Lauren Bill opened Razzamataz Weymouth in September 2011 and recently celebrated the franchise's 10-year anniversary
Mum to her young daughter, Lauren Bill is a founding member of the All Stars Academy, an exciting initiative to grow the network further and give franchisees exclusive access to high-profile coaches and special events and incentives.
We’ve been lucky enough to take part in many of the Razzamataz network opportunities including performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Disneyland Paris, and London’s 02. These have all been amazing and it has been wonderful to see the students grow in confidence after taking part in these events. But the most special moments have been being part of the lives of our students and families. We have lots of children who started with us as Minis at the age of four and they are still with us today. It has been a privilege to be part of their childhood and watch them grow up.
Skills needed to be a theatre school owner
You need to be self-motivated and have a love and passion for the arts. It doesn’t matter what your background is because Razzamataz will give you all the training you need, but it is important that you like working with young people, and that you are a good communicator. You should also be keen to learn and grow yourself to build your business.
There have been a lot of changes personally since I invested in the franchise. When I first launched, I was working as a teacher in a special needs school and a dance lecturer at a local college. Although I loved all these roles, I reached a crossroads in 2015 where I decided to take a leap of faith and work for myself full time through Razzamataz. With the support I received from the head office, I was able to make this transition and my work now fits around my life as a mum. Although I have had lots of changes to my life personally by getting married and becoming a parent, my business is flexible and can fit around my lifestyle.
Becoming part of the All Stars Academy
When I was invited to become a founding member, I was really interested in the opportunity to develop my own skillset further. When you have been doing something for a while, there is a risk that you perform on autopilot, and I wanted to challenge myself and see how far I could push myself. There are also great financial incentives and I want to take my daughter to Florida, so this is a great goal to aim for. We’ve already had lots of interesting coaching including LinkedIn training and business sessions and I’m looking forward to the public speaking and Tik Tok training.
Building the business
Being part of the All Stars Academy has already opened up the world of LinkedIn, which will help with staff recruitment and school workshops. Overall, it has given me more confidence to go to more networking events and meet new people to discover how we can work together.
Razzamataz constantly evolves and is brilliant at creating opportunities that will develop current franchisees. They understand what’s going on in our industry and keeping us current and there is always something new to be a part of if we want to.
Being part of a franchise
I still get asked why I didn’t just open my own theatre school but the support we receive from the head office and the network is just brilliant and I couldn’t do it without them. We have this network of incredibly talented people with unique strengths and all are happy to share their knowledge, which is amazing. It is like having one hundred brains instead of one.
We are looking to open more after school classes and get out and about in the community more now we are allowed. We want to offer our young students Project Intense to improve their technical training and are really focussed on building our staff and offering them increased training opportunities to further build their confidence and the talent of the school.
If you are considering investing in a franchise, be very realistic about your finances and how much it will cost to get the business up and running. Understand how much time you will need to commit and speak to someone in the network to see a business in action and find out about their journey.