Buying a franchise business is popular with a diverse group of people but for some, the security of buying an existing franchise business is even more appealing.
Razzamataz Theatre School is a franchise business that shot to prominence in 2007 after an investment from Duncan Bannantyne on BBC’s Dragons’ Den. There are more than 40 part-time theatre schools up and down the country with more opening each year. At the company’s recent training week, three new franchisees who have bought existing businesses, known as franchise re-sales, joined the franchisees who are launching in new territories.
Kirsty Reid, Principal of Razzamataz Ayr, Chloe Lee, Principal of Razzamataz Chester and Zoe Mckibbin, Principal of Razzamataz Edinburgh have just completed an intensive training week where they attended sessions with industry experts in every aspect of running a theatre school. These included: PR and Marketing, Health and Safety, Social Media, Recruitment, Insurance, Financial and many more.
Chloe completed her professional dance and musical theatre training at the Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre, Liverpool. Chloe worked for Razzamataz Overseas and as a teacher for three years before becoming a Principal at Razzamataz Chester.
"Being part of a franchise has the advantage of people already knowing the name and the brand. Wherever I go and I mention Razzamataz, generally people have at least heard of it. Whereas if I were to set up a small business on my own, the public wouldn't know the brand and probably wouldn't have the same level of loyalty and trust in the company as they do with a well known brand like Razzamataz."
When the chance arose to buy Razzamataz Chester, where Chloe was working as a teacher, it was too good an opportunity to turn down:
"Buying an established business has its advantages that you’re not starting from scratch. The aim is always to grow as a business, but the ground work has already been put in and it’s simply a case of expanding on where the last Principal left off."
Whether you are buying a new or existing business, the level of information you have to take on board at training is extremely detailed:
"With a resale you have that extra bit of support from the previous Principal because they know specifically how things work in your area. Even though I have years of experience in teaching, it's still a big step going from teacher to Principal. But I learnt a lot during training about all of the background work that goes into running a successful business and I know it’s going to keep me very busy which is great.
I will be targeting a lot of local events to give the students as many opportunities as I can which will drastically improve their performance skills and confidence. Our kids love to perform, and I feel it’s important to give them as many opportunities as possible."
Zoe originally wanted to set up her own drama school but after talking to other people who had run their own business and then bought into a franchise, she quickly changed her mind.
"When I realised all the benefits that come with being part of a franchise, it was an easy decision. For me it is all about the support and the training that we receive; you don’t have to figure it all out yourself. I feel confident that this business is going to work because there are already successful and profitable schools in the network."
In terms of buying a re-sale Zoe was keen to have the security that an existing business brings:
"It feels safer than starting completely from scratch because I know that my school already makes a profit and I just need to hit the ground running and work on what is already there."
Zoe is looking forward to stamping her own creative style on Razzamataz Edinburgh as she explains:
"I come from a different creative background than the original owner so I’m hoping to put a fresh spin on the performances and just the general creative output of the school."
Kirsty has just become the new owner at Razzamataz Ayr and is looking forward to making her mark on her business.
"Although I don’t have the pressure of starting completely from scratch, my school is still quite small so I have quickly got to know all the students and parents who have all been very supportive of me as the new Principal.
I have found that I’ve saved a lot of time and worry because everything is already in place and the marketing support and the design and brand guidelines are really beneficial. Clearly it all works because there are so many successful schools in the network and many of the other Principals have reached out to me to offer support."
Having been established for 16 years, Razzamataz has a small number of part-time theatre schools as re-sales. These established businesses have a great reputation in their community with a loyal customer base.
Many people have have found a rewarding long term career through franchising with Razzamataz Theatre Schools.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools franchise, with almost 50 schools throughout the UK, has many retired performers as Principals.
Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall bought Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield in June 2015.
Jessica Chandler Smith has seen her Razzamataz franchise in Brentwood achieve huge success in just a few short weeks.
Lauren Kirkbride joined Razzamataz Theatre Schools as a student and now runs her own franchise.
The new Principals at Razzamataz are all set for their September openings after completing a week long extensive training session.
Michael French launched Razzamataz Barnet in April 2012 and has recently renewed his franchise agreement for a further five years.
Debbi Ledwith, Principal of Razzamataz Newbury, launched her school to allow her to spend more time with her three children.
Proving that age is really just a number, Pam Dixon, has run her Razzamataz Theatre Schools franchise since 2008.
Charlotte Young, the Principal of Razzamataz West Cumbria first became a franchisee in October 2006.
The Razzamataz Theatre Schools network continues to grow with the launch of two new London schools as well as a school in the North East.
Razzamataz have a number of franchisees who are either former teachers or combining part-time teaching with being a Razzamataz franchisee.
Buying into a franchise is an excellent way to begin running your own business. You have all the benefits of working for yourself but the added support and proven success of a well established and recognised brand. For a person new to business, it is ideal.Helen Green, Razzamataz Sheffield
It was 10 years ago that I left hairdressing and for anyone thinking that it is too late to change their careers I would say step out of your comfort zone and just do it. I never thought I would be able to and it’s the best thing I have done and wished I’d done it years ago!Pam Dixon, Razzamataz Dumfries
I specifically wanted to go for a franchise, and in particular Razzamataz because of the support from Head Office and other Principals. This is a network of theatre school owners so you are in business for yourself but not by yourself.Alison Beveridge, Razzamataz Durham.
TWO franchises for the price of ONE!
Affordable part time performing arts lessons
One of Dragons Den most successful investments!