Client Case Studies


Before entering the 'Dragon's Den' on the BBC, Razzamataz used our services to set up their franchise model. Take a look at how we helped.

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  • Do you want to Franchise?

    Friday March 28th 2014

  • Business Breakfast 2014

    Friday March 28th 2014

    This is the centrepiece of the Scottish Franchise Week 2014. This year the speakers are Trevor Brocklebank, CEO of Home Instead Senior Care and Lisa Tobias the inspirational Domino's Pizza franchisee. The keynote speaker is Gordon Sheddon the British Touring Car championship driver - just don't ask him if he also answers to the name of "The Stig"!

  • Scottish Franchise Exhibitions

    Friday September 13th 2013

    Thursday 19th & Friday 20th September sees the Scotland Franchise Show return to both Glasgow & Edinburgh ...

    ...and the exhibition will see 30+ of the top UK, Irish & Overseas Franchised brands exhibit..

    • All of whom are looking for locals to become their new business partner
    • All of whom have innovative, inspiring and proven franchised business formulas
    • All of whom have licenses available throughout Scotland

    The event is free to enter and open between 12.30pm – 7.00pm on the Thursday in Glasgow and 10.00am - 4.00pm on the Friday in Edinburgh

  • Coming Soon.....

    Friday September 13th 2013

    Buying a Franchise Tuesday 17th September 2.00pm till 4.30pm at Hillington Innovation Centre

    Fine Tune your Social Enterprise All day on Friday 20th September at the Norton Park Centre, Edinburgh

  • Coming soon....

    Friday March 8th 2013

    Put a note in your diary - AMO Consulting will be holding a franchise clinic from 10am till 2pm at the Lighthouse in Glasgow on Friday 12th April. Email me if you'd like a chat about any franchising issues.

  • 10 steps

    Friday March 8th 2013

    1.         Plan it well

    It’s easy to write down everything you know – but is there a logical flow? I like a 3 part manual: How you’ll help a franchisee get set up; how they run the business day to day and how they do the admin.

    2.         Make it yours

    You can get a generic manual on the internet for £500. It’s irrelevant and will waste your time. It’s your business so the manual must have your DNA through it from beginning to end.

    3.         Make it short

    There are no prizes for having a long manual filled with nonsense. Use flow charts and bullet points rather than eloquent prose – fine words waste time!

    4.         It’s about the whole business

    Cover all the areas – approved suppliers, interview questions for staff, cleaning routines, opening times, handling’s not just about recipes and frying temperatures.

    5.         Share the workload

    Get your staff involved in writing it. They know their jobs better than you – maybe even better!

    6.         Change things first

    Don’t write about bad processes – change what you need to change within your business first. Get your business running the way you want it to before letting a franchisee copy it.

    7.         Try it Out

    Put your manual into practice before you use it to train a franchisee – get the wrinkles out of it

    8.         Get it sense checked

    Ask a friend to read it through – someone not involved in the business who doesn’t know the jargon. Can they understand it?

    9.         Use Photos

    Picture speak a thousand words – and are more easily understood. It makes the manual less dull too.

    10.       Keep it up to date

    Don’t just stick the manual in a drawer once it’s done. Get a notebook and write down all the questions you’re asked by franchisees that weren’t in the manual and update it every 3 months.

  • Client News: Razzamataz Franchisee Winners

    Monday March 5th 2012

    Razzamataz Theatre Schools is delighted to announce the winners of the Franchisee of the Year Award 2011 and the New Franchisee of the Year. Shelley Fitzgibbon, Principal Razzamataz Wokingham and Woodley was awarded the Franchisee of the Year due to her sheer passion and dedication to the arts and her students and New Franchisee of the Year, Lisa and Neil Roberts, Principals of Razzamataz Rickmansworth have simply taken to the business like a 'duck to water'.

    The Razzamataz Awards were set up to highlight outstanding schools and Principals and to reward the individuals who have made an exceptional commitment to the Razzamataz brand. Denise Hutton-Gosney, Founder and Managing Director of Razzamataz says: "Shelley has had huge success in both her territories within her first year in business and runs her business with the utmost professionalism and determination to do the very best by her students and the ethos of Razzamataz Theatre Schools".

    The judges looked for individual Principals who excelled in many areas of the theatre school business including those who showed initiative in combating the effects of the general downturn, meeting deadlines in the creative and business side of the schools and maintaining a healthy turnover - all very difficult for a new business. "Lisa and Neil have really left no stone unturned and their attention to detail has meant that they have made a huge success of their new business, which is no mean feat in this challenging financial climate", adds Denise. "Their understanding of PR and Marketing has allowed them to launch with multiple Razz Minis classes on day one of trading and their school has grown beyond expectations in just over one term".

