How do I franchise my fitness business? If you own a successful fitness studio and are looking for a way to scale your business and grow, one option is franchising. As noted in an earlier post, the other option, growing internally, carries different challenges and risks. When exploring the franchise route, you can either ‘go it alone’ by learning the ins and outs of franchising from scratch — or you can partner with a Franchise Development Company. What is a Franchise Development Company?
A Franchise Development Company has experience with the legal, regulatory and operational issues related to franchising.
They may have very little knowledge or expertise in your particular business niche, but the good ones have a track record of growing a successful franchising operation. My own backstory includes a chapter where I partnered with an experienced franchise development company to rapidly build a franchise system. From the day we inked our partnership agreement, we opened over 100 studios in less than 3 years. This would not have been possible without experienced partners.
Some franchise development companies will provide services for a fee, but if you want a motivated partner, you might also consider equity sharing and the development of a true partnership. This is the route I chose for one simple reason: I felt things had the best chance of moving quickly in that model and speed is critical when getting to market with a strong new concept.
If you start franchising, you are in essence launching a new company.
Key issues to discuss when engaging with a Franchise Development Company include
- How much investment will be needed?
- How will debt and equity be divided?
- What are the projected revenues and expenses for the first several years?
- What specific roles will each partner take on in the new company?
- Where will franchisor operations be?
- What is the harvest or exit strategy?
Boutique fitness franchising is relatively new compared to franchising in the traditional health and fitness space, and to franchising is other industries. There are some successful examples such as Orange Theory, Pure Barre, CycleBar, Club Pilates, and a few others. But we believe it is early days. To discuss franchising your concept, click here.