Franchising Fred Heritage · 8 February 2016
Franchise startup stories: Part 1 Creative play company Pyjama Drama
In a new three-part series, Business Advice talks to three very different UK franchise owners about their experiences with the model, getting them to reveal the impact franchising has had on business growth, and what they might have done differently given the choice. First off, we hear from former drama teacher and founder of Pyjama Drama, Sarah Owen. With 31 franchisees in the UK, one in Australia and one in Malaysia, the success of Pyjama Drama since its creation in 2005 has been incredible, but founder and professional drama teacher Sarah Owen had no intention of starting a business, let alone a franchise. Whilst looking after her three young children when she wasnt working, Owen invented little games and songs with them, realising in the process how broad and fantastic their imaginations were. Setting up a class at her son’s nursery, Owen wanted to find out if other children would respond well to her games. It went well, and parents were very enthusiastic. Class after class followed and Owen soon developed a programme of classes to deliver at other nurseries and children’s parties. In 2009, the first franchise was sold to a parent whod attended her original classes. because we have four age differentiated programmes, franchisees have a vast range of income streams when compared to other franchises that offer activities for young children, said Owen, explaining her franchising model. they can offer parties, workshops, sessions in nurseries, schools, afterschool clubs, lunchtime clubs as well as specific classes for babies, toddlers, preschool children and children between five and seven years old. Because of this, franchisees can build a business to suit lifestyle owners may wait until their youngest child starts school before launching after-school classes, or chose to take on a session leader to deliver parties at the weekend, for example, added Owen.
ABOUT THE EXPERTFred Heritage
Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.