Opening a franchise often seems like a very attractive business choice. If you get it right, you could enjoy the freedom of owning your own business, coupled with the benefits of working off a proven model and piggybacking on a familiar brand that customers already love.

Buying a franchise can be an expensive commitment and, while being passionate about a particular industry is extremely important, you need to remember that passion alone isn’t enough. 

A franchise is an investment, not a hobby—and this is especially important when it comes to the fitness industry, where health and well-being are such powerful passion points. It’s important to make sure that any franchise decision is made after looking at the business in depth, asking existing franchisees about their experiences, and knowing how to get the most out of the franchise system you choose.

Here are five questions with which to start. Of course, we suggest you ask around, look at different models, talk to existing franchisees and do a little more investigating, but this is a good place to begin:

Should you go it alone?

Far too many new franchisees jump blindly into a decision based on simply liking a brand or talking to a friend about it. Few new prospects take the time to talk to a franchise consultant or seek out advice from current franchisees and experts. We recommend that you ask around and listen to expert advice—it’s vital when it comes to choosing a proven, market-leading business.

Do you understand the business model?

You might eat, sleep, and breathe fitness. If you’re going to buy an F45 Training franchise, though, you need to understand how the business works and how to get the most out of the F45 franchise system. Consider the overheads, running costs, and start-up costs you’ll need to cover before you start to see a profit. Staff salaries, responsibilities and skillsets are also important aspects to consider, as is the studio’s traffic, location, and the demographic you can expect to attract. Knowing what to expect and how to structure your business will help you avoid any surprises and get you off to the best start possible.

Do you know who you’re going into business with?

As a franchisee, you’ll be going into business with the people who run the overarching brand and company. It’s vital that it’s a business and community whose vision and values you share. Take time to research and understand what the company stands for and try to immerse yourself in its culture as much as possible before you buy.

Will the franchise fit your lifestyle?

You may think that an F45 Training franchise is your key to a better work/life balance (and you’re probably right), but take a moment to look at your current lifestyle. Consider the effort and time you’ll need to put in to get your franchise running optimally.

Think about your current working hours and the times when your studio is likely to be most busy. Things like your commute, time with family and friends, the ability of your business to impact your free time are all important points to consider before you make your decision.

Is franchising right for you?

While opening a franchise will give you the chance to explore and develop that entrepreneurial spirit, if you’re highly independent and creative, you might find it tricky to work within a set of established brand rules and guidelines.

The F45 vision is a great fit for strong, unique personalities, but you’ll still need to make sure that you’re able to follow the company guidelines and make the most out of a proven model. After all, there’s a reason we’re the world’s fastest-growing fitness network. Being able to deliver a consistent customer experience and play to F45’s strengths will translate into greater value and returns for your individual franchise.

Ask more questions. 

As we said, these are just a few of the questions you should be asking before you decide to buy into F45 Training (or any other franchise for that matter). By doing your homework, asking around, and immersing yourself in the world of the business you’re looking at, you’ll give yourself the best chance of success. Curiosity is key to any franchisee’s ability to flourish.

Image: MBB Management