You might think that the only step to being part of the fitness industry is opening up your own fitness-related business. It’s not a bad idea, if you’re up for it. You’ll be your own boss, your hours might be more flexible, and you’ll finally be building towards your own personal business goal.
There’s a lot to consider when starting up your own business, such as finances, selecting the right team, securing your trademark, standing out amongst other players in your industry, and deciding on a convenient location for your first studio. However, if this sounds like too much for you to handle, then there is another way to be part of (and to cash in on), the fitness industry. That is, to invest in a pre-existing franchise.
Buying a fitness studio that belongs to an established company has numerous advantages. The fact that it is already established is one of them. Rather than spending time, money, and valuable resources getting your own business venture off the ground, why not become part of a business that’s already popular and successful? You’ve no doubt researched the industry and figured out which fitness brands are the most profitable, so once you eventually invest in the franchise you’re most comfortable with and buy your studio, you’ll already be assured of two very important things: a loyal customer base and a secure corporate identity.
Of course, when you join an existing fitness franchise, you’re also adopting a specific business strategy that has already been put in place by the franchise’s founding members. Emma Pearson explains why this is another positive aspect in an article for Franchising.com, saying, “when you buy an existing franchise you are provided with a clear business road map and support system when it comes to all aspects of getting your business open and running including choosing a territory, finding a location, negotiating a lease, and hiring and training staff”.
There’s more to this. The studio that you’ve bought operates according to a system of set operations, that have been replicated at every one of the franchise’s studios and taught to every one of its employees. If it’s been well-replicated and efficiently taught, then it’s concise enough for you and any people you hire to adapt to. This system covers your services, administrative procedures, employee management, marketing and advertising strategies, and other important aspects of the business.
A fitness brand as globally expansive as F45 Training needs a specific and comprehensible system that can be easily distributed amongst its numerous franchisees. It’s a good way of ensuring that it doesn’t engage with consumers in a way that contradicts what the brand offers and what its ethos encompasses. Specificity is perhaps what makes a fitness franchise so appealing to prospective franchisees, because a particular brand’s services will have been designed for specific demographics and according to certain trends and fitness-related concepts.
F45, for example, offers a collection of intricately thought-out exercise routines that all incorporate three basic types of training. These routines are integrated into 45-minute sessions, and not one of these sessions will ever be exactly the same as another. Members are assisted by screens installed within the studio that display the exercises as they should be done. It’s all comprehensible, manageable, and effective.
You don’t have to start from scratch in deciding how to structure your business and how it should operate. It’s all been organized for you. Plus, you will be trained in the nitty-gritty of your studio’s business operations. Pearson notes that “most fitness franchise brands offer initial training at their corporate offices, plus additional training at your franchise location before the grand opening as well as ongoing training via learning modules”.
Joining a business with an established track record also means that funding and other types of support won’t be elusive. Firstly, as said before, you’ll already have a substantial customer base. Plus, your franchisor and fellow franchisees will offer guidance and, as Pearson says, in “areas such as marketing support, new products, and new services, the franchisor's staff at headquarters will generally provide assistance”.
Regarding funding, Pearson explains that “lenders tend to consider loaning money to an entrepreneur investing in the brand as having a lower risk of repayment default”. She does, however, also recommend inquiring with the business in question as to whether or not it receives, or has received, funding from any particular source.
With such a wealth of support and structure, it’s easy to see why investing in an already existing franchise is a worthwhile business venture. Don’t be too quick to do it. Assess your own strengths and capabilities, as well as your current personal, professional and financial situation. If you think you’re ready, then go for it!