Hear from one of the owners of F45 Holloway, Hanri van der Merwe, about why she loves being an F45 franchisee.
How did you first hear about F45? I was doing CrossFit at the time, but a colleague of mine invited me to come try an F45 class with her during our lunch break. I reluctantly agreed. I was hooked after one class, so much so that I didn’t just want to join a F45 studio—I wanted to own one.
Why did you choose F45 Training? My best friend and I were looking for something to invest in for a while. F45 made sense since it combined our passion for fitness with a lucrative and exciting investment.
Have you always wanted to own your own business? Yes, absolutely. I come from a family of business owners and entrepreneurs, so it was the only thing that made sense to me. It was a natural route to follow.
Have you been in the fitness industry before? No, I’m an accountant by trade. I decided to quit the rat race and pursue my passion. I have not looked back. The day I resigned from my corporate accounting role was the most liberating day of my life.
How was your F45 induction experience? It was great fun! We attended induction in LA. It was informative, and we enjoyed meeting the US HQ team and making friends with other franchisees.
How has your franchise experience been thus far? We are loving it. There are always challenges that come with franchising, but if something doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. Owning a franchise is similar to following a foolproof recipe—it's the only way to go!
What are the benefits of F45's franchise model? It is fairly easy to set up. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment and everything is predefined for the setup and fit-out. This takes a lot of pressure off franchisees, thus allowing time to be allocated elsewhere. The branding is on point, consistent, bold, and recognizable, which I think is key to making F45 stand out from the crowd.
What's the most inspiring member story you've witnessed? Our most inspiring member story is Simon. Simon joined us at the beginning of the year, participating in our first bootcamp before we opened. At this point, he was 22 kg heavier, consuming his daily calorie allowance in one meal, and drinking 6/7 pints on nights out a few times a week. He ran outside during our opening Hollywood session to get some fresh air.
He decided to join the 8-week Challenge in February. He came to every 6 AM session without fail. By the end of the Challenge, he was 15kg lighter and no longer drinking (he saved £700 from drinking less and spending more time at the studio). He is still at every 6 AM session, doing back-to-back Hollywood sessions, and has lost 7 additional kg since the first Challenge. He has also made friends with many of the other members and trainers, which is great to see. He said F45 truly changed his life and he is taking all of us out when he has a six-pack!
How do your members impact your life, both in and out of the studio? Members become friends. I'm genuinely sad when they cancel a membership—I always say its a bit like a break-up. I love the community aspect of the studio, the chats, the stories. Hearing how we change people's lives is incredibly moving. We have a few members suffering from depression, and it's inspiring and rewarding to hear how F45 has changed their lives. F45 gives them a sense of belonging and purpose in life.
How has F45 been life-changing for you? F45 has given me a sense of freedom. I always rolled my eyes when I heard people say that if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life again. I now get it. It's absolutely true. It doesn't feel like work, I love what I do, I love being able to manage my own time, I don't hate Mondays anymore. I love making a difference in peoples lives; it's so much more rewarding than being an accountant. It's great being able to give something back.
What is your favorite part of F45 Training and why? I love the branding and merchandise. If you cut me in half, all you’ll see is red, white, and navy! You will always find me in a F45 t-shirt, even on holiday! Aside from that, I love talking to the members every day. I love the banter before and after the classes and having an impact on their lives.