Telling the truth about SME life today

“I love John Timpson”

Jennie Johnson was a working mum who hated the limited childcare services on offer. She decided to do something about it and launch her own day nursery and after school clubs.

Kids Allowed is more than just a childcare centre. It also runs a full concierge service for parents: laundry; ironing; as well as providing meals and a basic shop for kids.

But three years on, with three centres under her belt and a predicted turnover of £4.9m this year, Johnson needed some advice to aid her aggressive expansion.

All her Kids Allowed centres are based within Greater Manchester: who better to turn to for advice than local businessman and retail sage John Timpson.

"I”ve been over to his offices a couple of times," enthuses Johnson. "I love his approach to upside-down management.

"He helped me understand that I need to empower my staff and let them make high-level decisions for themselves. It goes against everything that big corporations do, but it works."

Johnson’s management style is so popular that, despite a shortage of qualified childcare workers, she is always inundated with applications from professionals who want to work at her centres. "Having a reputation as a good employer makes it so much easier to find staff," she says.

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