The fitness industry was one of the booming sectors of the economy pre-pandemic, and although the sector has had a tough time of it, the fitness industry is set to grow quickly again in 2021. If you’re looking to make a career change with a gym franchise, here’s what you need to know.
As a gym franchisee, there are a number of benefits that you’ll have over your competitors. You’ll be in an already strong market position, have a trusted brand name, a pre-existing customer base and a lot of additional support and training. Even without business experience, franchising is an attractive option for those looking to work in the gym industry.
Why start a gym franchise?
Being in the gym industry puts you in one of the UK’s fastest-growing sectors in recent years. In fact, Germany is the only European country to have more gyms than the UK, making the UK a gym hotspot [Statista].
But why should you look to open a franchise in the gym industry? Here are a few more major benefits:
- Job security: It’s no secret that gyms have been hit hard in the last few months. But, as a franchisee, you’ll benefit from the additional security that the franchise model gives you. Survival rates for franchises are noticeably higher than for independent businesses, so you’ll have additional future proofing as a franchisee.
- Customer base: There are thousands of people who visit gyms on a regular basis, so generating your own customer base from scratch will be difficult. As many of the biggest names in the gym industry are franchises, you’ll have a pre-existing customer base with which you can work.
- Marketing support: So, in a market with lots of big franchises dividing up new customers between them, how will you be able to get involved in this market for yourself? As a franchisee, you’ll have a pre-existing marketing strategy that helps you launch your business.
- Flexible working: Many gyms operate as flexible, turnkey operations meaning that both you and your staff will be able to work flexible hours. Rather than working to a regular schedule, you’ll have the ability to tailor your working schedule to whatever suits you best.
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Making a career with a gym franchise
If running a gym franchise sounds like the perfect option for you, here are some key tips on how to make a career change with a gym franchise.
1. Decide whether the gym sector is the right sector for you
While it might sound like an obvious point, different sectors trade in different goods and services and therefore need a number of different skills and qualities. What might be a useful skill necessary for working in one sector might not be as useful in the gym sector. So, here are some key skills you should have before getting started in the gym sector.
- Time management
- Positive mindset
These are important skills for a gym franchisee for a number of different reasons. As many gyms operate around the clock, with specialist equipment, and with specific target audiences, you’ll need to be able to engage and adapt to the specifics of your franchise.
Different franchises will also have different ways of operating, meaning that depending on which franchise you opt for, you’ll need to be able to adapt to whatever working practices your franchisor operates with.
2. Choose the right franchise for you
Different franchises will operate with different levels of equipment and to different working practices. This means that whatever franchise you eventually decide to operate with, you’ll need to be comfortable with however you choose to work.
For example, if you’re looking to operate a gym franchise that is open around the clock, 24/7/365, you could consider running a Snap Fitness franchise. Following a minimum investment of £160,000, you’ll benefit from training and support on everything from recruitment to premises location. Or, you could consider 9Round, offering specialist 30 minute kickboxing circuit training and all for a minimum investment of £80,000.
3. Research the market
Knowing your market is an essential part of any potential franchisee’s planning. Before you open your doors, put together a business plan, or even decide what franchise you want to work with, you’re going to need to know everything about your local gym sector.
Start by assessing what gym franchises currently operate in your area. Discover their strengths, weaknesses, unique selling points, and potential weaknesses. Then, look at potential or current trends taking place in the sector. You could look at how virtual and hybrid workouts have been running throughout the pandemic, and whether these are likely to continue into the future. Depending on this, you may be able to tailor your business plan and aspirations.
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4. Put together a business plan
All of your research, planning and preparation needs to be put into a succinct business plan. You will need to have slightly different versions of business plans depending on who will be reading it, but there are a number of key things you should always include in any plan.
- An executive plan
- An indicative inventory of equipment
- Marketing plans
- Potential locations
- Unique selling points
These plans will be almost certain to change based on the evolving situation you find yourself in, and the feedback from your franchisor. But having a well-prepared plan that clearly shows your ambition and level of research will go a long way and help you achieve your dream of opening a gym franchise.
Start a gym franchise and combine flexibility with profitability
The gym industry is one of the few industries earmarked for future success. If you want to be a part of this exciting industry, you can click on the pages of potential franchisors linked above, or, you can see a full list of franchising opportunities in other sectors on the UK franchise directory.
Elliott Fudge, Point Franchise ©