Want to Buy a Fitness Franchise? Check out what Plus Fitness is up to
Before you invest in a fitness franchise, take a look at what's happening the the gym world.
The rise of health awareness in Australia during the last five years has resulted in a higher demand for health clubs and studios. Analysts have identified the $1.4bn fitness industry as a mature one, which is set to grow at a compound annual rate of 3.5 percent in the next five years.
A recent IBISWorld report about Gym and Fitness Centres in Australia states that the industry has transformed considerably in the past five years, and is heading for healthy growth. The emergence of the 24/7 gym chains have resulted in exponential growth as consumers are attracted by their value for money and accessibility.
Boasting the 24/7 gym concept, Plus Fitness offers all hours access and no lock in contracts. Nigel Miller, managing director, says that the brand was one of the first chains to take this approach.
“We believe the days of lock in contracts are gone. We haven’t had contracted memberships since 2007,” says Miller.
By offering a combination of the right level of service, and convenient, well maintained clubs, he says there is a low member attrition rate. Personal trainers are available to members as well as six week check-ins.
Franchisee turnover comes from membership, offering classes, and recovery drinks. Although local and international trends are important in shaping the franchise model, Miller says that Plus Fitness determines which trends are fads and which are sustainable and able to be implemented. Although the brand does not currently have a loyalty program, a new facet of member support is on its way in the form of a virtual trainer.
And sustainability is a big part of franchisee success in multi-unit franchising too. However, Miller warns against rushing into multiple units.
“I think you need to master the single franchise first,” he advises.
Good street frontage and parking are preferred for gym sites, while rent costs need to align with the benchmarks of the brand.
Miller says challenges associated with being a franchisee include finding a work/life balance that meets franchisee expectations. At the end of the day a franchise is “still a business” that “needs to be managed.”
Ideal franchisees can learn technical skills on the job, but would benefit from some business experience. Passion and enthusiasm also go a long way.
“Spend some time in an existing gym franchise,” Miller advises potential franchisees.
The initial investment cost of a turnkey Plus Fitness franchise is $249,000 for a 250 sq m site, inclusive of equipment, and marketing support from the network. Franchisees can opt to buy or lease fitness equipment.
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