Case Studies

Fun, flexibility and financial freedom

With the birth of their first child, Jo and Tony Nguyen realised the Sydney corporate jobs they’d enjoyed for years were steadily losing their attraction. Jo was an organisational psychologist working in human resources and Tony was a qualified lawyer working as a business analyst.

They knew they wanted to start their own business; they just didn’t know what that business would be.

A friend shows the way

Close friends who were owners and managers of a NumberWorks’nWords centre in Sydney had been recommending the franchise for some time. They’d often asked Jo and Tony to visit the centre to see how it worked. Eventually Jo agreed and was immediately hooked on the idea.

“I knew I wanted to step away from the demands of corporate life”, explains Jo. “With a new family underway, we were looking for a lifestyle change and more flexibility. I visited our friends’ centre and there was this palpable buzz and vibe to it. Tony and I had 10 years’ experience in private tutoring in the past, and the thought of working one-on-one with kids again really energised me.”

Jo convinced Tony to take a look and before long they were talking with the NSW Master Franchisee to find out more. After explaining what they wanted to achieve and why, Jo and Tony were offered an existing centre in Pennant Hills that had clear potential for growth in the right hands.

“We took a punt”, explains Tony. “Normally one person would take it on while the other continues earning a salary, just in case. But we decided we’d both do it and together we’d make it work. We were 100% committed. ”

Support and hard work pay off

With plenty of training, support and encouragement from NumberWorks’nWords Headquarters and managers, plus mentoring from their friends, Jo and Tony felt guidance was available at every step.

We felt a part of the NumberWorks’nWords family. “Everyone made sure we knew what we were doing and were equipped to be successful”, says Jo. “In the first few weeks the NSW Master Franchisee came into our centre to help out. We had to learn fast, of course. We were putting in long hours, but we knew that would be the case for the first 12 months. And we were already used to long days from corporate life.”

Jo and Tony had set a target of more than tripling the centre’s roll to 300 students by the end of their third year in business. Within just 18 months they had achieved that goal.

A much improved lifestyle

After a busy but enjoyable 18 months, Jo and Tony felt they were in a position to start focusing a little more on the lifestyle changes they had in mind. Word of mouth was now helping to promote the business, so less time was needed in that area.

“With the business on a much stronger footing, we’ve decided to ease back just a little. We’ll continue to grow to around 400 students, but we can now enjoy taking some mornings off”, says Jo. “So our lifestyle has already changed for the better. Plus the two week school break and the six week summer holiday were amazing. So much more time together with our son.”

“We used to set the alarm to go off every morning for our corporate jobs. Now we have the flexibility to manage our own hours”, says Tony.

More control over your future

Jo and Tony are finding it much more enjoyable to be working with children. They say it’s less complicated and a lot more fun.

“There’s no politics, like in the corporate world. All that has disappeared and you have a lot more control”, explains Tony.

“I think that’s the best thing as well”, agrees Jo. “We get to hire the team members we believe will fit in well with the culture we have created here. We’re enjoying a lot more freedom of choice and real decision-making.”

Looking ahead to financial freedom

Eighteen months earlier than expected, the centre is providing an income comparable to the corporate jobs they left behind. With plans for a second child, Jo and Tony are happy to own and manage the one centre for now, and keep it running really well.

“We came into this for a lifestyle change and for flexibility. Our ultimate goal is to have a successful long-term, sustainable business. We didn’t leave our jobs to become tied to another one, so within 10 years we’ll carefully choose assistant managers to help run the centre for us”, says Jo.

“It’s about achieving financial freedom. We want to build a business that is self-sustaining, has the right people on board and doesn’t rely too much on us being there”, explains Tony. “We really enjoy helping our students and we’re progressing towards our lifestyle goals much faster than we expected.”