by The Seasons Art Class
last updated 16/09/2021
Art For Pleasure, Art For Profit
by The Seasons Art Class
last updated 16/09/2021
The Seasons Art Class offers franchisees the best of both worlds from working one day per week
Craig Pope is a successful financial advisor and used to be involved with a mortgage franchise many years ago. ‘I’ve kept in touch with the franchising world ever since as a subscriber to Franchise New Zealand magazine,’ he says. ‘One of the businesses that always interested me was Seasons Art Class, so when my wife Jo left her job earlier this year we started to investigate.’
Craig and Jo both love art, and the Seasons franchise draws together so many elements that appeal to them. The concept has brought joy to thousands of people around the world since being founded in the UK in 2012. It’s a step-by-step art class with a well-proven curriculum that provides a place for students to discover themselves, learn techniques in a range of media from qualified tutors, and develop their skills in a sociable, relaxed setting.
‘That is its appeal, as well as the key to its success,’ explains David Craggs, who, with his business partner Moira Hall, brought Seasons to New Zealand three years ago after being involved with the business from its inception.
‘This is a very well thought-out franchise. We arrange the tutors, programmes, advertising, recruitment, venue and training, while franchisees promote and run the classes. Classes are limited to about 20 participants a time, encouraging individual tuition and the growth of friendships and support, and start at just under $700 for a 14-week session.
‘As a result, the business model can deliver up to $45,000 nett profit for working just one day a week – more, if you want it. It might sound too good to be true, so we tell potential franchisees to bring their accountant to the first meeting with us. The numbers really do stack up.’
Full class from Day One
Craig and Jo went to meet David and Moira, ‘Who went out of their way to answer all our questions,’ Craig says. ‘Although as a financier I know number crunching is vital, every location and every start-up has its quirks, so we also asked ourselves, “Can we make it work?” We live in Kapiti, which has grown a lot since we came here in 2006. We have a lovely mixture of retirees and young families, which is probably an ideal combination for the market Seasons is aimed at. We made a decision and said, “Right, that’s it – we’re starting!”
‘We did put ourselves under pressure,’ continues Craig, ‘because Seasons classes are arranged in 14 week blocks, and we very much wanted to start in August and get one complete class before the summer. I believe most Seasons franchisees find that word-of-mouth alone will grow their businesses, along with targeting key markets such as retirement villages, but with a short lead time, we put a big effort into local marketing with print, radio and Facebook.
‘We did have a few nervous moments because people like to leave things to the last moment, but then we had a flurry of bookings the week before we started. That meant we had a full class on our very first day. And while the lockdown stopped classes for a while, it’s going so well we’re already planning an evening class, too.’
Craig believes that a good franchise must provide the tools and experience for a new franchisee to be able to run with it and succeed as quickly as possible. ‘In my view, Seasons is the perfect example in terms of tools, equipment and curriculum – they have looked after all those details exactly as you’d want.
‘That’s not to say everything is done for you. Don’t underestimate the effort required to get the first class up and running, but if you put that in then the numbers will take care of themselves. Seasons found a wonderful tutor for us and I’m doing the class myself. I was also amazed at how focused everyone was and how much effort it takes – it really brings people together and then you enjoy the social time, too. It’s a winning formula.’
Just get started
‘The magic of Seasons Art Class is that it is wonderful vocational therapy,’ says David. ‘All our franchisees notice the enjoyment people get out of it; it’s a very powerful process for young and old, and many close friendships have formed during the classes. Craig and Jo put in a big advance effort to get up and running and that more than paid off.
‘If, like them, you love people and art, and have good organisational ability, then we’d love to talk to you. Exclusive territories are available from $57,000 +gst, which enables you to earn up to $45,000 from working just one day a week – and you can add more classes and more revenue as you grow.
‘We are particularly keen to appoint franchisees in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, Palmerston North and Whanganui and many other areas apart from Auckland, so give me a call to find out more about opportunities. As Craig says, we’ve looked after all the details and supplied the perfect tools – all you need to do is get started.’
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