Franchising – the path to business ownership success

Many people have dreams of running their own business. Being your own boss, taking control of your future success and readdressing work / life balance are all attractive benefits. However, the journey from initial idea to profitability can seem daunting to some and may put off those who could in fact be very successful entrepreneurs with the right level of support.

Introducing the franchise concept

Franchising is a concept that offers the benefits of business ownership but with the infrastructure and training provided by the franchisor. A curated process is provided by which the franchisee can follow and mark off key milestones towards the operation of a successful business.

A franchise also offers the security of a model or business concept that is proven in its success. Alignment with a recognised brand helps to circumnavigate some of the challenges an independent company may experience. By setting up a business under the umbrella of an existing brand, it is likely to attract customers more easily and hit the ground running with sales.

Franchise growth in the UK

In the last four years, the UK franchise industry has grown by 10% and has proven to be a recession proof business model. Lenders are more favourable towards franchise businesses because it offers a lower risk and the owner has an increased chance of success; 90% of franchise businesses report profitability in the first two years. More than 50% of franchise businesses in the UK regularly turnover in excess of £250,000.

Not only is franchising a more successful entry to business ownership from a financial perspective but also in terms of achieving greater work / life balance. Business owners have greater flexibility to work around their own commitments and make time for important life events.

What to expect from a franchise business

Each franchise is different and it’s important to research different offerings in your chosen business area to ensure the ethos and approach of the franchisor matches your own goals and objectives. There are a few key areas a franchise should offer to a potential owner:

  • Training – A comprehensive training programme is essential to success. The learning and development should cover all elements of the business model to ensure the owner and their appointed staff are fully equipped to operate a successful business.
  • Infrastructure – From implementation of established systems to access to recommended suppliers, the infrastructure in place should make it seamless for a franchisee to emulate other businesses within the network and quickly set up their own operation.
  • Marketing – To remain aligned with the brand, a marketing programme is key. Whether this is provided as a centralised function or a strategy is devised specifically for each business, a franchisees success is dependent on the recommendations and campaigns provided before and after opening.

Franchise opportunities in the fitness industry

The fitness industry is showing steady growth with the number of gym members increasing 8.5% in the last year. This recognition of the business opportunity has seen a sharp rise in fitness franchises.

Traditionally the industry has been polarised between budget gyms and high-end offerings. Fitness franchises that can differentiate their offering are seeing the greatest success. The boutique fitness market accounted for 30% of the leisure industry’s growth in 2016, making it the fastest growing fitness sector.

The Fitness Space is the UK’s fastest growing boutique fitness operator. With a number of fitness franchise options available, The Fitness Space strives to set itself apart through its franchise offering. The Fitness Space believes in empowering the owner. The ethos is to create an environment where franchise owners can succeed and quickly see a return on investment through profitability. The Fitness Space franchise model provides the following benefits to a franchisee:

  • Site sourcing selection and securing: The franchise owner is fully supported through the site selection process, and has autonomy to choose the final location based on recommendations.
  • Business planning and funding support: The Fitness Space provides franchise owners with end-to-end business planning and funding support to ensure every stage is as a seamless as possible.
  • Risk-free deposit mechanism: A deposit commitment is the only financial requirement to proceed with site selection and business and funding planning. The full franchise amount is only applicable once these stages are complete, minimising the investment risk for the franchisee.

The franchise model has been built around ongoing training and support. Each franchisee is allocated a launch manager to be on-hand during the pre-sales period, and a business development manager for ongoing support once the club has opened. A comprehensive learning and development programme is provided for owners and staff to ensure every owner, general manager and coach has the appropriate training for their level to operate a successful Fitness Space club.

To find out more about franchising in the fitness industry and for specific information on The Fitness Space franchise offering, contact us here.

  4. State of the UK Fitness Industry Report 2017

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