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Ask an Expert: Ken Phipps on Fitness Franchising


You have questions, we have answers. This month we spoke with Ken Phipps, the director of global franchise development at Gold’s Gym about fitness franchising.

What can you tell me about the current state of fitness franchising today? Any trends you’re seeing?

KP: The fitness industry is an $84 billion market directly connected to an increasing demand for fitness and healthier lifestyles from the public. Globally, more efforts are being made to support this heightened desire with fitness offerings, which has resulted in more fitness business opportunities through franchising. 

Is franchising a great opportunity for fitness operators — both current club operators, and those looking to start their own businesses for the first time?

KP: Absolutely. According to Entrepreneur magazine, fitness is projected to be one of the top 10 franchise categories to boom in 2019, meaning now is the best time to pursue business opportunities within this profitable industry. For those looking to start their own businesses for the first time, doing so through franchising will give you the tools you need to be successful. With the fitness industry especially, there is a wide range of franchising options available to choose from today — you are certain to find a franchise brand that matches your fitness interests and investment capabilities. 

What should professionals look for in a franchise partner? What should they keep in mind before deciding to franchise?

KP: When choosing a franchise partner, go with a brand that guarantees ongoing resources and support for successful operation, as opposed to just start-up support and no communication thereafter. Comprehensive support from an expert franchisor is an invaluable resource at all times. Especially in the constantly-evolving fitness industry, it is important for a franchisor to work with its franchisees on a continual basis to ensure the brand stays relevant to its consumers at all of its respective locations.

Why is Gold’s Gym a great franchising opportunity?

KP: Gold’s Gym pioneered the fitness industry in 1965 and continues to be a global icon with locations on six continents. Our strategy is to leverage our fitness expertise by differentiating our brand based on our proprietary fitness programming and amenities that no other gym chain in the world offers. Our current strategic plan is for us to have 1,000 gyms around the world, serving more than 5 million members in over 40 countries. If you are looking at franchising in fitness or diversifying your current portfolio, then Gold’s Gym is always looking for new franchisees to join us in our vision “to create a healthier world.” 

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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