While many graduates are worried about securing their first job, there is a growing number of them who are shunning the traditional route to create their ideal working life from day one.
Graduate unemployment is high and about one-in-five graduates is reported to be in low or medium skilled jobs on average across the whole of the working population. With the rise in tuition fees, some business experts believe that students and their families might earmark some of the money for tuition fees to be used instead to fund a business.
“We have certainly seen many more young people come into our business and with our support and guidance, have gone on to have very successful theatre schools,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz.
Franchising can provide an ideal platform for graduates because even those new to the workforce will be able to follow and understand the franchisor’s model. Although the graduate may be relatively inexperienced, a good franchisor will offer them lots of support, access to tried and tested marketing materials and will hold their hand throughout the whole process.
“When we select the people who we want to become franchisees, we are not looking for experience as such,” explains Denise. “What’s more important is the drive and determination they have to make the school a success with our support.”
Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall are the joint Principals of Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield, who have successfully grown their school term on term and are a shining example of why graduates make wonderful franchisees.
Both Nick and Gemma studied BA (Hons) Applied Performance at the Birmingham School of Acting, now the Birmingham Conservatoire. Nick explains: “The opportunity to buy into the Razzamataz network arose near the start of our third year. We officially took over Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield in May 2015 and didn’t finish our course and graduate until July 2015.
“We have always been ambitious and knew it was something we would always do and thought what better time than when we still had our fresh, hungry, youthful drive straight out of training.”
The decision has proved to be a very wise one with the duo being one of the top performers in the network. Although they have shown how graduates make wonderful franchisees, their journey has also had its fair share of ups and downs.
“Do not think it will be easy,” adds Nick. “Be ready for a lot of hard work and go for it whole heartedly and give it all you’ve got, and more. It’s the only way. Also, learn and soak up every bit of knowledge you can along the way. There is always more to learn, which you can easily forget when you’ve very recently graduated with a good degree.”
Tips for graduates
- When starting your research, check to see if the franchisor is a member of the British Franchise Association (bfa). The bfa sets strict criteria for ethical standards that franchisors must meet in order join its ranks, so membership is a positive sign. Razzamataz is a member and enjoys offering peace of mind to new franchisees.
- Franchise exhibitions are a good starting place to meet a wide variety of franchise businesses and also listen to consultants and meet other franchisees.
- Choose a franchise business that you enjoy. It may sound obvious but you need to be passionate about your business and believe in it 100%.
- Understand the business contracts of a franchise. Both the franchisee and franchisor will have obligations so understand what is expected of you are what you should be receiving in return.
- Speak to other franchisees in the business for first-hand experience. In a recent Smith & Henderson survey looking at franchisee satisfaction, Razzamataz scored so highly that they joined a group of elite franchisors and have received a 5 Star Award.
Speak to our Head of Franchise Recruitment Suzie McCafferty to find out more and be part of a Discovery Den session. For new franchisees, Razzamataz has a special offer of just £7,995 (£2,000 saving) to launch a Razzamataz theatre school.
Plus until the end of 2017, Razzamataz will pay your VAT – a saving of around £1,600 and your first term management fee is free. To find out more, contact Suzie on E:[email protected] or call 07793 054 233.