Fitness Franchises Have Grown
They say change is the only constant, and that’s as true with fitness franchises as it is with anything else. The franchise world has evolved. We’ve seen some genuinely positive changes during that evolution. In this post, we’ll spend some time discussing the most exciting changes that have hit the franchise world and how they benefit franchisees and customers alike.
The Changing Face of Franchises
Once upon a time, franchises were rare. It was unheard-of for a “business in a box” model to exist, and anyone who wanted to start a company had to essentially reinvent the wheel each time. Things have since shifted. Today, franchises are incredibly common throughout the US In 2018, there were an estimated 759,2000 franchise establishments throughout the country responsible for churning $760 billion into the economy and employing about eight million people – and those numbers continue to grow.
Today, franchise opportunities exist for virtually anyone who wants them. Brands and businesses in a variety of industries and sectors turn to franchises. They do this as a way to expand their markets and network and make their brands more famous around the globe.
Franchisees, meanwhile, decide to purchase a franchise as a way to start a company without much of the risk and overhead. Another reason was to ensure they have a legacy to pass down to their children. Franchises remain popular since they provide suitable employment at the local level, reliable income, and a piece of the American dream for everyone who decides to purchase one.
Franchise History 101
To appreciate how fitness franchises have grown, we must first look back at where it began. The origin of franchising can be traced back to about 1850. Singer Sewing Machine Company came up with the idea of franchising as a way to grow his business and expand his brand.
It wasn’t until about the 1930s that franchising took off, though. And we have the foodservice industry to thank for that. The first modern restaurant franchise was Howard Johnson’s, built and popularized by Howard Deering Johnson.
From there, things escalated. McDonald’s established its empire in the 1950s, followed quickly by KFC in 1952 and Burger King in 1953. Thanks to rapid technological advancements and an increased focus on convenience, the stage was set for successful franchising. Brands were taking advantage of the opportunity.
In the 1960s, franchising added a new player and diverged, slightly, from the fast-food landscape. In 1965, Gold’s Gym hit the scene for the first time, opening its flagship location in Venice Beach, CA. This was a monumental moment, and would ultimately lay the foundation for the fitness franchise as we know it today.
Gold’s Gym opened long before the invention of the modern health club and quickly became the go-to for bodybuilders in and around the Venice Beach area. By 1999, there were more than 534 Gold’s Gym locations throughout the US, and the modern fitness franchise model was born.
The Current State of Franchising
Thanks to the companies that paved the way, franchising is now a streamlined and highly usable business model. Entrepreneurs turn to franchises as a way to ride out the economy’s consistent ups and downs, since established businesses with built-in principles and concepts tend to be more reliable than entirely new ventures.
In today’s economy, franchises that offer personal services have stood out as some of the companies with the most rapid growth. We see fitness, retail, real estate, and lodging franchises take center stage today, and it’s a trend we’re happy to be part of.
Here at Alloy, we launched our fitness program back in 1992. In the beginning, our philosophy was straightforward: we believed personalized coaching delivered better results for our clients. As we grew, we stayed faithful to that vision. Over time, this allowed our programs to rocket straight to the top.
Today, we’re proud to say that Alloy programs are among the most effective in the world for helping people look and feel their absolute best. This is a legacy we’re incredibly proud of, and it impacts everything we do in business.
More Companies Will Franchise in Coming Years
The world is changing, fitness franchises have grown and businesses are being forced to adapt accordingly. Luckily, franchising remains one of the best ways to do it. We saw this back in 2011, when our training studio (formerly known as North Point Fitness) in Roswell, Georgia, decided to make the shift from a licensing model to a franchising model. At that time, North Point had been in business for about 20 years. It was the most successful personal training studio per square foot in the country.
Naturally, other studios took notice. The owners of those stores wanted to know our secrets, and we were more than happy to oblige. We developed a consulting business, which was the first step to franchising. By 2015, Alloy’s programming was licensed to gyms in 40 states plus the DC, Australia, Canada, Tasmania, and the United Kingdom.
We were offering a streamlined, turn-key solution that gyms around the country and the world could utilize right out of the box.
We were proud of what we were doing, but we decided it was time to take things one step further. This is where our transition to franchising truly began. We saw a gap in the industry: we knew that Small Group Personal Training was our core competence, and we knew we could deliver it better than anyone else in the industry.
We offer world-class fitness franchise opportunities. Not only do we have a long history as industry leaders, but we provide a unique niche program for the active aging population.
We look forward to seeing what the future of franchising holds for the fitness industry. We’re proud to maintain our position on the cutting edge of that change. To learn more about Alloy and the franchise opportunities we have available, contact us today.
Ready to learn more about Alloy or our franchise options? Contact us today to request your free information packet.