As outlined in a previous post, there are pluses and minuses to fitness studio franchising — and of course some franchisors execute better than others. As you consider the franchise option, here are some of the areas where I believe true value can be added.
Branding. Brand, vibe, feeling, whatever you call it — it’s important. Large consumer companies spend millions on brand development for one simple reason: a good brand is critical to strong business results. With a franchise, you access a name, a logo, a color scheme, a website design, an app, graphics, marketing content, collateral, and other brand assets that have (usually) been professionally developed.
Building these things from scratch is a major project.
Real Estate support. Finding a good location at a good price is often the single largest challenge in opening a fitness studio. Most franchisors haveexperience in this area and support systems to analyze and select spots. Landlords often prefer name brand tenants with a known model. Learning commercial real estate from scratch is a major project.
Construction Support. Because most franchisors have multiple locations with similar floor plans, there is a history of getting permits and building out that streamlines the process. Being your own general contractor is a major project.
Technology Support. Your website, booking system, performance metrics, audio visual, mobile app, CRM, financial and other systems are usually integrated and provided with a franchise. Selecting suppliers and getting them integrated is a major project.
Economies of scale / Cost savings. The products and equipment you need for construction, startup and ongoing operations are typically less expensive because the franchisor has negotiated bulk discounts based on volume. Independent startups do not get the same benefits.
Knowledge sharing. Because franchisees have access to similar businesses in different markets, there are opportunities to learn from each others successes and challenges. Best practices can be refined and shared through the franchise system