Kiraly & Prue • Throughout Victoria
In honour of Mothers’ Day, we’re delighted to feature Parentmedic Victoria, run by wonder-mums Kiraly and Prue. They provide vital Baby and Child First Aid Education to parents, grandparents, and carers of young children around Victoria. The two business owners launched their state franchise in 2020 and were thrown into the deep end, running a business in the middle of a pandemic. The Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring (BRRM) initiative gave them the skills, confidence, and guidance to successfully navigate these challenges.
“Definitely; for anyone starting a business, especially in these times. To see the changes in both of us, and the confidence that we now have in ourselves and our abilities is just amazing. Peter was fantastic, we could contact him between sessions and he would always get back to us to go over whatever we needed. Since mentoring, our bookings have increased dramatically. This has a reciprocal positive impact on us, and the families out there that need us.”
Established in August 2020, Parentmedic Victoria serves to educate and empower all parents with baby and child-specific first aid skills through their First Aid for Parent sessions.
Kiraly and Prue, both mothers and registered nurses, were working as Parentmedic educators for two and four years respectively when the national business split into franchises in early 2020. They decided to take on the challenge of running the Victorian franchise.
“We agreed together that Parentmedic Victoria should be taken on by someone more than purely business-minded, who knows what it’s all about and has first-hand experience. So we went for it, and here we are nearly 12 months later!” Kiraly says.
Their aim? To reach as many parents in Victoria as possible through their network of local educators.
“We all know that babies don’t come with an instruction manual, and there is no official accredited first aid course for young children, so we are trying to bridge that gap,” Prue says.
They believe that every parent deserves to have the skills and knowledge to save their child’s life.
“Our ultimate goal is to work towards making these sessions accessible to every parent, regardless of socioeconomic or linguistic background, and – ideally – for it to be free.”
Kiraly and Prue took on the Victorian arm (known as a “pod”) just as COVID-19 was ramping up, so they had to instantly innovate and adapt to the changes imposed by restrictions. The original in-home sessions allowed parents to have educators come to them at home.
“This made our sessions much more accessible – no need to hire a babysitter, you can sit at home in your pajamas! But with the risk of COVID-19 this was no longer an option.”
At the same time, children were home more often and a wave of parents wanted to know how they could be prepared for any first aid incidents. Respiratory symptoms required a COVID-19 test and many had to wait four to five days for a result in order to see a GP.
An online component had been in development for a couple of years, but COVID-19 accelerated its implementation. A lot of time and effort was devoted to getting the digital modules up and running in 2020. To meet demand, Parentmedic designed the online product to be as flexible as possible. The idea was to suit parents’ needs and lifestyles in a new digital landscape.
“We felt that the usual two-hour sessions weren’t going to be beneficial or suitable, so we developed self-paced modules that parents with children from newborn to 12-months could complete in their own time.”
With little to no business experience, Kiraly and Prue embarked on a steep learning curve. They were faced with juggling business operations, marketing, and staff management. When the chance to work with Peter from the BRRM initiative arose, they jumped at the opportunity.
“We have our medical and nursing backgrounds, so we know the health side of things, but we didn’t know the business side of things.
“The mentoring program was an invaluable opportunity to get ourselves started in business, get some support, and ensure that we were on the right track, which during COVID-19 was very hard to do.”
Peter, who came highly recommended, helped to structure and streamline their business and daily operations so they could optimise their energy and resources. They developed a business plan, refined their goals and strategies and worked out who, where, and how to target their marketing.
“He gave us ideas for the setup of the website, which is currently still in the works, as well as implement remaining updates and set up analytics,” Kiraly says.
“Time management was a big thing for us. We had to learn not only how to run a business remotely, but how to balance that with our family lives.”
Peter’s mentoring also helped to develop Parentmedic’s partnership network, identifying and consolidating relationships with potential referral sources and partners.
“We created more brand awareness and learned to encourage our own educators to promote the brand as well – as they ARE the brand, we need them to take the steps as well as Prue and myself,” Kiraly says.
One of the biggest contributions that Peter made was the concept of adding value by creating a Parentmedic family that previous customers could join. With his assistance, they developed a quarterly newsletter. They tested methods of customer feedback. Free refresher session vouchers were also introduced for parents who wanted to repeat the course in the future.
“We needed to put out there as clearly as possible – we are here to help and support. Whenever you’ve got a question, you’ve got our social media platforms, our email, and our phone numbers. We worked out the best ways to benefit parents and add value to the customer experience.”
Kiraly and Prue’s biggest concern about reopening after COVID was that people would be too anxious to let Parentmedic into their homes.
“To combat this, we introduced 2:1 session with just a couple and an educator. Given the financial difficulties of last year, we also wanted to make it as affordable as possible to make this vital service accessible – Peter showed us how not to undervalue our services, and gave us ways to keep it affordable while still profitable.”
Recently Kiraly and Prue attended the Pregnancy Babies and Children Expo (PBCE) in Melbourne and were pleasantly surprised by how far word of their business had traveled.
“It was great to see how many people did know our name, and also to bring those who hadn’t into the fold of awareness.”
The future now looks promising for Kiraly and Prue’s new franchise business. Through continuing to offer online learning modules and smaller group sessions, Parentmedic Victoria has transformed and become more adaptable and accessible to all.
With Mothers’ Day coming up, now is the perfect time to purchase the new mother in your life a Parentmedic Victoria gift voucher for a 2-hour first aid online or in-person session– see their website or social media platforms for more information!
Find out more about the Business Resilience and Recovery Mentoring (BRRM) initiative.