You many think you have to buy a franchise and build up from nothing but that’s not always the case. Some people opt to purchase an established franchise business and focus their energies on improving where the previous owners left off.
Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall bought Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield in June 2015. At the time of purchase, the school had just 38 students and now has grown to an astonishing 228 students in just over two years.
"It was my dream to own my own theatre school ever since I was in primary school. When we heard about the opportunity to buy Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield we decided to just go for it. It was never our intention to buy a re-sale franchise but it came up at the right time for us and we knew the school had huge potential."
One of the first things Nick and Gemma did when taking over was to build relationships between themselves and the staff and customers who were already at the school as Nick explains:
"We were really keen to show the staff and customers that we were willing to listen to their ideas and take on board any feedback. We listened to their concerns about having new owners and made a huge effort to take the time for them to get to know, like and trust us."
Although Nick and Gemma were quick to spot the growth potential that Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield had, even they have been surprised about how quickly their business has blossomed:
"We knew we could build a vibrant theatre school with lots of students but the speed in which it has happened has really surprised us. Being part of an established franchise with all the power of the brand that is behind us has really propelled our growth. As well as our local marketing, we have the support of the national brand with a wonderful website and strong google and social media campaigns. This is something that we could not do as individuals and certainly not in the same time frame."
Whether you are buying an existing Razzamataz Theatre School or a brand new franchise, the training you will receive will enable you to be a confident owner of a performing arts school. Every aspect will be covered from PR & Marketing, through to the latest in child legislation and practical info on how to lead your team and manage behaviour in class.
For Nick and Gemma, the direction that the school is taking is enabling them to be able to embrace every aspect of Razzamataz:
"We currently have a Tuesday PM school, a Saturday AM school and in 2018, we will expanding to a Saturday PM school too. We have lots of opportunities within the school and are also getting involved with the large-scale events that Razzamataz Head Office is offering including performing at the Indigo, 02 in London. We also actively raise money for the Razzamataz charity Future Fund and were extremely proud to have one of our students receive a scholarship from the Future Fund to attend performing arts college. Last year we raised some money through participating in Wolf Run, a very muddy obstacle course. We loved it so much that we are back this year with a team double the size!"
"Talk to everyone involved in the business and use this as a chance to show how great you can make the school when you take on board their feedback. We really didn’t change very many things but what we did do is make the culture very positive and try to lead by example. We are very proud that the ethos and general atmosphere at Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield is warm, welcoming and we have instilled a belief in all our students that they can achieve with the right mind-set and hard work."
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.
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.
Shanley Booth launched Razzamataz Derby in 2007 and has renewed her franchise agreement for a further five years.
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.
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 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
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.
One of Dragons Den most successful investments!
TWO franchises for the price of ONE!
Affordable part time performing arts lessons