Mantis Motorcycling was started in 2014 after I found there was a gap in the market for quality inclusive tuition in Kent and near to London.
My local competitors seemed to have clearly lost a passion for riding and to them clients were simply a means to an end, I had heard that one local school was for sale and the “good will of the business “was not worth, in my opinion, the price asked for it. This is where I decided to start my own School, I had the experience in running a business previously having been a manager for a large retail chain of hairdressers and then later on running my own salon, so understood the basic principles of running a business, put together a business plan, worked out how I would fund the business, i.e. keep my start-up low and make sure I knew how much I need to clear each week to cover my outgoings, and then build from there. Thus Mantis Motorcycling was born.
So why Mantis Motorcycling?
It is simple really, I wanted a name that was dynamic, catchy, and could be a BRAND rather than an area. Being a mum I got collared by the kids for new pets and they had a praying mantis. There had also been a wonderful picture I remember seeing in the national press of a Mantis sitting on a fern that was just opening up, and it looked like the little guy was riding a sports bike, beautiful simple, clean, yet a powerful image.
To me my business is one of my babies and I am willing to invest into it just as I would one of my kids, so I’m constantly looking for good clean motorbikes, I keep on top of maintenance routines and ride all my own bikes regularly, so I know exactly what I am putting students on. I like to make people as comfortable as possible.
To me clients are very important, you can spend a ton on advertising but nothing beats word of mouth and social media is now the biggest mouth piece of all.
We are also very lucky to have James Sanderson from Kent fire bike team as one of our instructors too, and strongly support the fire bike team’s efforts to bring free first aid training to bikers in Kent. This is just one thing we do to be head and shoulders above other schools.
We have recently invested in tablet technology to make learning more interactive for students with video tutorials, cameras on bikes to be able to instantly review riders. We are also up to date with safety equipment, actively promoting Kevlar hoodies and jeans for practical yet safe riding; this also helps to support local businesses, whom in return have realised the value in supporting our business too.
This tit for tat attitude along with going the extra mile for students is what is producing a long line of amazing reviews from students, compared to other schools. My philosophy is to actually get students enjoying themselves, and actually riding, our students cover on average between 80-120 miles a day, while other schools may only cover a mere 30!
The other thing I pride myself on is trying to make sure that my instructors are happy too and of the highest quality, being prepared to expand their skill set to other discipline’s is important too, hence this is why James is an IAMS national observer, Connor is a blood biker taking essential bloods to hospitals as a volunteer, Andrew has been a London based courier and has a wealth of experience with people with special needs.
I myself hold an ACU racing licence and a MAS racing licence, I am currently training to join the register for post-test examiners, and I have invitations to try trials and motor cross.
So why do I do it?
Basically I am unemployable, being a mum to 4 great kids I have 2 with special needs and working for myself gives me a freedom to work and fit in my responsibilities, I feel this makes for a more personal experience and I understand the importance of realising that all my students are different, and that CBT (compulsory basic training) is just the start, we have so much more to offer such as advance tuition, back to biking refreshers, cornering sessions, pillions and a whole heap more.
A successful business is about remembering to empower your client whether it be with a great cup of coffee or amazing experience while learning, it’s about supporting other people and taking time with each client.