Inside Franchise Business



Check out these practical expert tips to give yourself a head start.

Dkind of an impact.” Fitness has become a highly competitiv­e marketplac­e with an incredibly diverse range of brands - from the big box to the 24/7 concept; from class-based studios to outdoor training; from functional fitness to wellbeing.

Like any franchise, a fitness business can be a success if all the various parts fit together. It’s about the strength of the brand, its growth potential in the location, and ensuring it remains a viable option after set-up costs and ongoing expenses are taken into account.

When it comes to choosing the brand and the location, there are plenty of things to consider.

Chris Caldwell suggests researchin­g other fitness businesses in the area to find out what they do well and where they could improve.

“Talk to the community and find out what type of fitness offering is lacking in the area. And, most importantl­y, visit some other branches of the fitness franchises you are considerin­g to get a feel for what it’s really like – talk to the members, trainers, managers and owners if you can.”

Says Nicole Noye, “The ideal audience for gyms and fitness studios can be quite specific, so the success of a fitness franchise depends on choosing a territory with a large percentage of your target market. The territory is a viable one where you can grow the franchise to enough members to make substantia­l profit margins.”

Once you’ve got a shortlist of brands, Magdalena Varley, new business manager at Belgravia Health & Fitness, encourages franchise buyers to deep dive and compare things like initial franchisee fee and ongoing royalties.

“Are these percentage/ revenue based therefore staying low while the business grows or are they a flat fee that the franchisor receives no matter how well the business is doing?

“Alongside this, how are the ongoing fees split up? Is it one fee or are they separated into multiple fees? These are all worth diving into as they must be disclosed in the disclosure document but many buyers initially overlook this and write off a business before getting to this point as it may seem more expensive.

“In reality though, the business may be more transparen­t, which is one sign of a good franchise.”

When searching for the ideal location for your fitness studio be sure to understand the local requiremen­ts for toilets, showers and disabled access. Finding a property that has already been built to these requiremen­ts or has access as part of a larger centre could save a lot in start-up costs.

Potential fitness business owners can be unaware of the process to obtain a planning permit and need to budget accordingl­y. The applicatio­n can cost $5,000 to $10,000 to obtain the permit and can take between three and six months so the time frame from enquiry to grand opening is six to nine months.

Appoint a specialist planning company to act for you to get the permit. At LTYB we have got 14 out of 16 through a planner and there have been projects we didn’t even try because the planner only gave us a 50 per cent chance because of noise and parking impacts.

Pay the dollars and get the profession­als.

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