Principal returns to first love as theatre school owner
Michaela Crumpton is the Principal of Razzamataz Bristol South, having taken the leap from the school’s singing teacher to taking over the business.
I have been through a range of jobs, for many years working in retail after being told by the school careers adviser to go down this path when I told her of my desire to sing and perform for a living. From there I went to work for the police as a traffic warden and then went on a career break to sing in Tenerife for three years. On coming back to the UK I did my Post Graduate Musical Theatre course while working as a receptionist. I took on the role of vocal coach for Razzamataz Bristol before taking the plunge to become Principal.
As a former Razzamataz teacher, I already had a small understanding of the business. What has made this more important is the support from Head Office and the other Principals. No question is too silly to ask and as the resident ‘tech dinosaur’ I don’t feel I can’t ask that weird question. I could never have grown my school from 69 to 104 students in just over 12 months if I hadn’t had the support and brand power that Razzamataz gives you.
All of my jobs have been front facing, being interactive with the public and offering a service. I think my background in dealing with the public has been really helpful as I really enjoy helping others. I think I found I was frustrated in most of my employment as I became a number rather than a person.
You can fit Razzamataz into your time table. I would be honest and say that it is more work than I initially thought, but the extra work comes as you grow. If you want to grow your business then you need to put more time in. When you have a family you can make Razzamataz fit in too. I’m able to get my daughter ready for school and then go to muck out the stables, knowing that I’m not running back to a 9 to 5 job. I have given up my Reception job of 17 years and took on a local part time job which means I have more time. My goal is to be able to be full time in the next two years, which will allow me to have more time for my business, my family and peruse other hobbies. Making my work/life balance weigh heavier on the life side of the scales is what I’m looking to make a reality.
I want to make my staff, students and parents feel like they matter. Taking an interest in others as a whole person has been really helpful. I do need to remember that I can’t help everyone but taking just small steps to encourage can make a big difference. Of course my performance experience has been helpful, but I think my people based employment has been really important when talking to parents, keeping things real and personal.
Training and support
It was the idea that I couldn’t run a business that stopped me from taking up the offer a year before. I was asked five times about taking over the school before I took the plunge. Now I wish I had done it sooner! The training was really enlightening, I can’t say I understood it all, but there was constant support from my mentor and others who had been in my position. The advantage of webinars to watch and revisit is excellent. It’s when you re-watch these that you realise you actually know more than you thought. This gives you a boost to move on to the next goal.
What advice can you give
Believe that you can do it. Know that with Razzamataz you have all the tools you need to do the job. You have lots of support and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. Focus on the good things that you achieve and the lives that you touch. The benefits are great, not only financially but the freedom to run a business round you. The rewards of seeing children grow in confidence through the huge opportunities we offer are just immense. We have great on-going training and support, policies and procedures that are regularly updated and kept in-line with changes in the law. You can be confident that you are in safe hands and that your students and parents will benefit from this expertise.
Join our network
Do you have the desire needed to run your own theatre school? Speak to our friendly Head Office staff and find out how you can transfer your skills. We currently have an offer for interest free finance for exceptional candidates for the main Razzamataz franchise and a 50% offer for the Razzamataz Early Years franchise.