If you’re like the thousands of Americans warming up to the idea of owning one of the hot up-and-coming boutique fitness franchises, the time to move is now.
That’s because the industry is booming, and areas are filling up. Even emerging brands with less than 100 units open are turning franchise candidates away in major markets because areas are being devoured by franchise owners.
With the calendar turning to fall in just a few short weeks, here are the big reasons why it’s time to take your fitness franchise exploration from a walk to a run.
The market is booming. According to the 2018 report from the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association (IHRSA), health club membership topped 174 million consumers around the globe last year. Total industry revenue soared to an estimated $87.2 billion, and the club count exceeded 200,000 facilities.
Bigger isn’t better, boutique is! In The American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Forecast of Fitness Trends, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), a popular fitness option among many boutique fitness franchises, came in #1 movement in the fitness industry. Also popular were group fitness (#2) and body weight training (#4), key components to the surge in specialized boutique fitness franchises.
They won’t break the bank. Even if you don’t have the financial standing to buy into one of the early adopter brands, there are plenty of emerging boutique fitness franchises with attractive territories ready to develop. Because they don’t require much in terms of real estate, buildout or staffing, many boutique fitness franchises can be purchased with an initial investment in the low six figures.
You don’t need a six-pack. Much as we’d all love to be showing out with rock-hard abs, it’s not a requirement to own a boutique fitness franchise. In fact, many boutique fitness franchises only ask for some basic business skills and a knack for motivating your team. So, if your fitness took a vacation this summer, or wasn’t around much to begin with, it’s not a barrier for you to enter the industry as an owner.
You can keep your day job — if you want. That’s right, boutique fitness franchises run on the ever-popular semi-absentee model, meaning you only need to invest 10–20 hours per week working on your business; as opposed to 40 or more hours working in your business. Most boutique fitness franchises require a small number of employees (studio manager, front desk, and instructors) leaving owners to oversee the big items like marketing and managing the team. So, if you want to keep your paycheck while growing your business, go ahead. Or if you’re ready to build a franchise empire without tacking on tons of hours of work, look at multi-unit or area development models that boutique franchises have to offer.
You want to be open in time for the New Year. No industry is more aligned with New Year’s resolutions than the fitness industry, so anyone even considering opening a boutique fitness franchise MUST get to work now in order to make sure they are open in time for January 2019. Remember, the journey to opening a boutique fitness franchise includes selecting the right business model, then working with the franchisor to find real estate, execute the buildout, hire staff and plan the soft and grand openings. It won’t happen overnight, and the New Year is just a little more than three months away! Thankfully, working with a franchise consultant requires ZERO financial investment, so picking up the phone to start the exploration process is a no-brainer.
While many franchise brands are housed in the health and fitness industry, not all franchise systems are created equally. To find out which one matches up well with your life goals and skills, give me a call at 919.846.7111.