The fitness industry continues to be a safe investment. Still, it is crucial to choose one that fits your net worth, the commitment necessary, and your personal preferences for the highest rate of return. When deciding which one is right for you, these are the factors to hone in on.
Research All Opportunities Carefully
Although the list above includes the top five fitness franchise opportunities, the possibilities appear endless and can be somewhat overwhelming. It is essential to focus on those you have the budget and capital to buy into, enhancing your work satisfaction and personal interest. Taking the time to sift through the many options available is essential. Consider incorporating professional franchise consultants like Frannexus into your search for a smart franchise investment.
Check Individual Requirements
Most franchises set minimum financial and personal requirements to ensure success for those who opt to buy-in. The two areas that usually are used as criteria are a person’s finances and background experience. Because the success of the individual franchises affects the reputation and status of the franchise brand as a whole, franchisors seek to find those who will have the greatest likelihood to meet expectations. Things like your credit score, liquidity of assets, level of management experience, and cash on hand all play into your consideration for ownership.
Ensure that you are a good fit for a franchise and that they are a good fit for you by thinking about your wants and needs and comparing them to the reality of owning the franchise through conversations with current franchise owners and close examination of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). The cost of investing can start somewhere around $50,000 and go upwards of $300,000, so making sure you are heading in the right direction before making a decision is vital to your wealth.
The Franchise Search
Once you have done a thorough assessment of your budgetary limits, skill set, and a timeline for start-up, it is time to narrow your choices. Try to rule out those franchises that are “fads” rather than a trend because they may burn out soon. Look instead for something that has longevity and matches your interests since it is a long-term buy-in.
While researching, look at things like reviews from other owners, and get real feedback about what it is like to own a particular franchise. Also, consider things like:
- Costs - initial and ongoing - Take into account rental fees, advertising costs, royalty fees, and marketing fees
- Support and Training - What type of training will a franchise provide to get you up and running and for the long term? Is there a cost for ongoing training, or is it included in the price of franchise ownership?
- Total Investment Needed - Total investment costs include things like franchise fees, employee costs, leaseholds, fixtures, training expenses, marketing, and furniture or equipment
- Competition Analysis - What type of market will support your locale, and what does the competition look like? If there are already similar franchises in your area, what does the market’s saturation look like?
Review the Agreement or Contract
Once you can meet with the franchisor, you know you meet the minimum requirements, and you have initiated buying into a specific franchise, they will provide you with a formal contract or agreement. It is a legal contract that outlines the rules and regulations of the franchise. Look it over very thoroughly so that you understand what your rights and obligations are. It is best to have legal representation to ensure that you aren’t missing anything problematic. If you have discussed anything or agreed to anything in person, make sure that it is reflected in the contract you sign.
You’ll need a specific amount of capital to buy into your franchise and then even more for your initial start-up costs. To get the financing, you will need to have a solid business plan that includes future projections and the initial investment required. You will also have to consider how you will have the capital to invest in equipment and decide if you will be buying new machines and equipment or if leasing is a smarter way to go. Your location will be critical to your overall success, as will your decision to either choose new construction or rent a space.
Location, Location, Location
Assuming that your fitness franchise isn’t in-home or mobile, finding the right location is going to be critical. Some franchises will have rules about territorial confinement, which means that you will not just pick a spot. Franchises all have their own rules and requirements, but most owners tend to lease to lower their initial investment costs for fitness franchises. However, if you have the means and intend to be in business for the long-term, buying something might be a better financial decision.
Some franchises will provide all that you need to train both you and the staff you hire to understand the product and service you are providing along with your brand. Make sure that each member of your team fully understands and adheres to the plan. The franchisor has the option to train your staff on-site, or some choose to hold training at a central headquarters or even virtually to cut costs.
Also, some franchise agreements come with training for other things like hiring, bookkeeping, marketing, managing, and sometimes factors like supplier lists. Before you hang up the “open" sign, make sure that everyone has a full grasp of what they are supposed to be doing and that they are on-brand. Everyone who works at your facility will represent you.
Be Ready to Put out the “Open for Business” Sign
Once you have decided on a franchise, secured financing, and found a location, it is time for your grand opening. A large portion of your first year’s budget allocated to marketing should go to blasting your big opening. Sometimes your franchisor will help; in other cases, they won’t, and it will all be on you—an excellent place to start when planning is to learn from the success and failures of others.
Use all means possible, including word of mouth and social media. Things like banners and balloons will help attract the customer’s eye and bring attention to your location. Also, consider options like free giveaways in exchange for contact information to better target your marketing. Most franchisors will offer some support to attract the public through marketing and promotional programs. However, you decide to market your new venture, make sure to make a big splash and gain the most attention possible.
2020 might have put a damper on the fitness industry as a whole, but as we head into a new recovery period, the thirst that Americans have for health and wellness has not lessened. If you are looking for a lucrative franchise opportunity that will continue to grow and expand, looking for a fitness franchise is a perfect starting point. For more help in pinpointing which franchise you should buy into, contact the professionals of Frannexus today.
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I am very happy I had Seth and Frannexus on my side to guide me on the search for the ideal franchise opportunity. With the daunting number of franchise business options available out there, I absolutely recommend you get Frannexus to help you tackle the task of finding the one for you!
- Jose Francisco Benavides, Franchise Owner