As a fitness professional there will be a lot of choices that you have to make. Whether you are seeking an independent or franchise studio it is important that you know what it takes to own a studio successfully.
The Franchise choice:
A franchise is something that you buy in to. There are a lot of options available at the moment, the amount of fitness studio businesses that are coming up for sale is crazy! There are new fitness studio franchises popping up everywhere and they are rising fast. When you decide to buy into a franchise you essentially buy the system or brand and the outcome is to make sure you can move to the end point much faster than you would creating it yourself.
The Independent choice:
An independent owner creates the systems and brand themselves. They create their own atmosphere and essentially start from scratch to make their own. If you go down this path you need to make sure you know exactly what you want for your studio and know how to put systems in place to run it successfully
Which one will win?
It all comes down to you. Which one are you going to back and work the most effectively in? We work with independents and franchises and we see the best and worst of both worlds.
The person who is going to win in 2020 is going to use their brand equity and make sure they combine that with the local brand to ensure they get the leads they want.
If you take Anytime Fitness, each owner needs to put localised content out to suit their local demographic. Anytime Fitness Bondi would differ greatly to Anytime Fitness Mudgee, so it’s all about who your demographic is and how your going to curate your marketing and systems towards them. There is no point buying a franchise and then complaining about how little there is to be done. When we work with franchise owners it is all about making sure that you can take that top line brand that you bought into, and maximise it much faster than you would with an independent. There is no point buying a franchise if you can’t maximise it with speed and with marketing.
When we work with franchises we want to make sure that the brand becomes community based. You want your local members to come in and choose the franchise over the independents. This is the end game, because they see the brand and know about it and then they meet you as the owner and connect the great system with the locality.
If you are an independent brand you have a lot of work to do. You have to build the brand and the systems and you have to bring those clients in from scratch. The advantage of being an independent is that you have flexibility and you are in charge of the systems.
The type you choose comes down to your personality, if you love to create and be in charge then independent system is more for you. If you love the systems and hate creating then go with the franchise.
If you aren’t sure remember you have two different members.
Potential franchise members see the brand and know what to expect.
Potential Independent members are curious and open to new concepts and new ideas.
So you need to ask yourself: who do you want to attract and how?
Buying into a franchise, is buying into something that is already pre-set and pre-done. It doesn’t matter either way as both ways need marketing which will have the same positives and negatives. You need to remember the problems you will face in marketing can be similar regardless of your position.
The final say:
The person who will win are the ones who will connect to their local community, can connect to their members and can offer a better service. It won’t come down to the particular brand but it will come down to the brand you are showcasing that connects to the audience and grabs their attention. You need to be clear on your audience and talk to them the way you need to talk to them.
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