When you buy a fitness franchise, you get the advantage of selling a program that has instant name recognition and a reputation for quality. Purchasing a franchise, however, is just like making any other investment. There’s no way to guarantee success or a good fit. That begs one big question: how do you evaluate a fitness franchise? What do you look for when you start shopping for a business to step into?
Here’s what you need to know.
Why Buy A Fitness Franchise, Why Now?
The fitness industry is growing rapidly, which means that now is an excellent time to purchase a fitness franchise. According to The Association of Fitness Studios, or AFS, there are over 100,000 fitness businesses in the U.S. today. Of these 100,000 studios, many are dedicated to small group fitness and personal training. Specifically…
- 59% are personal training studios
- 31% are yoga or Pilates studios
- 8.5% are martial arts studios
- 8.5% are dance studios
Even as the fitness industry as a whole grows and changes, personal training facilities continue to stand out as the fastest-growing and most profitable establishments out there. In fact, personal training is a larger industry than all the country’s fastest-growing segments, including YMCAs, JCCs, corporate, college and university, hospital-based, military, parks and rec., senior living, and physical therapy locations combined.
According to AFS:
“As of 2015, personal training and private training session studios made up 33% of all programs offered by fitness studios. They are followed by functional cross-training (19%), and HIIT (19%). Yoga was the most popular form of group exercise activity offered by studios with 17%. A relatively small percentage of respondents indicated they incorporate alternative health services into their studio’s offerings – services such as massage, physical therapy, and acupuncture. These are all services that are associated with enhancing personal well-being and present an opportunity for fitness studios to enrich their value proposition and generate additional client spend.”
So, what does the future of personal training look like? Right now, experts predict 6.5 million Americans are using personal training services. They also project that the annual growth rate of personal training facilities will be about 2.8% through the end of 2020. Recent IHRSA data backs these findings up, and provides additional insight into the growth of the industry:
More than 71.5 million consumers utilized U.S. health clubs in 2018, a record high since IHRSA began tracking health club utilization in 1987. The number of individual members totaled 62.5 million, up 2.6% from 60.9 million in 2017. In all, consumers frequented their health clubs for more than 6 billion visits in 2018.
As these statistics illustrate, now is an excellent time to enter the personal training industry, and to trust that the franchise you buy will have a long and lucrative history ahead of it.
How To Evaluate A Fitness Franchise
Ready to purchase your first fitness franchise? Here are some steps to follow:
1. Get All The Info
Before you buy a fitness franchise, you should know precisely what you can expect from the venture. For example, how much is your buy-in cost? How much assistance will you get with things like marketing, hiring, and onboarding? What will your first year as a franchise owner look like? While it can be overwhelming to take in all this information at once, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into and to understand the obligations you’re undertaking.
2. Reach Out To Other Franchise Owners
Seek counsel from other franchise owners who have been where you are and understand the journey you’re about to undertake. One of the best ways to educate yourself is to speak to other people who have made the same decision and to ask them about what the process was like. Before you buy a franchise, look into the Founders of the company; who they are and what their mission is. Evaluate their Linkedin profiles, references, Google them, and investigate their track records. In addition to talking to other people who have made the decision to become a fitness franchisee, this will give you an idea of what to expect from the franchise journey itself.
3. Evaluate How The Franchise Suits Your Mission
There are dozens of fitness franchise options out there, and it’s essential to choose one that aligns with your goals and mission. Before you purchase the franchise, take a real, honest look at the business and your ability to run it. Does the purpose of the company align with your priorities? Do you admire the leadership? Is the target audience one you want to serve? To be a successful franchise owner, you need to be able to get behind what you’re selling and believe in it. One of the great things about being a fitness business franchisee is that you will be helping people get fit and healthier.
Finding Your Perfect Franchise Fit
Buying a franchise is an exciting experience, especially when the company aligns so perfectly with your goals, priorities, and missions. While it can be a nerve-wracking experience to dive into a new company, doing your due diligence, in the beginning, will help ensure you wind up with the perfect franchise once you’re ready to pull the trigger.
Before you sign the franchise agreement, be sure you feel 100% comfortable with the decision you’re about to make. If you have any questions, speak to your fellow franchise owners or comb through the company’s franchise documents. You’ll have no problem finding the information you need and ensuring the franchise you’ve chosen is right for you.
If you’re looking for a franchise that helps you feel as confident as possible about your decision, consider Alloy Fitness. Known as a leader in the fitness industry, Alloy is here to help you enjoy the benefits of running a franchise without the risks or uncertainty of working with a company you don’t know or trust. From our world-class support to our commitment to caring for our franchise owners, we strive to provide an “above and beyond” experience both customers and business owners have come to know, love, and trust.