Own a performing arts franchise with LIPA 4:19

LIPA 4:19 franchise owner Amy Wilson has combined running her performing arts school franchise with raising two young children

When Amy Wilson began looking into setting up her own business she wanted something that would fit around looking after her two young children while also fulfilling her desire to work in a creative industry. "I have a background in television working in script development, which involved looking after new and emerging talent," recalls Amy. "When I was made redundant from my job I started freelancing, however, I then had two children and thought about setting up my own business and my husband suggested franchising. My mum and sister had taken classes with LIPA and my mum suggested that this franchise would be perfect for me.

"As well as being in the arts industry, LIPA 4:19 appealed to me because it had low investment and set up costs and it was attached to the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts - a well known and quality brand."

LIPA 4:19 franchise owners can either teach singing, drama and dance classes themselves, if they have the experience and qualifications needed, or they can hire staff to take classes and run it as a management franchise. "I am doing some teaching to younger children using my background in music and experience of being a mum," she says. "I have also hired staff to do the teaching of the older groups, one of who is my mum who holds drama classes.

"Before launching my franchise, I had four days of training at the LIPA 4:19 head office. The training covered a lot of the business aspects of running the franchise, for example, managing the books, recruiting staff and a bit about marketing. LIPA 4:19 has also provided training for my teachers so they are fully confident in knowing the curriculum and the company's message and brand."

Amy only launched her franchise in January, so she is still building up the brand recognition in her Leeds territory and is aiming to break even in her first year turnover.

"I am concentrating on providing high quality classes so the LIPA 4:19 brand will be associated with excellent teaching," she reveals. "I enjoy running my business because it provides flexibility and allows me to work the hours that suit me and fit around raising my children, who are aged five and two. I also like working with other creative people and the fact I am the first person to offer LIPA 4:19 classes in Leeds."

At the moment, Amy only provides classes on Saturday mornings, however in the future she is hoping to increase this.

"I plan to keep growing my business," she explains. "I want to fill the school and then open a second school. I might also look into holding Saturday afternoon classes as well."

Reported by Derin Ibrahim