Known as the biggest and most influential event in the franchising world, Razzamataz was delighted to be among the winners at the British Franchise Association (bfa) Awards 2018.
Hayley Limpkin, Founding Principal and now co-owner of Razzamataz Medway was shortlisted by the esteemed panel of judges in the ‘Lifestyle Franchisee of the Year’ category and took the title on the night, beating off stiff competition.
The Award showcased franchisees who bought into franchising to get a better work life balance and through their enterprising nature and franchisor’s support were able to produce excellent results.
Hayley is a perfect example of this with her Medway school, which now boasts more than 530 students on a Saturday. Hayley opened her school in September 2010 after working in a lead marketing agency for seven years. She decided to swap the busy corporate life for her dream of owning her own theatre school. Having studied franchising as part of her Masters, she was attracted to the strong and credible brand that Razzamataz has.
In November 2014, Hayley’s young son had a very serious illness which led her to reconsider the structure of her schools. The support from her amazing team and the advice from Head Office allowed Hayley to take the time she needed to be with her child during all his important hospital visits.
“I strongly believe that if I had continued in my corporate career, there would have been no way that I could have continued to work after Finlay’s diagnosis,” says Hayley. “The wonderful thing about being in a Razzamataz franchise is that we can build our own teams and create the flexibility that works for every individual.”
As a finalist, Hayley was invited to be interviewed in front of the judges to explain in more detail her franchise journey. The judges were: Brian Smart QFP, (Chair of the Judges), Pip Wilkins QFP, Chief Executive, bfa, Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising, HSBC, Jane Masih, Director, Owen White Solicitors, Alan Wilkinson QFP, Head of UK Franchise Development, The Franchising Centre and Derrick Simpson, bfa Companion.
Members of the bfa judging panel said: “Hayley identified a strong passion and franchising enabled her to achieve success in business where she herself admitted she may not have been able to as quickly had she have done it herself. Faced with significant challenges in her personal life she then had to think strategically and identify a way in which she could balance home and work life. Not only did Hayley do so successfully but she became more impactful in the process. Splitting the business and utilising the strengths and skills of two partners has enabled more strategic thinking time and an opportunity to see ways of maximising her already successful business. This wasn’t an example of someone achieving a balance and being comfortable, it was an example of achieving a balance and refocusing on continual expansion in tandem.”
The judges and everyone who attended the Awards, including other franchisees and franchisors, were so impressed with Hayley, that they also chose to give her the title of ‘People’BFAhoice Franchisee of the Year 2018.’ All the attendees were given the chance to vote for one person and Hayley’s story inspired many to make her the winner for a second time in the evening.
The bfa Awards are a celebration of excellence in franchising, highlighting success in all its various forms. They are the oldest and most celebrated in the UK franchise sector, running for nearly 30 years.
“What Hayley and her team have achieved in Medway is wonderful and testament to their hard work and the strong ethos of our Razzamataz brand,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “Hayley’s story about flexibility and being able to work around her family is typical of many of our other franchisee’s experiences so it is even more special that this is something that we have been recognised for. We are incredibly proud of Hayley and her wonderful team.”
Helen Bell, Principal of Razzamataz Sheffield was also shortlisted by the esteemed panel of judges for ‘Young Franchisee of the Year.’ This was a huge achievement in a very competitive category, especially for Helen who completed the application and interview while on maternity leave.
Denise and Charlotte Young, who is part of the Head Office team are also undertaking the Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP), which is the formal recognition of professional knowledge and experience in franchising.
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