    Razzamataz Theatre Schools gained national prominence when Razzamataz founder, Denise Hutton-Gosney appeared on Dragons’ Den in January 2007 and Duncan Bannatyne invested in the organization. Since then the business has grown from strength to strength and has proved to be a very successful franchise operation. There are currently almost 40 Razzamataz branches throughout the UK and with a dedicated team in Head Office there are ambitious plans for the future.

  • Mediation - the Smart way to deal with Disputes

    Monday February 20th 2012

    Let’s face it - disputes are a drain on management time and energy that is better focussed on making your franchise successful. That is why finding a smart way to reduce or eradicate them is the way forward. Here is some useful information from Freeth Cartwright solicitors on how to use mediation effectiveley.

    1. What is mediation?

    You probably already know this but for clarification mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution conducted by an independent party that is:

    - private (no courts and potential bad publicity);

    - cost effective (no court costs orders); and

    - fast (no long waits for trials and court hearings).

    2. Why mediate instead of going to court?

    This can be summed up in one phrase:

    "Courts are focussed on the dispute - mediation focuses on the deal"

    If you choose to mediate you want to reach agreement rather than fall out. If you want to win work in a business situation how would you go about getting it? - Would you confront and accuse, or negotiate? Going to Court is confrontational - it is all about "winners and losers". Mediation is about negotiation - it is taking a business approach to resolving tricky situations in a way that benefits both parties. Mediators are not there to judge - they don't care who is "right" or "wrong". They look for solutions - how to reach an amicable settlement.

    3. When should you mediate?

    ASAP - Act as early as you can. We often see franchise mediations that could have been resolved much easier and quicker if mediation had been considered earlier. How early is early? Right at the start, when fee payments start to be missed and when the first rumblings of discord start to happen amongst the network.

    4. What kinds of solutions?

    Mediation is more flexible than going to court. Here are some examples of what you can do:

    - Change the Payment Terms of franchise contracts - adjust payment structures, amounts and frequency;

    - Change the Contract Duration - Reduce it or extend it - build in break periods;

    - Change your allocated territory - increase it/reduce it;

    - Explore exit options - e.g. buying the business.

    Ultimately mediation is a creative process - it allows the parties to explore ways to resolve issues that otherwise might lead to a split.

    5. Who does it?

    Mediators are accredited by for example the ADR Group a recognised mediation body that specialises in forms of alternative dispute resolution. They are experienced and specialist lawyers that have considerable dispute experience.

    6. How could mediation benefit me?

    You invest a considerable amount of time and money in taking on franchisees. As with any relationship, along the way there will be misunderstandings and conflict, mediation is a tool to deal with those problems. It helps to:

    - Preserve the relationship (It takes considerable resource find new franchisees after a fall out with a good existing one);

    - Prevent damaging your reputation as a good franchisor (This creates the wrong impression for your existing franchise network and affects your ability to attract new franchisees); and

    - Saves you time and Money (Disputes take up management resource better used in taking the franchise forward).

    7. How can I ensure this approach is always used to resolve disputes in my network?

    Build it into your franchise contracts and operations manuals. In this climate plan for challenging times by ensuring your contracts and manuals contain appropriate dispute resolution escalation procedures. The fact that you have disputes is not a bad thing - it is the way that you deal with them that matters. It is good practice and savvy business sense to consider how you will manage disputes when they happen.

    If you would like more information about mediation please contact Philippa Dempster at Freeth Cartwright on 0845 274 6901 or via email at

  • What is Franchising?

    Wednesday February 15th 2012

    The term 'franchising' has been used to describe many different forms of business relationships. However, the form we are most concerned with, and the reason you have found this article, is what is called 'business format franchising' (If you answered McDonalds to the question above, you are thinking along the right lines!)

    So, what is ‘Business Format Franchising’? Put simply, it is the granting of a license by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee), which entitles that franchisee to run their own business following the processes, procedures and training set out by the Franchisor. The Franchisor allows the franchisee to trade under the name of the franchisor and gives them a complete package containing all that the franchisee needs to run their business.

    In short, franchising let’s you set up and own a business simply by paying money for the right to do so.

    It is an increasingly popular activity in the UK, here are some quick facts from the latest NatWest British Franchise Association Survey 2011:

    • It contributes an estimated £12.4 billion to the UK economy.
    • There are 897 franchise systems in operation in the UK. There are an estimated 36,900 franchise units.
    • There are an estimated 521,000 people employed in franchising.
    • 90% of franchisees claim to be profitable even during this time of recession.
    • Relationships between franchisees and franchisors are healthy, with 89% reporting satisfaction in their dealings.
  • Razzamataz welcomes 3 male principals

    Tuesday February 7th 2012


    Three Razzamataz male franchisees

    Since signing up their first male Principal in mid 2011, Razzamataz Theatre Schools has been opening the doors for more men to take up the challenge and is delighted to announce that three more schools will open with men at the helm – Razzamataz in Barnet, Hampstead and Durham.  

