I AM writing this blog on my daughter's iPad whilst on an airplane and it has got me thinking about how technology has changed in the 21 years I have been running Musical Minis, and in turn how this has affected the running of my business.
When I first started Musical Minis the music was played on tapes and tape recorder. As the years progressed we switched to CD's and CD players and now we are onto MP3 players and speakers. It must show my reluctance to change that I still prefer using tapes! With each stage transferring the music has been easier than changing our Licence with MCPS, the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, but doing everything legally and paying the correct royalties has always been a priority to us.
The Musical Minis programme has been modernised over the 21 years. Our key aim has been to enhance the classes but not change them from our fundamental child development purpose. Professional bubble machines have been introduced - non-drip so the floor is not slippery for the children to walk on to fit into our stringent health and safety policy. Parachutes, puppets, instruments etc have all evolved over the years.
Social media has recently become increasingly important. I tweet regularly (@karensherr), have a Musical Minis Facebook site (Musical Minis), am on Linkedin (karen Sherr) and write my own blog (learning made fun) as well as writing for guest blogs.
It seems remarkable that we didn't even have a website when we began which has really shocked my daughter. Now our website (Musical MInis) is one of our main ways of marketing. Over the years we have updated our website and this summer had a major overhaul. Now our website contains music, videos, and even a seasonal download as well as franchise information and downloads.
The Musical Minis recording and analysing procedures have become easier with the use of Quickbooks, Excel and Word all improving. Corresponding with franchisees is so much easier with the use of emails and our own franchisee forum. It is hard to believe that 21 years ago we had no emails to keep in touch with prospective members and franchisees. Now I am constantly checking my Blackberry for my emails and feel totally lost if I walk out the house without it!
So from my Dad's old word processor to our flat screen Dell computer, tapes to MP3s , videos to DVDs and a pen and paper to the iPad it's unbelievable how much has changed and yet how our business aims have stayed the same. We wonder what the next 21 years will bring.
Photo by Flickr Kumar303