Stagecoach Performing Arts has seen over a million students worldwide find their Creative Courage For Life through the inspiring world of singing, dancing and acting. There’s a reason why Stagecoach has been empowering both students and franchisees for over 30 years and why many franchisees have remained with the business for so many years.
As the U.K.’s largest network of part-time performing arts schools for children, Stagecoach is an established name with parents and schools across the country and it’s still growing both in the U.K. and internationally. Its franchisees use the franchise model to build a team of teachers and deliver a program of fun and engaging performing arts education with the aid of the support center staff and friendly and diverse network.
What makes Stagecoach a sound investment?
Demand for extra-curricular activities for children is at a high, with funding cuts in mainstream education driving parents and guardians to seek afterschool activities to fill the gap. A 2019 study revealed that a huge 77 per cent of parents are happy to pay for such activities* with the majority of these parents spending more than £28,000 (approx. $47,000 CAD) on their children’s hobbies before they reach the age of 18.
The cuts in mainstream schools have seen a great reduction in the offering of performing arts education despite its benefits in building confidence and creativity in children. Due to his previous experience as a drama teacher, Josh Bradley, the principal of Stagecoach North Tyneside, is familiar with the importance of performing arts education and the status it now holds in mainstream schools.
“As much as I loved being a drama teacher, I craved a better work-life balance. Since becoming a teacher, my social life had been pushed to one side. I was also becoming increasingly frustrated with the little value the education system sees in the performing arts. My drama lessons were seemingly less important than STEM education, and funding was decreasing term after term. A lot of my time teaching wasn’t actually spent teaching but staring at a laptop five hours a day and constantly dealing with red tape.
“I started researching alternative career opportunities that combined my passion for education and my desire to do something more rewarding with my life. When I came across the opportunity to become a Stagecoach franchisee and run my own business, I was intrigued. I no longer wanted my life to be consumed by my work with little financial reward. I knew Stagecoach as a household name, which seemed like an immediate advantage.”
Our support network
Stagecoach aims to give franchisees all the support they need with marketing, customer service, I.T. and business development teams on hand to onboard new franchisees and offer them assistance and advice whenever they need it.
For Josh, this has been key. He said, “I briefly thought about starting my own independent school, but because I knew very little about running a business, the training and support from Stagecoach made the franchise a much more sensible choice. A lot of the foundations are there for you; you just have to pick up the business model and run with it.”
Stagecoach offers support for its global network with schools in the U.K., Germany, Canada, Malta, Spain, Gibraltar and Australia through online learning platforms, video calls with members of the support center and an annual conference. For newer franchisees, the brand has a training program to help franchisees of all backgrounds familiarize themselves with the Stagecoach concept and all the know-how they need to run their own business.
On starting up his business, Josh said, “At no point did I feel pressured to launch before I was ready. I remember ringing head office and expecting to be told I had to get on with it, but I really appreciated them being responsive to my needs. I finally had the autonomy to run my own business in my own right.”
A flexible and rewarding career
For Josh, after his experience as a teacher, the flexibility and control he has over his life by owning his own business has been invaluable.
“The standout benefit for me has been the improvement in my general quality of life. I make my own decisions and have time for myself. The biggest change has been the improvement in my mental and physical health. Two years on from starting my Stagecoach business and I’m taking home the same monthly salary that I would have been earning had I still been teaching, but with a lot more freedom.”
He also values the benefit that Stagecoach provides to its many students. “Being able to equip my students with the sorts of performance opportunities that I could have only have dreamt of planning when I was working in a mainstream school makes my investment all the more worth it. Our first in-person performance post-pandemic – a pantomime production of Cinderella – was a real career highlight for me, and I just took so much joy from seeing the children enjoying themselves.
“Stagecoach just gives me so much creative and personal freedom, but at the same time I’ve never felt more reassured or supported in a role. I have an entire network of peers I can go to with queries or concerns, and that’s just been invaluable. Being part of a quality and trusted franchise brand like Stagecoach Performing Arts has opened more doors than I could have imagined.”
A household name
As part of training for new franchisees, Stagecoach also takes them through safeguarding and strict child safety policies. This is part of what makes the brand a trustworthy and respected household name. 98 per cent of U.K. customers say they would recommend Stagecoach.**
If you would like to find out more about running your own Stagecoach Performing Arts school, visit Stagecoach’s website and get in touch today.
*Gerard Kelly & Partners, May 2019, “Out of school, out of pocket – How much do parents spend on extracurricular activities?”
**1,006 interviews, Savanta Brand Tracker, November 2019
At a Glance Stagecoach Performing Arts
Year established: 1988
Number of franchised outlets: Over 300 units worldwide
Location of units: UK, Germany, Canada, Malta, Australia, Spain and Gibraltar
Investment range: £18,000 – £500,000
Minimum required capital: £28,000