It took me 12 weeks to put together my first issue, and I was 3 months pregnant! It was printed and distributed in Summer 2006. I finished my second issue the night before my daughter was born and I haven’t looked back since. I now have three children and, although it takes a bit of juggling I am able to produce a profit-making issue four times a year.

I get a great feeling in being a mum by day and an editor/publisher by night, which is when I do most of my work! There is enormous satisfaction in knowing the difference you are making to the parents and carers of your local community, simply by gathering the information about groups, initiatives and services and clearly presenting it all in one handy magazine!

To overhear parents praising my magazine, whilst standing behind them in a queue, is… fantastic!

I am not going to tell a lie and say this business opportunity will make you a millionaire, but I will say, considering the time it takes to put together and the  profit  to be earned, you can put ‘jam’ on your ‘bread and butter’  whilst giving you some  quality time at home.




Why I chose franchising:

I was looking for the back-up and peace-of-mind a franchise offers. I was fantastic to have the support of Hazel and Tracey who have been running their own magazines for a long time and have learnt so much along the way.  It also helped having all the templates set up, ready for me to add my own information into. This saved a lot of time.

What I did before taking up a franchise:

I was a Primary School Teacher. I found the workload with 2 young children was too difficult to manage and The Scallymag has given me the freedom to take my kids to school, be there if they are sick and not feel like I am letting anyone down! It is great to be able to manage my own time and fit work in around my family life.

How I raised the finance:

I was fortunate to have some money put aside in savings which I was able to use.

The training and support I receive from my franchisor:

As I came into this without any experience whatsoever of design, advertising or running a magazine I was very appreciative of any help I could get!  Hazel and Tracey were brilliant and always there if I needed guidance with a particular issue. The manual, given as part of the package, is very informative and all the documents you need are supplied. Having said that I also found plenty of people around me who had valuable skills. It’s amazing who you meet along the way that is willing to lend a hand. I also found other Scallymag Franchisees were helpful too, sharing their experiences in the early stages of starting the magazine.

The challenges I have faced:

Selling advertising was new for me and probably provided the most challenge.  Knocks backs can be disheartening but I found my way and took it one step at a time. If you believe in the product you are offering people will warm to you and what you have to offer; they can sense your enthusiasm.  I have found now, having my own copy of my own magazine, people have actually come to me asking about advertising space which has been great!

My advice to someone thinking of buying their first franchise:

It is important to speak to other people who have bought the same franchise, find out their background and experiences.  It is helpful to find out what it is really like running any business from the people on the ground.  Know that you can afford to take on the franchise and what you are likely to earn to start with and remember you are likely to have start up costs as well as the outlay for the franchise itself.

My plans for the future:

I am working on my next issue now and looking forward to getting more great articles and advertisers on board.  I would really like to run charity events and continue to reach out to the community in a positive way.