle-to-senior management.
‘It’s these qualities that make sKids franchisees zing. If you believe that’s you, contact me. We want to inspire you so that you can inspire others.’
See this advertorial on page 65 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 3
Contact details for sKids
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advertiser info: franchise business opportunity
|industry leisure & education||investment $45,000 + gst||number in NZ 100+ and globally 100+||FANZ member yes|
|contact Chris Bartels
p 0-9-576 6602 m 021 974 221
|telephone||listing funding info evaluate|
|industry||leisure & education|
|investment from||$45,000 + gst|
|number in NZ||100+|
This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.