Many people opt for the franchise route to have more control over their own future. Whether that is being able to work around children or other reasons, having a flexible business is an increasingly popular option.
Michael French, the Principal of Razzamataz Barnet first became a franchisee in April 2012. Before opening his Razzamataz Theatre School, Michael was a professional performer, working on the West End stage and with commercial artists such as George Michael.
Today, Michael combines being a theatre school Principal with his own performing and TV work and has just resigned his franchise agreement for a further five years.
"Having worked in musical theatre for 12 years I needed to move on, but I wanted to stay in the same industry which I love. I decided to renew because I am happy with how my school is running and I am happy with the support and help from the network. Having the flexibility of putting in the hours I want, when I want, has enabled me stay in the industry I love and has allowed me to continuing performing."
Being part of the network for five years, Michael has seen how the Razzamataz brand has developed. Over the years the business has launched a new website, had incredible partnerships with the likes of The Stage newspaper, First Choice, Eurocamp, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Disney and Universal Studios and grown in size with more schools opening across the UK.
"Razzamataz Head Office has evolved massively over the years and the support I now receive gets better annually. Year upon year feedback is given and taken on and therefore we grow as a network with the aid of Head Office."
As well as increased partnerships that benefit franchisees, Razzamataz has been able to offer students more opportunities such as partnering up with a talent agency.
"One of our students, Tamara Smart, has recently secured a leading role in The Worst Witch, a new CBBC television programme. This is a very high profile role and we are incredibly proud of her. As a business, this has really propelled Razzamataz Barnet into the spotlight with articles being published in most of the local papers. Watching our students in every performance is just a joy to be a part of and makes me feel like a proud father."
Without previous business knowledge, Michael turned to the franchise route to provide all the help he needed and he has no regrets:
"I would recommend a franchise business to anyone who is looking into opening a business but has no knowledge of how to do it. The biggest benefit of being part of a franchise is having a helping hand as to how, where, why and when we do things."
As well as watching his school grow on a weekly basis and seeing the improvements in his students, becoming a Razzamataz franchisee has inspired Michael to give back to the industry he loves. Michael is now the Razzamataz Future Fund Ambassador, the theatre school’s charity which provides grants for students going on to study performing arts at college or university.
So far the charity has awarded Razzamataz students more than £8,000 worth of Future Fund scholarships. This year, Michael was team captain for the Tough Mudder in Midlands, where Principals, staff and parents got soaked in ice water, crawled in mud and jumped over obstacles to raise funds.
"It was so amazing to see the lengths we can push ourselves for charity, team building and sheer achievement. I’m looking forward to further challenges and raising more money for our students with more Future Fund events."
Razzamataz is actively looking to open further schools across the UK and in particular Aberdeen and Cardiff, where the team will be holding Discovery Den days, which give people the opportunity to meet the Head Office team and find out more about this franchise opportunity.
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.
At Razzamataz's recent training week, three new franchisees who have bought franchise re-sales, joined the franchisees who are launching in new territories.
Razzamataz have a number of franchisees who are either former teachers or combining part-time teaching with being a Razzamataz franchisee.
I don’t have a business background so after deciding to retire from professionally performing it was the memories of Razzamataz on Dragons’ Den that set the wheels in motion. I was really inspired by the brand and the business model and because it is a franchise business we receive a lot of help and support from Head Office as well as on-going training so I can make Razzamataz Barnet the success that I believe it can be. In the last 12 months, I have doubled my student numbers in a very competitive market and I have now clear plans on how I would like my business to progress this year.Michael French, Razzamataz Barnet
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
The support from Head Office is fantastic and they are always there to listen and to guide you through. You are getting advertising/marketing ideas, contacts and systems provided for you that you may not have if you were to open an independent school.Amy Latchman, Razzamataz Rickmansworth.
TWO franchises for the price of ONE!
One of Dragons Den most successful investments!
Affordable part time performing arts lessons