As the number of fitness customers increases, so too does the number of fitness fans looking to turn their passion into an exciting new career and in this article, we discuss how to choose a fitness franchise that’s right for you.
Nowadays, more and more of us are focusing on our physical and mental wellbeing in order to counteract the stress and strain of our busy lives. As a result, an increasing number of people in the UK are heading to gyms and leisure centres and joining exercise classes to improve their health and fitness.
Which Fitness Franchise Should I Choose?
The great news for budding fitness professionals is that there are lots of options available these days, including personal training, gyms, and classes. An incredibly popular option among these professionals is the fitness franchise – an affordable and widely available option that often requires no special skills or experience.
Franchising is big business in the UK and allows individuals to start their own business by buying into a larger, established brand and opening their own branch or service outlet. For example, an individual may buy an Anytime Fitness franchise. The individual pays an initial fee to Anytime Fitness to gain permission to open their own branch – and will then pay the company a percentage of their earnings.
The benefits of franchising
There are lots of benefits to buying a franchise business, and here’s just a few of them:
The price is right
Opening a brand new business can be incredibly expensive – particularly one which requires physical premises and equipment. While there are fees involved when opening a franchise business, these are generally considerably lower than the costs of starting a business from scratch.
Finding the funding
If you head to the bank with a business plan for a new, independent business, there’s a good chance that you’ll be shown the door rather than the money. In contrast, banks will usually be receptive to handing out business loans for franchises as these are considered a much safer bet.
Running down risk
You’re never, of course, guaranteed success with any kind of business; however, franchises carry considerably less risk than brand new businesses as you’re buying into a company that is already established and has a proven success rate.
Starting a business from the ground up can be a pretty lonely affair, and, in many cases, you’ll come up against a number of stumbling blocks that will leave you feeling disillusioned. When hooking up to a franchise business, you’re also tapping into a great support network with help and advice from those who have been there, done that and bought the T-shirt.
When starting a new business, you’ll find yourself spending a huge amount of time and effort on sourcing suppliers and negotiating prices – not so with a franchise business. Your franchisor will already have supplier relationships in place so, not only will you save precious time but, you’ll also enjoy better prices due to the franchisor’s bulk buying discounts.
Choosing your fitness franchise
If it sounds like a fitness franchise is for you, there’s a couple of things to think about before you get started. To begin with, there are a fair few different kinds of fitness franchise businesses to choose from and, some of these are:
Outdoor Fitness Franchise
During the warmer months (and even some of the colder ones), many people like to get out into the fresh air for their workouts and, outdoor fitness franchises are becoming increasingly popular.
With this kind of business, you’ll be conducting outdoor workouts and classes in a park, on a beach or in a private outdoor space. While this can be great, be aware that you may end up with customers cancelling if the weather doesn’t play ball.
The best outdoor fitness franchises in the UK
Around 4.2 million UK residents hold a gym membership at an average cost of around £40 per month. Starting your own gym franchise business means that you’ll be running the show in your own gym and be responsible for every aspect of the gym’s operation. This kind of business can be a great money-spinner but will usually involve higher fees and start-up costs, including premises.
The best gym franchises in the UK
Personal Trainer Franchise
As you’ve probably guessed, this one is all about offering personal training services to clients as part of a larger company. Personal trainers will work with clients on a one to one basis in their home, in a gym or within an outdoor space.
The best personal training franchises in the UK
Children’s Fitness Franchise
It can be tough to drag children away from their screens and outdoors to get some exercise in the modern world. Children’s fitness franchise businesses cover a wide range of sports and exercise activities, including swimming, yoga and gymnastics.
With this kind of business, you’ll generally need some experience, along with certification for working with children.
The best children’s fitness franchises in the UK
Sports Therapy Franchise
Sports therapists are always in demand and, this role involves offering massage and physical therapies to clients before and after sports and, also, following injury. This kind of franchise business can be extremely lucrative, although some franchisors will expect you to have experience and qualifications.
Specialist Class Franchise
As increasingly people begin to focus on wellbeing and self-care, franchises for specialist classes such as yoga and pilates are becoming more and more popular. Although some experience in the field will help, most franchisors will offer training and support to their franchisees.
Running / Walking Franchise
We’ve known about the benefits of walking and running for some time and, while people can do these things for free, many prefer the structure of being part of a group. With this kind of franchise business, you’ll be leading a group of clients on interesting and motivational walks in your local area.
So, which to choose?
To make this important decision, start by listing your strengths, experience and skills, as well as the things that you enjoy. Getting a new business off the ground takes hard work and long hours – and this is much easier when you’re doing something that you enjoy.
Once you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to start shopping around. Franchise businesses differ greatly in terms of cost, benefits and support so, always make sure that you read the fine print so that you know what you’re getting into.
Before making the final decision, try to talk to some of the company’s existing franchisees who will be able to paint a picture for you regarding what it’s like to run a franchise for that company.
Buying a fitness franchise can provide you with a lucrative, fun and future-proof career that benefits both you and your customers. Always make sure that you read all of the terms and conditions – and get a solicitor to check out the contract for you, to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.