Mum of two, Sian Goodspeed combined her passion for teaching with the need to work around her family and started her own successful business – Flying Start Tuition.
Which part of the Chilterns do you live?
Alistair (husband), Charlotte (nearly 7), Ava (2 ½)
Sum up your business in a sentence:
At Flying Start, we are passionate about inspiring children to love learning and we do this by building up our pupils’ confidence and having plenty of fun!
What did you do before starting up your business?
I was a primary school teacher for 12 years, teaching in state and independent schools. I was ICT Coordinator for many years and was also on the Senior Management Team in my last post before departing for maternity leave.
When did you start your business and why?
I started the business in 2008. After my first daughter, Charlotte, was born, I returned to teaching part-time following my maternity leave but found combining motherhood and school life too much of a juggling act. I wanted a more flexible income that would enable me to combine my passion for teaching with more family time.
The best part of your day / running your own business?
Making a positive difference to the children who come through our doors each week. It is really rewarding seeing our students’ confidence grow and the impact this has on their progress. One of the advantages of private tuition is that we are not constrained by the National Curriculum and bogged down by admin. We have the freedom to focus fully on our pupils’ needs and we can tailor our support to the individual.
And the worst?
There is always something to be done! I find it difficult to switch off and often work very late into the night.
How do you juggle running a business and family life?
It’s hard as there never seems to be enough hours in the day to do everything. I am fortunate to have more flexible hours now the business has grown which means I can spend more time with my children, plus my husband plays a big part in family life. He is home by 5.30pm so does the evening shift most nights. We also have a fantastic child minder.
What challenges have you faced?
I took some time out on maternity leave when I had my second daughter, Ava. It was very difficult handing over the reins for a while and then even harder getting back into the business after a break.
Your biggest success?
On a personal level, my two gorgeous girls!
On a business level, our ongoing involvement with the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust’s Tuition Plus project is certainly something I am very proud of. This project provides free English and maths tuition to children in year 5 who are resident in the Trust’s houses. The project was initially aimed at levelling the 11+ playing field, supporting disadvantaged children in preparing for the tests. Since it started in 2008, we have developed the project further to provide a more rounded boost in English and maths, as well as supporting the children with their 11+. The project has proved very popular and our numbers have grown each year, from 9 pupils in the first year to over 40 this year. The project has made a real difference to the children involved and the feedback from families has been very positive.
What business tip/advice would you offer new mumpreneurs?
Do something you are passionate about and enjoy doing. That way, you won’t mind putting in the long hours required, especially in the early stages of setting up a business which are really full-on.
To franchise the company – we are planning to do so later this year.
How do you relax?
Walks with the dog, swimming, reading
What do you love most about where you live?
Our house backs onto glorious Chiltern countryside so it’s ideal for walks and fresh air… and we are only a short drive away from the facilities of Chesham…and the Flying Start Tuition centre.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Passenger – All the Little Lights
What’s your favourite tipple?
Pimm’s and lemonade
Your simple pleasure?
Singing. I am a member of Amersham Rock Choir and it is such great fun!
The Breakfast Club (Classic ’80s film of my youth)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (Such a lovely, simple story about following your dreams)
Tell us a joke?
What do you do if you see a space man?
Park the car, man.