Consider Opening a Franchise
The popularity of new and various exercise programs in the fitness industry is growing daily. We don't have to research a ton of statistics to notice the trend. In every city throughout the US gyms, yoga studios, Pilates studios, boot camps, Cross-fit spaces, barre studios, cycling centers, etc. are popping up on every corner like McDonald’s; some can actually be found right next to McDonald’s. And let's face it, exercise is not always the most fun thing on our to-do list, but it has to be done. It is essential in order to prevent disease, prevent injury, live longer, and just have overall good health. As a result, fitness companies have invested lots of money into creating programs and spaces that are fun and attractive to motivate potential clients to join their program. This turns a difficult but essential activity into something we look forward to doing. Fitness companies have done such a great job that the fitness industry is booming. Many entrepreneurs are now looking at how they can get a piece of the pie...or granola bar, we are talking about fitness after all. If you don't have a background in sports medicine, kinesiology, or personal training how do you move into this industry? The answer is: open a franchise.
For many entrepreneurs, franchising is an interesting opportunity because it offers the chance to be your own boss without taking on the risk that comes with starting a business from scratch. Franchising offers several advantages for future business owners, but like anything, there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of before embarking on a franchise purchase.
No Experience Necessary
An advantage of opening a franchise is that you don't have to have experience in the industry that you are entering. Now that's not to say it wouldn't be a good idea to learn about the industry you are interested in, but it is a fast-track way to become an industry expert while learning on the job. A good franchise company will provide all the training necessary to start a company in the industry of your choice, and in this case, the fitness industry. A franchise will provide you with training, an operations manual, and on-going support that will give you and your business a head start to success. Another advantage of opening a franchise is knowing what the size of your investment will be. Unfortunately, there are many factors to determine the perfect amount of what opening a business will cost, but with a franchise, you are given a more accurate estimate based on previous openings the franchise company has executed.
Being Your Own Boss
Owning your own business comes with many advantages. This point will be its own blog post because the advantages of being your own boss are numerous. What attracts people to the fitness industry is the satisfaction of helping clients achieve desired physical results. Now that might be your reason for starting a fitness business, but you might not have the desire to go through getting a degree or certification to become a personal trainer or yoga instructor. Another thing to consider is that the people who pursue a career in the fitness industry don't want to go through the process of starting a business, but they do want to work with people! With that in mind, fitness experts will need a job and that's where the entrepreneur wanting to start a fitness business comes into play. You can start your own business to help your employees pursue their passion and help your clients achieve their fitness goals at the same time.
Are You Ready?
If you are considering entering the fitness industry and owning a fitness franchise there are a few key things to consider before embarking on the journey, because it will be a journey. First of all, is this your passion? Many people find the fitness industry to be a fun option as a career. We see trainers on TV always having fun and motivating their clients. The reality is that it can be very fun, but being a business owner and working with clients is only part of it. You also need to have a passion for marketing and sales because you can't work with clients if they don't know your business is there. You'll also need to have a passion for the business side of things. Once everyone has gone home, the business owner’s job is not done. There are bills to pay, budgets to organize, and employees to be paid. If learning the accounting equation, or being social to get more clients is not your cup of tea, don't fret, there are many agencies and professionals who can take care of those aspects of the business so you can focus on running your business and enjoying your investment.
Words of Advice From a Former Franchise Owner
A franchise will give you many tools for success. Unfortunately, just like diets, results will vary from person to person. A franchise does not guarantee you life long success, and if it does, it's actually against the law! So where do you start when you decide you want to start a business and join a nationwide brand? Research! There are many resources that can give you information to consider when looking into starting a business and opening a franchise location. From podcasts to magazine articles, books, and many other resources from people who have already gone through or are going through the experience is essential in your journey. Learning from other's successes and failures can help in creating a strong and successful franchise location. What I tell people who are thinking of opening an Ageless Fitness franchise, even before any money is spent or any contracts have been signed, is to go into the area or community where you want to open your business and talk to your potential clients. Get feedback, make friends, and gauge the difficulty of getting clients. Even though you might not have a place to operate from, people will tell you if they are interested and if they could see themselves becoming a client of yours. For example, Ageless Fitness is an exercise program for older adults. A studio will need to be opened near or in an area where there are many older adults. In many cases, approaching a retirement facility or community with over 100 residents is a great gauge of how hard or how easy it can be to get clients. Many facilities or retirement communities do not offer the adaptive fitness programs that Ageless Fitness offers. If the feedback is good then it might be a good place to start! An Ageless Fitness franchise location can reach capacity with only 30 routine clients, helping the owner have consistent cash flow. If you have fun doing the research and you are able to obtain clients even before opening, then you'll have a better experience when it comes time to cut the ribbon of your new venture.
Written by: Emmanuel Verduzco
Co-founders of Ageless Fitness Julie Pollard and Emmanuel Verduzco, share their experience and knowledge about the fitness industry for older adults. "We feel that the fitness industry has left out older adults. We are here to create a resource that will benefit both entrepreneurs who have a passion for fitness and working with older adults and the older adults in their communities." (Emmanuel) Ageless Fitness is here to disrupt the industry by targeting an undeserved demographic.