With the fitness industry booming and an ever-growing number of franchises offering investors a chance to earn a living doing something they love, making the right choice can be difficult. Before a potential F45 Training franchisee signs on the dotted line, we recommend that he or she shops around, explores all the options available and asks lots of questions.
There are questions potential franchisees should ask themselves, the franchisor, their business' potential customers, and existing franchisees. Here are some we recommend you start with—and a look at what F45’s answers might be:
Will you get along with your partners?
A good franchisee-franchisor relationship should stand the test of time and survive through both good times and bad. Getting it right goes beyond the franchisee running a profitable business and the franchisor providing support and collateral.
A shared vision is vital, as is the ability to communicate openly and honestly. At F45, we believe in changing lives for the better, and this is what drives our business far beyond the desire to expand at any cost or simply make money. We’ve found that it gives us a purpose and reason for being that is far more motivating than more traditional business goals. If you’re passionate about helping others and believe in your power to make a real difference, we’ll get along just fine.
Communication is another vital part of any relationship, and part of this question should not just be whether or not you share common values and vision, but also if you feel like you can honestly and openly talk with the franchisor you choose. The F45 way is to always keep lines of communication open with all of our franchisees—regular, honest feedback and input should always flow both ways.
Who do I look to for advice and leadership?
As a business owner, being able to draw on the experience and knowledge of people who’ve been there and done it before is absolutely priceless. Before committing to a brand, ask yourself if the franchisor is known for supporting its franchisees and if you’ll be able to lean on other franchisees for advice on dealing with problems or realizing opportunities.
The F45 Training promise is to always be available to franchisees. Our global network is easy to access when it comes to finding insights and learnings needed for an individual business. It’s a structure that will do more than just provide a guiding light—it will give you peace of mind and confidence, which will help with those entrepreneurial worries and sleepless nights.
How do current franchisees feel?
While any good franchisor should be open and honest about the challenges and opportunities the business presents, you should bear in mind that they will always put their best foot forward when talking to a potential investor.
By talking to existing franchisees, you’re more likely to get a broad range of opinions and feedback, which will always help you make a better-informed decision. F45 is always happy to put prospective franchisees in touch with current business owners, but we also recommend that you do your own research. Ask around and find franchisees who’ve enjoyed success as well as those who’ve struggled or failed.
Try and identify common themes rather than getting stuck on a particular individual’s experience. If the franchisees are generally content and happy, that’s a great sign. If the general feeling is frustration or if a number of owners are unhappy, you should dig a little deeper before committing.
Will there be a demand for your business?
The best product in the word is worthless if you’re trying to sell it to a market that doesn’t have a need or want for it. You could have a great franchise, amazing business partners and the best marketing, but you’ll be finished before you even start without a viable market.
Take a close look at the area your franchise will be operating in and ask yourself if there’s enough of a market opportunity and demand to make the business viable. One of the real strengths of F45 Training is that it’s a truly inclusive offering, where all ages and levels of fitness are welcomed. It means that a franchise can work across a variety of locations and markets. From families to corporate clients and even a more youthful audience, we’ve got something for everyone.
What will a day in my life look like?
While it might be possible for an older, more established franchise to run itself (with the right people in place, of course), many franchises will require a more hands-on approach. This is especially true in the first few months, when time demands are high and structures for long-term success are often created.
You should be asking yourself what a typical day will look like at the front line of your new business. When do you expect it to be busiest? How will this stack up against your current lifestyle demands and commitments? Just as important is finding out what skills will be needed from you to handle the most common day-to-day tasks.
As a fitness business, you might find that an F45 Training studio is busiest before or after regular office hours, and you’ll need to wear many different hats over the course of any given day. We find that our franchisees are often able to strike a better work/life balance than if they were slaving away at a regular 9-to-5, though. Knowing that any effort and energy you put into your business will be for your own direct benefit is a fantastic motivator.
Don’t stop asking.
Even after you decide on the right franchise for you, the questions shouldn’t stop. The most successful entrepreneurs are constantly curious—and by continuing to question, you’ll give your business the best chance of success. Ask your customers what works for them and what doesn’t. Ask your staff how you can create a more productive environment for them. And always ask yourself how you can do things smarter or better.
At F45 Training, we push to never stop questioning and we’d love to answer any questions you might have for us.