Choosing to start your own business is one of the most exciting journeys to take on. But it’s also one of the most daunting. Whether you’re going out on your own, or joining a franchise group to support you, building a business that’s yours is hard work.
For music lover, Rohan Hotchkiss, he knew he wouldn’t be happy until he could turn his passion for music into a career. And that’s exactly what he did by joining Express Music Tuition.
“My grandad taught me to play the organ when I was just a kid. I learnt to play the recorder at school, then I learnt piano and finally my parents gave in and got me a guitar. I used to play until my fingers bled, I loved it so much,” Rohan says of his upbringing.
From there Rohan went on to study music after school and it always remained part of his life. He worked for music schools and the local community centre teaching kids to play and read music, but with the same low pay (no matter how hard he worked) it didn’t give Rohan the freedom or satisfaction he craved in a career. After ten years of working for someone else and failed attempts at going out on his own, Rohan came across Express Business Group. The International Franchise Group offered Rohan everything he was looking for in a business. He could have the freedom of calling the shots and being his own boss, while still benefiting from the tried and tested Express Business Group model.
“Advertising and business management just wasn’t my thing,” Rohan admits. “I didn’t know how to promote the business or get new clients, which is why my attempts at running a music tuition business weren’t successful previously.”
Rohan researched the franchising group to find out more, but it wasn’t long before he signed along the dotted line, and so began the first year of his very own business: Express Music Tuition Penrith. “I’ve always been very confident in my decision that this is what I want to do with my life because it’s sustainable. I looked at other business options, like Lawn Mowing or Car Cleaning, but I wanted to do something that I could do until I’m old and grey!”
Rohan looks at his business as his ‘retirement plan’ and is confident he’ll be teaching music for the rest of his life! With a solid commitment to success driving him forward, Rohan is continuing to build his business with the support and training of the motivating team at Express.
“Initially to win customers I had to be very competitive with my pricing. I needed to be the most affordable option in order to get students through the door and from there I was able to build relationships with them and therefore win their loyalty,” Rohan explained. “In fact, I’m actually just about to put my pricing up for the first time since starting my business in 2014! They say slow and steady wins the race and it couldn’t be more true. I’m at capacity with my bookings which is why I’m confident I can slightly increase my prices and retain my current students as I’m in high demand.”
To build his customer database, Rohan used a combination of traditional methods as well as online tools. “My day to day routine in my first year was so varied because one day I’d be out prospecting to local child care centres and the next day, I’d be at home rewriting my website content and working with the IT team to set up Google Adwords,” Rohan said. It wasn’t one single technique that he attributes to his success and growing customer base to, but says the most important thing is to make sure your business can be found and don’t be shy to try to new things.
Like any new business owner, Rohan admits there were days he had doubts and worried he wouldn’t be able to turn a profit, but the support of Express and his own determination and drive kept him going and he is now reaping the rewards.
“Positivity was absolutely key to the success of my first year. You’re going to have hard days but you’ve got to keep your chin up and press on. I was lucky because I had a support network behind me, but for those doing it on their own, keep it in perspective – it’s just one day,” Rohan said. “One of the most exciting things about starting a business is that you are responsible for your own income. At first I looked at that as a bad thing, but after a while it became my motivator. I was in charge, I was ‘the boss’. There was no one breathing down my neck or pressuring me to work harder. I was responsible for my own success and in return I got the freedom I’d always wanted”.
Want to get involved in Express or considered Music Tuition? Contact 1300EXPRESS or visit our website.