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bfa Scottish case study Amanda Birnie, franchisee Razzamataz Glasgow North

bfa Scottish case study Amanda Birnie, franchisee Razzamataz Glasgow North

Amanda has been part of the Razzamataz network for the last 13 years, firstly as a dance teacher and then as a franchisee approximately nine years ago. Since lockdown, Amanda has seen a huge growth in student numbers and has ambitious growth plans.

How did you find franchising?

I had been a dance teacher running an independent school while I was teaching at Razzamataz. After my first child, I had a mini stroke and found out I had a heart condition. This resulted in various hospital procedures and operations, and I suffered major anxiety, all while looking after a new baby and trying to run my dance school. I realised that I would have to walk away from the business because there was no support available, but I continued to teach at Razzamataz. When the opportunity arose to invest into a Razzamataz franchise, I soon learnt that the set up was very different and it gave me the community I was looking for.

Why did you choose your brand?

I love the Razzamataz ethos of supporting children through performing arts and giving them wonderful opportunities. I loved teaching at the schools and the family atmosphere that is created, it is not just about the performing arts, we do so much to enrich children’s lives and help them to build confidence. Although running a dance school on my own became overwhelming when I got sick, I knew how much support and training was offered at Razzamataz, so I felt much more confident to go ahead.

How has running a franchise changed your life?
I always wanted to run my own school but being part of a franchise has enabled me to learn such a huge amount. I realised that when I was an independent, there were so many parts of running a busines that I simply didn’t know, the franchise training and support really opened my eyes to just how much work there is to ensure you are successful. I’ve had a few personal challenges, but because I’ve had support from Head Office and the network, I’ve still been able to successfully run and grow my school.

What top tips would you give to someone considering a franchise opportunity?

You must thoroughly do your research and find out about the management fee and what that gives you. Speak to other franchisees in the network and look on social media to see if the franchise has a good reputation. At Razzamataz, we get access to so much training through our Conference, regional events and ongoing webinars and the network is really encouraging, making you proactive and dedicated to growing your school.

What does the future hold for you and your franchise?

We plan to expand during the week and take on more classes on a Saturday. It is important to me that we maintain our high standards of customer service and the excellent reputation we have built in the community. We also have lots of exciting performance opportunities for students, helping to make magical memories for families.

How has franchising helped your local community?

The power of being part of a large and successful network means that we can offer students incredible opportunities that I couldn’t do as an independent. These include performing on a West End theatre stage and numerous masterclasses with industry professionals. We also try and give back where possible by being involved in the Christmas Lights Switch on events and fundraising for local charities. I also go into a special needs nursery to adapt one of our classes for the younger children and lead a health week in a local school to give children the opportunity to learn how to take care of their bodies and minds. We also give a child the chance to attend our school completely free of charge for a year with our scholarship in association with The Stage newspaper.

What is your biggest achievement to date as a franchisee?

During Covid, I had a lot of friends who ran independent schools call me in a panic about what to do. I had the support of the Head Office and network so not only were we able to survive, but we’ve also actually come back even bigger than before. So many businesses were forced to close, so I’m incredibly proud that not only are we still able to give children a place where they can have fun and learn new life skills each week, we also can continue giving lots of teachers, assistants and staff paid work in an area which they love.

Razzamataz Theatre Schools LTD

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