How to run a theatre school with no experience
Mum of two Georgia Davies had been running her own businesses for 22 years. After more than a year of speaking to Razzamataz, she decided to take the plunge and open her own theatre school franchise and has never looked back.
I had run a number of businesses in the fitness and retail sectors before but was looking for something with more flexibility and that could offer a fun environment for my customers. I have no experience in the performing arts, so I had many conversations before I joined the network to ensure this would be something that I could really do.
I had spent a long time researching flexible or part time businesses; and arrived at the conclusion that a franchise would be ideal because a lot of the leg work has already been done. It could take months to find out small things and is very easy to make expensive mistakes. Without a performing arts background, I knew that I would need support and it is not just the Head Office that I turn to; the network has so much experience and are very willing to share. When I researched what was available, I really liked the Razzamataz brand and the fact that it was creating a business which encouraged children to grow in self-confidence in a happy and secure environment.
This was a worry for me initially because a lot of other Principals are former professional performers from the West End stage. But then I thought about the skills I have such as being able to structure and plan my work load, being organised and understanding how business works. If I can’t do something myself, then I find someone who can.
My school was a re-sale business, so I already had many things in place. I have gone on to make lots of changes including the venue and staff but initially it was a comfort to have a tried and tested set up. The flexibility that Razzamataz offers is the key for me. I can go for coffee or doctor’s appointment, meet my friends or do something with the children and work around my commitments. I have continued doing other things as well as Razz and although it is busy, it is all doable.
The support network is fantastic. I can message anyone in the franchise for advice and my mentor Charlotte has been absolutely brilliant – she’s available 24/7 and gets back to me within minutes. Denise is so knowledgeable and can tell me if an idea will or won’t work, which saves me loads of time worrying about it. The branding, advertising and the general messages that are put out by the Head Office also creates a reassuring environment for parents. They know there is a franchise behind me so this acts like a safety net for them and they understand what they are getting.
What advice can you give
I was really worried in the beginning because I have experienced the highs and lows of business. It took me a long time to commit – more than a year and a half. But during this time, I was in regular contact with Razzamataz with lots of questions and throughout, they never pushed me to decide and always answered my questions and provided everything I needed to make the decision feel right for me. Be prepared to put in the hard work but this is a proven formula and if you follow it, there is no reason why you can’t succeed
Value and rewards
I really enjoy popping in to the classes to see how the students have improved. I have had children who were so incredibly shy that they would just stay at the back and rarely lift their head but now they are confidently performing on stage. Financially, this is a great job to have because you can be flexible and be your own boss as well as provide a service that brings a lot of joy to so many people.
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. To celebrate 20 years in business, we currently have a 50% off the franchise fee, first term management fee free PLUS we pay your VAT. Just quote PR2020.