Franchise owner pursues his passion with LIPA 4:19

Since launching his LIPA 4:19 academy in September 2009, full-time teacher Michael Da Silva Pearce has seen his pupil numbers increase six-fold.

LIPA 4:19 Principal, Michael Da Silva Pearce, puts the success of his Wanstead-based academy down to his excellent teaching staff and structured curriculum.
“When I started my business I was very clear about what I wanted from my teachers and the sort of academy I wanted to run,” explains Michael. “My academy offers children the opportunity to be creative and develop their talents in a structured environment. I think parents recognise that, not only are their children having fun, they are also receiving excellent training from a quality curriculum.”

With a passion for the performing arts and many years of teaching experience behind him, the LIPA 4:19 business opportunity was the perfect fit for Michael.

“I wasn’t really looking for a business but when I saw a LIPA 4:19 advert in The Franchise Magazine, I thought: ‘That’s me to a tee’,” says Michael.

Established in 2003, LIPA 4:19 is a part-time performing arts academy offering a management franchise that provides classes to those aged between four and 19 in dance, drama and singing.

LIPA 4:19 aims to encourage children’s creativity and confidence in a fun and relaxed environment. Michael attended a five-day training course that covered all aspects of the franchise opportunity from organising timetables, administration and recruitment. He also visited a couple of the academies to get a realistic idea of the expectations and daily role of a LIPA 4:19 Principal.

“The training and ongoing support I have received from the LIPA 4:19 team has been brilliant,” enthuses Michael. “If I ever have any questions someone is always available on the phone and my Franchise Manager, Kerry Watkins, comes and visits my academy each term.

“Since launching my business it has just continued to grow. In London, there is a lot of performing arts academies but we are easily beating the competition – in the last year my pupil numbers increased six fold.”

As the LIPA 4:19 opportunity is operated on a part-time basis, Michael is able to continue working in his full-time position as a secondary school teacher, while managing his academy.

“At the moment I am focusing on building the business up so when I retire I can feel confident handing the day-to-day running of the academy over to a Manager,” he says.

Although having an interest in music and the performing arts is helpful for running a LIPA 4:19 franchise, having a background in this area is not necessary.

“I’ve found that if you have good business sense, a clear image of how you want your academy to be run, good organisational and management skills, and the drive to build a business, anyone could succeed with a LIPA 4:19 franchise,” concludes Michael.

Reported by Tiffany Brooking