We recently sat down with our F45 Vancouver Chinatown and F45 Kits Point franchisees, Cortney Lessard and Simon Brooks, to hear about their franchisee experiences thus far.
How did you first hear about F45?
"We were vacationing in Bali & Thailand for 2 months and popped by Singapore to visit some Aussie friends for a week. Eileen needed a workout, and my buddy Simon said his boss had been raving about the nearby F45 Training studio. Eileen and Traci (Simon's wife) gave it a try and came back in absolute awe of the workout. Simon and I immediately started Googling & checking YouTube for everything F45, and the rest is history. They are also our business partners now."
Why did you choose F45?
"We were all decent athletes in our younger days and immediately recognized the benefits of F45's type of training. We are also the exact demographic that F45 studios target as members—busy professionals short on time but willing to pay for high-quality products. With all that in mind, we knew there was a place for F45 in Vancouver."
Have you always wanted to own your own business?
"For myself (Cortney), yes. From an early age, I admired people who had the guts to take their future into their own hands and create something for themselves. 9-5 has never been my thing."
Have you been in the fitness industry before?
"I (Simon) was a PT & group fitness instructor for 3-4 years in university, mainly to pay the bills and get a free gym membership. That's actually where I met my wife (Eileen)!"
How has the support from F45 HQ been?
"Jamie (Canadian Franchise Sales Director) has gone above and beyond his job responsibility, shows true passion for the brand and points us in the right direction whenever needed. HQ's support staff, Courtney & Jess, have been rockstars, Dana & Mark have given us some real insight into how to structure our business, and everyone else from the HQ support team ensures we are always on the right track. When in doubt, ask HQ for advice or direction, as they are happy to guide you. It's when you try and do everything on your own that you get into trouble. No one is re-inventing the wheel here. If you were, you wouldn't feel confident enough to buy a franchise, right?"
How was your F45 induction experience?
"We left the kids at home with Grandma & Grandpa and spent 9 days in L.A. How could it be anything but amazing?! Seriously though, it was at induction that we made the tight connections with people at HQ and many other F45 owners around the globe. We have since kept in touch and bounced ideas off once another when needed. We also sent our studio managers to induction in order to ensure we are all aligned in our processes and goals."
What is the thing that you are most surprised by?
"We were shocked by how many Vancouverites were ready to try F45! We have had over 700 people sign up for trials in the first month of business. The reception in our market/city has been awesome."
How much interest there has been in the studio? How easy it has been to market your F45 studio?
"We sold out our first 45 Foundation Memberships at both studios in about two weeks, which was mostly people contacting us and asking for memberships. As for marketing, we opted to use the social media marketing package that F45 HQ provides and we get 15 leads per day, easily. The hard part is keeping up with all the interest!"
What's the most inspiring member story you've witnessed?
"We had a former professional hockey player do his first workout with us this week. He signed up for the 6am Foxtrot class without any knowledge of what F45 was all about. After the first two exercises, he turned to me and said, "This is my jam, this is how I used to train, and I LOVE IT!" He's been back 3 times since and is signing up with some buddies as full-time members."
How do your members impact your life, both in and out of the studio?
"Eileen and I have full-time careers elsewhere, so we don't see the members all that much aside from when we are training in-studio. However, we are always on Instagram and love seeing our members post photos of their progress and passion for F45. They are genuinely excited about their amazing transformations, and we get to say that we provided that tool for them to achieve those goals and change their lives. That is a seriously satisfying feeling."
How has F45 been life-changing for you?
"I (Cortney) have arthritis in my spine, and F45 has significantly improved my mobility. I feel 10 years younger physically and can keep up with my 2 & 6 year old sons now!
Cortney and I (Simon) have always talked about wanting to be financially free by age 50. By investing in these franchises, I can say we have fast-tracked our goal by a few years. F45 is about taking risks and knowing we will see the rewards."
What is your favourite part of F45 and why?
"F45 is such an exciting business to own. When you enter the studio, everyone has endorphins flowing and is pumped about their workout. The positive atmosphere and attitude follows you around all day--members want to talk about F45 no matter where they are. We are giving people a product that everyone truly enjoys and that is changing their lives for the better each and every day. There aren't many 9-5 jobs that you can say that about!"