Performing small miracles

Becci Francis and Alison Gorton have long been well versed in teaching performing arts and its requirements and when they discovered the LIPA 4:19 franchise opportunity, they jumped at the chance to invest in a Knutsford branch. Gareth Samuel tells their story

The protagonists in this tale of financial fruition, Becci and Alison, originally crossed paths while working at the headquarters of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA). Upon meeting, they looked into acquiring their own branch of the world-renowned franchise and found it had all the components they wanted from a business offering. “Investing in a franchise format that we knew well made sense,” explains Becci.

Immediately after making their investment in the business, Alison and Becci embarked on their initial training. “Our staff received their initial training at LIPA 4:19 Liverpool; our Operations Manual had more detail on how to run the franchise. We are very lucky that we have chosen very skilled and experienced teachers who know exactly what to deliver.”

The LIPA 4:19 franchise offering relies very much on the competence of its franchise owners. In Becci and Alison’s case, their own decision-making ability and management know-how has really helped them to succeed.

“Watching the students grow in confidence during their training with us is extremely enjoyable and rewarding. It’s the most enjoyable part of running this business,” says Alison. “The most challenging part for us is the marketing, and managing areas in which we had no previous experience. We've had a steep learning curve and now feel that we are proficient in these areas.”

Through association with the central, and internationally acclaimed, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, franchise owners in this unique business benefit from its reputation for quality performance arts coaching. “Our own techniques have been varied and success has been hit and miss,” explains Becci. "We have gravitated towards providing our students with the best teachers, while we run the school professionally.”

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The ethos of LIPA 4:19 is to provide children with self-confidence and enjoyment through the teaching of performance arts techniques. The co-franchise owners see a bright future for their business: “We are very positive that we will make our academy a success; it is already a hive of activity and enjoyment for students and we hope to expand, allowing other children to experience a professional performing arts academy. Of course, we hope to see a good return for our business, though our main priority is our students’ experience during their time with us.”