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,” says Nick. “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,” adds Nick. “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,” says Nick. “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!”
Resale franchise top tips
Nick says: “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.”