Business Profiles

by The Seasons Art Class

last updated 31/03/2022

Ready, Get Set, Grow

by The Seasons Art Class

last updated 31/03/2022

Seasons Art Class has massive demand and new opportunities in areas large and small

A fun social activity that's also a great opportunity for franchisees

'Everyone’s raring to go – franchisees and students alike. After two years of the pandemic, we have many full classes and our Open Days have been going gangbusters. Some of our franchisees have been opening new classes and venues to cope with demand, and others have a waiting list. There’s huge demand, and our franchisees are ready to benefit.’

David Craggs, who operates Seasons Art Class in New Zealand with his business partner Moira Hall, says that it’s exactly the sort of social activity with a purpose that so many people missed during the pandemic. ‘It’s a step-by-step art class 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. A series of well-proven 14-week courses keeps people coming back.

‘And it’s a very successful business model, too. We used to say that franchisees could earn up to $45,000 nett profit from working just one day per week, but we have found that franchisees who put in some effort can earn many times that from running more classes. We arrange the tutors, programmes, recruitment, venues (often local halls) and training, while franchisees promote and run the classes.’

Another advantage of Seasons’ business model is that franchisees have few fixed overheads: no expensive premises and no permanent staff. ‘The result is that you only really have costs to pay when you are running classes,’ David points out. ‘That’s been a big benefit during Covid – franchisees might have had to put their businesses on hold if a lockdown hit, but it wasn’t costing them. And with a maximum of 20 students per class anyway, distancing wasn’t a problem.’

Better than ever

David and Moira have made some significant improvements recently. ‘In addition to an expanded role for principal tutor Ashleigh Blake, we’ve appointed a full-time franchise support person to help franchisees grow,’ says David. ‘On top of that:

1. We’re about to launch a new website which promotes the classes much more effectively for franchisees all round the country. The six-month project also includes a function making it easier for students to book and pay online, reducing the admin burden on franchisees. It also enables us to see how franchisees are doing and where help might be needed.

2. We’re developing more online training for franchisees. This delivers training to franchisees in manageable chunks, rather than requiring them to come to the office and learn everything in one go. It’s more flexible, enables franchisees to learn at their own speed, and keeps costs down, too.

3. We have refined our operating processes and put them all into an online manual so they can be constantly updated and easily consulted – this will be especially helpful as we expand further in the South Island.

4. We’ve launched a new chat function to help franchisees share experiences, share knowledge, ask for help and collaborate with us and each other. It’s helping everyone to adapt and grow more quickly.

5. We’ve expanded the range of local marketing tools available for franchisees. We’ve set up a direct order facility which simplifies ordering personalised flyers and other marketing material, and we’re also launching a social media management tool which can schedule franchisees’ posts into multiple channels, rather than having to handle them all individually.’

New options for investors

With existing franchisees well looked after, Seasons has also been working to expand the options available to new franchisees. ‘Our new branch model encourages and rewards people who are keen to make the most of the opportunity by developing multiple branches, with reduced investment levels for second and subsequent branches,’ explains David. ‘The initial investment is $55,000 +gst, with an additional $8,750 +gst for the start-up kit including core materials for your first course and launch advertising.

‘We’re also developing a new rural option for smaller areas. Why shouldn’t places like Timaru or Hanmer Springs have access to the fun and fellowship of Seasons? These franchises will have a lower investment level as ‘hobby’ or ‘community’ franchises, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t grow as large as the bigger branches given time.

‘With the two models, we’re looking to complete the Seasons network throughout New Zealand. In the South Island, we have major opportunities in Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin, Invercargill, Blenheim and Wanaka, as well as the rural centres. In the North Island, we’re looking for franchisees in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Masterton, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Khandallah and Plimmerton, plus smaller areas. Our Orewa franchisee has just started classes in Puhoi (pop. 3,750), so you can see the potential!’

No experience required

Because Seasons has developed the courses and provides the materials and tutors, franchisees don’t need art or teaching experience themselves. ‘The franchisee’s role is to market and organise the classes, and create the right ambience of fun and learning,’ David explains.

‘If you have some business experience, the ability to build new relationships, are good with the details, and want to create a successful and highly-profitable venture almost anywhere in New Zealand, then we want to talk to you. Contact me today.’  

See this advertorial on page 51 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 31 Issue 1 

Contact details for Seasons Art Class

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