Franchise FAQs

How does a franchise work?

A franchise is a partnership business, in which an established business – known as the ‘franchisor’ – agrees for independent operators – called ‘franchisees’ – to use their company branding, products, practices and business model. This is usually in return for an initial franchise fee, plus an ongoing percentage of sales revenue.

Franchises offer a great way to start running your own business without having to start from scratch. Not only do you have the reassurance of a proven business plan and business model, trusted products/services, you also have the backing of a team of experienced people who can help you achieve your business goals.

For this reason, franchises have a far higher success rate than independent start-up businesses.

What is the time commitment?

We ask for a minimum commitment of 16 hours per week.

Some franchisees aim to stick to this level, some go on to replace other full time jobs as their film school grows and some choose to put in additional hours to spur business growth. It depends on your goals for your business and what is likely to best suit your lifestyle.

What is the revenue potential?

Revenue and profitability is scalable, depending on how many classes and courses you choose to run from your franchise.

Smaller franchises, where franchise partners contribute part time hours and mostly deliver courses themselves, range between approximately £30,000 – £85,000*.

The range for larger scale franchises with a staff team in place range between £60,000 – £200,000*. For multi-territory operators, the revenue scales in multiples, with some areas turning over £250,000*.

As with all franchises, financial performance is down to the individual franchisee and these figures are provided for illustration only. They should not be interpreted as a guarantee.

*Disclaimer: The figures set forth in this illustration indicate revenues that have been experienced by the franchisor in its own operations and by franchisees within our network in the last profit and loss accounts, as have been prepared by accountants and supplied to the franchisor. There is no guarantee that you will achieve the same results, nor is it intended that you should rely on them as a warranty or guarantee of what you will achieve.

What are the costs?

There is an initial franchise fee, followed by a 10% ongoing monthly service fee.

There are also the day-to-day running costs of your franchise. Just like the income potential, running costs are scalable depending on how many classes and courses you operate.

The initial franchise fee is £12,500.00 + VAT, which includes:

  • 13 day custom training programme
  • website and booking system set up
  • license to use Sparks branding and content
  • license to use Sparks creative curriculum 
  • a start up marketing bundle
  • a start up equipment package including cameras, which will set you up to deliver up to two courses at the same time.

The initial licence term is for a period of 5 years, equivalent to £2500.00 per year, which is renewable for a nominal fee after 5 years.

What kind of return on investment can I expect to see?

Financial rewards are always linked to the individual performance of each franchisee. There are no guarantees of returns.

Based on figures and experiences from within our existing network and our own operations, there is the potential for profits of approximately £20,000 – £60,000 per territory annually*, which is scalable for multi-territory operators.

There is also the potential to increase the asset value of your franchise, based on its EBITDA. You can realise this if choosing to sell your business.

* Disclaimer: The figures set forth in this illustration indicate the profit margins at stated revenue levels which have been experienced by the franchisor in its own operations and by franchisees within our network in the last profit and loss accounts, as have been prepared by accountants and supplied to the franchisor. There is no guarantee that you will achieve the same results, nor is it intended that you should rely on them as a warranty or guarantee of what you will achieve.

How long does it take to launch?

It usually takes around three to four months to fully setup your business and become fully operational, although you can start selling earlier. We also have fast-track training options that can accelerate the process.

We recommend allowing a period of at least 8 weeks for marketing and launching your first courses.

How soon can I be profitable?

This varies for each franchisee, depending on quickly they are able to launch, promote and take bookings for courses. It also depends on your costs, and whether you are bringing in a team or starting out with delivering courses yourself.

Some franchisees are profitable very quickly, and for others, it make take a bit longer to grow their memberships.

We usually find that franchisees are profitable within their first year of operating, but as with all other financial representations, this is down to individual performance and should not be taken in any way as a guarantee.

What experience do I need?

Our franchise partners come from a range of different backgrounds. Some people have experience within film or media industries, some come from education backgrounds and some have prior experience with business and management.

The main criteria that we look for in franchise partners is a clear passion for film and media, the ability to inspire children and young people and the capability to learn and implement our systems.

To be successful, you should be hard working, prepared to put the effort in and prepared to follow our operational procedures. You should be self-motivated and solutions-orientated, with a “can do” attitude.

You also need to be willing to undergo thorough background checks, including a DBS check.

Why are applicants turned down?

We will only approve applicants who we believe, and who can demonstrate to us, that they have the potential to make a success of their franchise and who can also demonstrate that they align with our brand values.

Every franchisee within the network is a partner within the business and needs to uphold our standards, live up to our reputation and actively contribute to the network. We won’t approve applicants if we don’t believe that this will be the case.

Do I need to have a venue before I apply?

You don’t need to have a venue secured before you start training. We work from hired spaces, so there aren’t any long-term or expensive leases involved.

Our training programme guides you through finding a venue and helps you to secure locations for your courses.

What equipment do I need?

Your initial startup bundle includes all the equipment that you’ll need in order to launch your film school and deliver two courses at the same time.

As your film school grows, you can then begin to top-up your equipment levels in line with your business plan.

How do I find staff?

Our training programme guides you through the process for finding the required team members for your franchise.

We work with fantastic creative people to help deliver our courses and we help you to find your own team members local to you.

Many people also like to deliver their own courses as a franchisee, so this greatly reduces the need for additional team members.

What help do you provide?

We provide lots of different support to the network, ranging from our course content and resources, to marketing activity, advice and answers when you need them. We also provide support with business planning and we provide lots of ongoing training and development for all our franchisees.

We share our detailed Operations Manual with you, which covers every single aspect of running a Sparks Film School, and our online co-working space means that you have access to one of our team throughout the week.

You also get support from our existing network, who are incredible at sharing resources and their own advice, tips and experience and always willing to lend a hand.

How can I finance my franchise?

We know that not everyone has the required investment upfront.

Our finance partners, which include HSBC, Natwest and the British Business Bank, all have a detailed understanding of our business model and can support with franchise finance.

If you would like to be connected with any of our approved finance partners, please get in touch with us today.

What are the next stages?

If you’re interested to learn more, then we recommend taking part in our introductory franchise webinar (you can book for this here >>) or making an appointment to chat to one of our team. You can contact us on 020 71019329 or email

We will talk you through how to make an application. It usually takes around 4-6 weeks for the application process.

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