Lauren Bill, principal of Razzamataz Weymouth, discusses her transition from teaching to successful business owner and how she balances it all with a young family
It’s been a challenging year for all businesses but with the support that a franchise offers, confidence for the future is strong with new franchisees joining and existing ones renewing their franchise agreement. Razzamataz Theatre Schools has five franchisees renewing their agreement this academic year – Razzamataz Leeds, Razzamataz Chester, Razzamataz Weymouth, Razzamataz Carlisle and Razzamataz Mansfield.
Lauren Bill, principal of Razzamataz Weymouth, discusses her transition from teaching to successful business owner and how she balances it all with a young family.
How many years are you celebrating?
Lauren: We launched in September 2011 so we are coming up to our 10-year anniversary at Razzamataz Weymouth.
What is your background?
Lauren: I achieved my degree in dance and culture from the University of Surrey and then completed my PGCE in dance education straight after this. I was a dance lecturer at Weymouth College when I started my Razzamataz school and was quickly able to reduce my hours to part-time. Although I loved teaching, as the business grew, I knew that Razzamataz had my heart and I was able to leave my teaching position fully in 2015. The transition felt super smooth and, to sum it up in one word… right. I was able to fully focus on my business and growing the school to numbers I never thought possible and achieve a flexible work-life balance.
What do you love about your business?
Lauren: What I loved about teaching was the interaction with students, creativity in the studio and sharing my passion for the arts. I get all this and much more from running my business which I can manage to fit in with my lifestyle. I am free to decide my own working hours and set my own goals. It’s all the benefits of teaching but on your own terms. And I love it.
What are you most proud of?
Lauren: It’s so difficult to narrow this down! The last ten years have honestly been beyond anything I could have dreamed. My biggest achievement has to be the life skills we offer the students at Razzamataz Weymouth. Not only do they learn to sing, dance and act but they develop their confidence, build self-esteem, make friends, and become part of a team. For me, the true joy in running my business is watching my students improve, develop and grow into lovely young people.
Why did you decide to renew your franchise agreement?
Lauren: I don’t ever want to stop! Razzamataz is my full-time job, I work for myself and I love it. It was a huge step when I was able to take my business into an afternoon school as well as morning. This also meant I had the financial ability to hire a facility I am so proud of.
What are the benefits of being part of the Razzamataz network?
Lauren: The Razzamataz network is full of incredibly talented principals who all share the same set of passions and goals. What is amazing is how much everybody supports each other and how willing everybody is to share their business wins and learnings. For example, I’ve been able to launch an additional class called Project Intense following the model set by Razzamataz Medway, which has added an extra revenue stream for me and valuable additional training for my students.
What is your work-life balance like?
Lauren: Working for yourself and mainly from home has its positives and challenges. Over the last 10 years, I’ve trained myself to be more productive with my time and work smarter, not harder. What I love the most is that since my little girl Amelia has come along, I know I can fit my schedule around family time. I’m free to do the school run and fit work around her activities and needs. It does sometimes mean I have to work in the evenings or early in the morning but to be honest, I’m ok with that. I love the flexibility of my work.
What are your plans for the future?
Lauren: I’d like to continue offering more and more for my Razzamataz Weymouth students. Additional classes to further develop their training are definitely on the horizon and perhaps an after school weekday set of classes.