Image: Denise with Duncan Banatine who invested in Razzamataz after she appeared on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2007.
The pandemic has caused consumers to live differently, buy differently and think differently. It has also massively changed people’s priorities, which is why as a business we have learnt to adapt to their ever-changing needs.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools is a franchise network that places customers at the heart of all we do. As the franchisor, we advise, support and train franchisees across the UK on how to run their theatre schools. The key lesson that we instill in them is that they must connect with their customers and their communities.
While this has always been at the heart of our ethos, it is even more relevant now with people placing a greater emphasis on supporting local businesses. We must also appreciate that parents and families have gone through a very difficult year and we must be able to show them our support and that we truly care about them and their children.
As a Head Office, we ensure that we are always communicating with our franchisees and, in turn, encourage them to communicate with their customers. From a practical point of view, this means we ensure that we provide lots of template documents and social media updates so franchisees can personalise them easily to their own school.
With more than twenty years’ experience of running theatre schools and working with franchisees, I’ve learnt that in business, hard work always pays off. We have franchisees who have no experience in the performing arts industry but are still really successful. The only thing that our most successful theatre school owners share is their commitment to learn, positive attitude and their desire and drive to be successful.
I also firmly believe that you won’t be successful in your business in you are not truly passionate about it. Although I’ve been doing this for more than twenty years, I still get really excited when new opportunities present themselves. To work in a sector that combines performing arts and children’s education is a real privilege and I will never take it for granted. The franchisees that we invite into the network must share this passion; we can give them all the training and practical guidance they need to run a theatre school but the commitment to improve young people’s lives through performing arts must come from them.
Finally, I strongly believe that you must be open to change and adapt where necessary. This year has shown us all that there can be huge rewards if you are willing to adapt to the situation around you. If you truly believe that your business can benefit the community don’t be afraid to shout about it. Children and families need the support of activity providers now more than ever so keep communicating the positive benefits with case studies and testimonials to show the many ways in which we can provide increased opportunities for young people.
What is a franchise?
Walk along any UK high street, pick up any product or think of a service and chances are that they will be part of a successful franchise brand. A franchise is a business that gives the right to another person to sell goods or services using its name in exchange for a franchise fee. In return, that individual will receive training, marketing and support to become part of the network.
Different levels of investment
Every franchise has a different level of investment. Brands such as McDonald’s, Domino’s and Starbucks can cost up to £300,000 pricing it out of reach for many people. Razzamataz is a low investment franchise, costing between under £8,000 to under £10,000 although the return on investment is excellent.
How much money can I make?
Franchisees at Razzamataz report six figure turnover and 70% gross profit. Unlike many other franchise networks, the management fee is just 10%. As a long-term investment, the franchise offers huge potential. One franchise school is currently on the market for sale for £200k, having been purchased ten years ago for just under £10,000.
How to fund a franchise
Razzamataz Theatre Schools has been a successful business for more than twenty years. This means that many high street banks are willing to lend to potential franchisees because individual success has been proved time and time again. Razzamataz has easy access to funding via Barclays, offering many people the opportunity to join the network.
Barclays has a specific department to help franchisees. Whatever bank you choose to go with, make sure this is the department you speak to. Services offered at Barclays include:
Funding for start-ups, multi-operator and re-sales.
Loans tailored to your unique franchise requirements.
Free banking for twelve months to help you get your franchise off the ground.
Bespoke pricing, pre-determined lending rates and unsecured finance options.
Where to start researching your franchise
The Internet and social media is a great first point of contact. After that, you need to dig a lot deeper and meet the franchisor and other franchisees. Discovery Dens are informal meetings between the franchisor and potential franchisee to learn more about each other and whether they are a good fit. Before embarking on a Discovery Den, it is advisable to do some initial research so you can get lots out of the meeting and leave with a clear understanding of whether you want to take the next steps.
What to expect from a Discovery Den at Razzamataz
Currently, all Discovery Dens are held virtually. You can meet the team from the comfort of your own home. However, this doesn’t mean the experience is any less thorough and you are encouraged to ask lots of questions and you will find out more about franchising in general, what training and support you will be given at Razzamataz and to find out if you are suitable to run your own theatre school.
What to expect
- Meet the Head Office team.
- Meet other franchisees.
- Speak to our Founder Denise.
- Learn more about franchising.
- Find out about being a theatre school owner.
- Get the inside scoop on Dragons’ Den.
- Tips for would-be entrepreneurs.
- Find out about new opportunities.
- Huge savings and discounts available for the right candidates
What to ask the franchisor
Denise Hutton-Gosney is the MD and Founder of Razzamataz Theatre Schools. She has been a franchisor since 2007, giving her years’ of experience supporting franchisees. These are her top tips on how to prepare and what questions to ask:
Visit the franchisor’s website and read through all prospectuses and marketing material. Check out social media and in particular, testimonials from customers and other franchisees.
Have a list of questions prepared before you go. At Razzamataz, our Discovery Dens are very thorough and we usually cover all questions during the presentation but it is best to be prepared.
Think about your own skills and experience and what you can bring to the role. At Razzamataz, we have a stringent vetting system to only recruit the very best to ensure the high standards of our schools.
Why franchise when you could be an independent?
This is a question that is often asked before people truly understand what it takes to run a theatre school. Michaela Crumpton, franchisee Razzamataz Bristol North and South says: “Many people have said to me ‘why are you part of a franchise?’ ‘Why not set up independently’. These are all great questions and to an outsider it would be the obvious thing to be independent. But let me explain why I believe I’ve survived a year of turbulence and feel stronger. Being part of a franchise has been like having a whole family holding me up. Looking at many of our independent competitors, they have either vanished or been dormant for the last twelve months. I can’t recommend Razzamataz enough. Their support has been incredible and it even inspired me to take on another school during lockdown.”
Join our team
Join our multi-award winning team. We are looking for dynamic and passionate partners to own a Razzamataz Theatre School! Contact us on 07821 122242 or by visiting firstname.lastname@example.org and speak with us about our business opportunity to become a Razzamataz Principal today.
All training is done remotely from the comfort of your own home!
Occasionally franchise territories come up for re-sale due to a change in the franchisees’ personal circumstances or simply because they have decided to sell their asset and reap the rewards of their hard work. These re-sale schools very rarely stay on the market for long, so if you are interested, don’t delay in contacting us. Re-sale schools in:
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Horsham, West Sussex
Derby, East Midlands
Facebook: @RTSLtd ~ Instagram: @razzschools
Twitter: @razzschools ~ LinkedIn: Razzamataz Theatre Schools
Franchise lingo If you are new to franchising, here are some of the main terms that you need to be familiar with:
Franchise: the right given by one business to another to sell goods using its name
Franchisee: a business that agrees to manufacture, distribute or sell branded products under the licence of a franchisor
Franchisor: a business that gives franchisees the right to manufacture, distribute or sell its branded products in return for a fixed sum of money or royalty payment
Operations Manual: a document that contains all of the information necessary for the franchisee to be able to operate the business.
Exclusive Territory: a geographically defined area inside which a franchisee can operate.