Lifestyle change pays off
American trained, with endorsements to teach at all levels, Charlotte Tait had been working in the classroom for around 30 years. Eleven of those years were in New Zealand schools, the last of which was Chilton Saint James, a year 1 to 13 private school in Lower Hutt.
“Our school quite often referred students to NumberWorks’nWords. I even sent my daughter there as an extension student and she enjoyed it so much it took me by surprise. Then one day I saw an ad in the Gazette for the manager role at our local centre. I thought, ‘that’s my next step’.”
A well-supported change
Charlotte applied for the centre manager position and was delighted to be offered the job. After working in the centre for a few years the opportunity arose for her to buy the business and become a franchisee owner.
“When I got the job I was really thrilled because I was ready for something different, something outside the classroom, explains Charlotte. “It was a big change, but I had a lot of support from NumberWorks’nWords head quarters. I was trained by one of the national trainers who also spent time with me at the centre where I was working. When I became the owner I completed a very thorough training session at head quarters during the January holidays. The marketing manager also spent time with me to review the centre’s advertising and create an annual marketing plan.”
Significant lifestyle benefits
One of the biggest benefits for Charlotte has been the amount of personal time the change created. She now has the freedom to exercise in the mornings or sometimes enjoy a movie before lunch.
“I still dedicate a lot of time to my job, but I love the fact that I no longer have to come into work at 7:30 every morning. The other plus is not spending hours marking papers and writing reports. I have a lot more time than I have ever had in my life. My daughter has finished university and she’s no longer living with us, so my mornings are completely flexible.
“In the beginning, working through the evening was a little bit tough, but my husband and I soon adjusted to that and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I much prefer getting home at 7.30 at night to leaving the house at 7.30 in the morning.”
Growing financial rewards
Since becoming the new owner Charlotte has continued to grow the business. She’s thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to make a real difference for students, while successfully building long-term financial rewards.
“In 2014 I received the Legend of Legends award from NumberWorks’nWords, because our centre had the best re-enrolment and growth numbers. It felt wonderful and I was really proud of the team.”
“For the first three years as the owner I decided to keep my personal income unchanged, so I could pay off the loan I took out to buy the business. Time flew by, as it always does when you’re having fun, and before long I started enjoying the fruits of my labour a little more. Plus, when it’s time to sell the business, I’ll have a nice nest egg ready for whatever comes next.”