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“If you want a flexible business to work around your lifestyle or if you are a parent of young children, then this is a great franchise to be a part of”

“If you want a flexible business to work around your lifestyle or if you are a parent of young children, then this is a great franchise to be a part of”

Michael French, owner of Razzamataz Barnet, opened his school in April 2012 and has just signed on for a further five years

The beginning
“I trained as a singer, dancer and actor and was lucky enough to work in musical theatre at the West End and perform all over the UK and overseas. I was doing a show in the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton and was in my early 30s and I remember looking in the mirror and thinking that I didn’t have a plan moving forward and my performing days were coming to an end. I knew a couple of people in the Razzamataz network, and they spoke very highly of it. I also remember Denise on Dragons’ Den, so I made the decision to change my life.”

Worries or concerns
“I had absolutely no business experience but that is why I went down the franchise route. I knew nothing about advertising, building a market, creating a customer base, retaining customers or all the other things that it takes to build a school. Although I had no experience of franchising, I was reassured that there would be people to support me through the whole experience.”

Start of the journey
“There was a lot to take in initially. It’s a bit of a shock to the system to start with but I just followed the step-by-step plan. There’s so much to learn but little by little it becomes second nature.”

Typical day
“As well as Razzamataz, I also run a football franchise and still work professionally, although I pick and choose my jobs because my focus is on the businesses. The huge benefit with Razzamataz is that it is so flexible and can be worked around other commitments.”

Questions to ask a franchisor
“Understand the level of support you are going to receive. I can say, hand on heart, the level of support at Razzamataz is outstanding. Find out who works in the head office and form a good working relationship with them. Also, make sure you understand the numbers, specifically the income and expenditure.”

Advice for others
“If you want a flexible business to work around your lifestyle or if you are a parent of young children, then this is a great franchise to be a part of. Make sure you visit other schools in the network and speak to principals to find out exactly what is involved.”

What have you learnt
“Take on board all of the training and go for it. In business, you must be patient because challenges will crop up. Learning to deal with them in a humble way will result in success and will make you a better business person.”

Highlights and rewards
“I love the fact that I can give people with a passion for performing arts work as part of my team. Going in every week to see the kids and staff is a real highlight and being part of the Razzamataz franchise has led to many fantastic opportunities for them including performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End and the 02 in London. We’ve also had a number of students that have gone on to work professionally, including Tamara Smart who has starred in a number of movies and TV shows such as The Worst Witch, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, Resident Evil and Artemis Fowl.”

Looking to the future
“I’m about to become a dad so the importance of providing activities that children benefit from is even more significant to me. I’m focused on continuing to grow the school after the challenges of the last two years and having a successful and stable business that works around the life that I have created.”

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Expected Revenue After 2 Years

Circa £50,000

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