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.
Chloe Lee, principal of Razzamataz Chester
Chloe Lee, age 23, 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,” explains Chloe. “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,” she says. “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,” says Chloe. “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 Mckibbin, principal of Razzamataz Edinburgh
Zoe Mckibbin age 23 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,” says Zoe. 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,” she adds.
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 Reid, principal of Razzamataz Ayr
Kirsty Reid, age 21, 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,” she says.
“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,” says Kirsty. “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. To find out if there is anything in your area, visit http://www.razzamataz.co.uk/franchise-opps/resales/