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The 2018 economic business forecast from the International Franchise Association states that franchise establishments and new jobs will continue to increase over 2017, pushing the GDP from franchise businesses to a record-breaking $451.4 billion this year. And according to a recent survey, Americans now spend more on fitness than they do on a college education.
Those are the kind of numbers fueling a heightened interest in investing in a fitness franchise. And to navigate one’s options, here are four tips for choosing a fitness franchise that makes sure it’s a good fit:
It’s one thing to hear about a franchise opportunity from a franchisor and surf the web to evaluate the sector. It’s an entirely different thing to visit locations and talk to franchise owners who are living the dream. Beyond reviewing the Franchise Disclosure Document, get a real perspective of the franchise in action by getting out into the market. See the business in person as well as the person running the business.
A love for the industry is not the only thing that impacts success. The numbers have to make sense too. And the power of name recognition is very important. When investigating a franchise opportunity, look for a return on your investment that is as healthy as the fitness services you will provide. A great looking gym is not attractive if nobody comes to it. You need both.
If you are examining a fitness franchise opportunity and also thinking of ways you might change things to improve it, think again. You don’t invest in a franchise to try and reinvent a proven business model. It is important to replicate the very things that have made it a success in cities, states and countries around the world.
An asset for a fitness franchise is the brand equity that comes with the journey when an investor is ready to move on. From the popular boutique startup to the iconic giant, and all the brands in between — the exit strategy for the business should be just as important as the price for entry. Whether it’s a resale, a nest egg that gets passed on to future generations, or other exit options unique to the business model, look at the staying power for a franchise opportunity long past the desired time you plan to stay involved yourself.
Ken Phipps is director of global franchise development for Gold’s Gym Franchising LLC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-296-5026.