    The teaching profession and running children’s classes has always been a female dominated industry but with the continuation of the recession and the need for men to also work flexibly around childcare or other work commitments, opening up a Razzamataz franchise is making financial sense for men as well as women.

    Professional actor Neil Roberts from Rickmansworth was the first man to launch a Razzamataz part-time performing theatre school for children along with his wife Lisa Hollander. The business made perfect sense to the couple because it allowed them to both continue their work as actors while running the school. “Razzamataz is a really sound business venture and its flexibility means I don’t have to compromise my work as an actor,” says Neil.  

    Like many franchisees, the three new male Principals; Michael French, 30, from Watford, Sam Bradshaw, 26, from Finchley, London and Stuart Hall, 40 from Stockton-on-Tees, first saw Razzamataz while watching BBC’s Dragons’ Den in 2007 when Founder and Managing Director Denise Hutton-Gosney appeared on the show. Duncan Bannatyne’s backing impressed the guys and gave the business a lot of credibility. “I was extremely impressed with Denise, the brand and the business model,” says Michael. “Having grown up attending dance classes and being a professional musical theatre performer I thought the right progression would be to open my own Razz. I also know two ladies who run Razzamataz schools from the industry and they both spoke very highly of the company, which made me think this would be right for me.”

    Although Michael is an experienced performer, having worked in musicals such as West Side Story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Singin’ in the Rain and 42nd Street as well as performing with Elton John, George Michael, Geri Halliwell and Michael Buble, he has never actually run a business before. “I’m not daunted by the fact that I haven’t run my own business because there is such a supportive team at Head Office that are happy to talk you through each of the stages. There is also a really comprehensive training system in place, which means that every stage of running a part-time theatre school is covered, which gives me a lot of confidence. I’m really looking forward to putting all my time and energy into Razzamataz.”

    The franchise element of Razzamataz really appealed to the men as Michael explains: “Razzamataz is still very young and it’s a growing business and to be involved in something evolving is very exciting. I like the youthful, current and up to date approach that Razzamataz has and I’m really looking forward to meeting a lot of new people and seeing the positive influences on the children,” Michael adds.  

    It is the flexibility that most appeals to Sam who currently runs a children’s party entertainment business that he set up five years ago supplying magicians, face painters, stilt walkers and balloon modelers to parties and events across London. He also continues to work as a professional performer, most recently in pantomine with actors such as Brian Blessed, Ruby Wax, Pamela Anderson and Paul O'Grady. The appeal of Razzamataz was that he can combine his skills in being a professional children’s entertainer with performing arts and the flexibility that Razzamataz offers enables him to combine all three.

    Nurturing a child’s self-esteem and building their confidence features very heavily in all the Razzamataz schools and is something that Sam can personally relate to. “As a child I was very shy. At the age of seven I was asked by my seamstress auntie to do a one minute catwalk as a pageboy but when I spotted the 200 people in the audience I got stage fright and refused to go on. I wish I had had more confidence back then to overcome my fear. This experience gave me the impetus to join my local theatre group and 10 years later I was playing to 1,800 people a night at the Sunderland Empire Theatre. Joining the Razzamataz team will allow me to make a difference, build the children’s confidence and encourage them to show their talents without fear.”

    Sam’s ability to entertain children and coax them out of themselves will enable him to lead a team of teachers at his Razzamataz branch to do the same. “I cannot wait to see the progression in every student. I am looking forward to meeting the shy Razz mini’s on their first day and then seeing them three, four or five years later singing solos and taking lead parts in our shows.”

    Stuart from Stockton-on-Tees echoes this view and being able to work with and inspire children is something that he is looking forward to. “Being able to connect with young people and inspire them is a crucial aspect of being a Razzamataz Principal. As well as having a passion for writing and performing, I have also taught English to young people so this business allows me to bring all my experience to this new role.

    “Razzamataz is not only a proven business model but I was also impressed by the opportunity to give young people the chance to work in not only the traditional musical theatre disciplines but also to learn about the more contemporary skills in singing pop, street dance and physical theatre in order to provide them with a wider breadth of skills for them to pursue a career in performing or to just have a great time every week. Furthermore, one of the reasons that I decided to purchase the franchise was because it gives me flexibility to combine a business with caring for our baby who is due at the end of May,” Stuart adds. 

    Razzamataz is currently recruiting Principals to open further Razzamataz Theatre Schools. If you have an interest in the performing arts and are looking to launch a new business with the support of the Razzamataz team, call 01228 550129, email or visit

    The three new male Principals will open Razzamataz Theatre Schools in Barnet, north London, South Hampstead, north London and take over the branch in Durham. For more details on the schools visit