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Stuart Broster’s Secrets to running a successful fitness franchise

on Tuesday, 24 September 2019. Posted in Insight

With increasing numbers of people developing a passion for health and fitness, the idea of opening your own gym becomes a prominent consideration for business-minded individuals.

Stuart Broster’s Secrets to running a successful fitness franchise

With increasing numbers of people developing a passion for health and fitness, the idea of opening your own gym becomes a prominent consideration for business-minded individuals.

While 15% of the UK market is currently made up of franchised businesses, there are over 7,000 UK gyms contributing towards an increasingly competitive sector. In particular, the franchising industry is growing at a significant rate despite the various economic challenges presented. The UK fitness industry is now worth in excess of £5bn and over 10 million people possess gym memberships[1].

At Anytime Fitness, the fastest-growing fitness franchise in the world, we encompass over 4,500 clubs globally. Our proven brand value and business track record worldwide attracts a broad range of franchisees with different backgrounds and experience levels. Additionally, we firmly consider that a club is built on strong foundations, of which commences during the very first stages of planning and encourage franchisees to replicate this thinking.

Anytime Fitness UK currently oversees over 165 clubs, all of which combined with the fitness industry has unlimited potential, and therefore we offer franchisees both five and ten-year franchises agreements to enhance their original investment and facilitate strong unit profitability during the crucial one-to-two years of opening.

If you’re interested in becoming a franchisee with Anytime Fitness UK and running a successful fitness franchise, there’s some key points to implement during this process.

GET STUCK IN

First, ensure you develop a passion for fitness, customer service and an understanding how gym franchises operate. While it’s by no means essential to have previous fitness industry experience, it’s very common for gym owners to purchase a club, employ a team, and let them do the work. Many individuals who do this don’t see results and then ask, ‘why are we not getting members through the door?’. Successful fitness franchise clubs have owners who lead from the front, delegating roles and responsibilities accordingly. Be a regular on the gym floor, speak directly to members and ultimately, have a presence. Act as a second club manager and support your club manager in any way possible.

In your spare time, conduct market research to discover business development opportunities for your franchise.

UTILISE THE FRANCHISOR’S GUIDANCE

Most fitness franchises offer their gym owners strategic advice which aims to enhance their club. By following your franchisor’s advice, you are increasing the chances of success as they are the experts in the field. Often, franchisor’s guidance is created by experienced fitness industry professionals.

Anytime Fitness provides ongoing support to franchisees and covers every aspect of your business, from training, KPI monthly self-assessments, a road map to achieving a strong pre-sale, opening your club and beyond. Additionally, we offer gym owners a dedicated franchise performance coach, holistic and online support, industry leading training, and Brand Standards Manual (operations toolkit); all of which collaboratively improve their club performance.

Many of our franchisees come from various non-related fitness backgrounds, so by utilising our resources and guidance will provide impactful support.

MEMBER ENGAGEMENT IS CRUCIAL

The importance of retaining your members is critical to the success of fitness franchises. Long-term, committed customers are a primary source of business and it remains imperative you provide quality service to both new and existing members. It’s far more cost-effective to retain members through impactful social interaction rather than treating them badly and having to spend money on marketing and sales to recruit new members. Utilising social media platforms is a fantastic way to promote the culture of your club to the local community. Similarly, creating fun, engaging content will encourage your members to be part of that community.

Train your staff to approach and engage all members. The best advocates for your club are your staff as their interaction with members can lead to increased member visits. Strong membership engagement can generate further sales as satisfied members are much more likely to recommend your fitness club to their peers.

Having a team who facilitate a positive, friendly culture and strong member contact processes, such as sending regular customer updates, can potentially lead to reengaging those members who may have started to disengage. Members value communication from staff plus express their own views on how the club could improve. Engaging with your customers is what makes their experience of your club special, and ultimately will discourage members joining a different gym.

ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

Involving your fitness club with its local community can generate various benefits and business development opportunities. Anytime Fitness prides itself on building clubs which people enjoy going to, its community feel, and how they partner and value businesses within the local area. Ensure your club is actively present at community events such as offering advice at local societies, clubs and sports clubs.  This could include offering membership discounts through purchases at local amenities and partnering with local charity events.

Make sure your club’s Instagram and Facebook are regularly active. Use these platforms as a primary way to engage with your members outside of their visit hours. Essentially, it is important to ensure your club provides a unique offering to the community which encourages membership engagement.

If you’re interested in becoming a franchisee with Anytime Fitness UK, visit http://bit.ly/2kP6aYd.

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