When you ask, “Is franchising a gym a good idea for a profitable business?” you could be asking two different questions: one, “Will franchising a gym become a profitable business” or two, “Is franchising a gym smart if you already have a profitable business?” The answer to both questions is yes — if you play your cards right.
Will Franchising a Gym Become a Profitable Business?
If you’re reading this blog in May 2020, then your question has more merit than it would have a few months ago. Even with all the gym shutdowns, however, franchising a gym can still be profitable.
Because so many gyms are going online, you actually have more access to clients, not less, especially if you make your services welcoming to all different types of clientele.
In other words: Yes, franchising a gym can become profitable IF you take the following into consideration when buying into a particular gym.
- Don’t be sneaky: People are smart and they can see through sneaky contracts that are designed to keep them hostage as a customer. Be more lenient than your competitors. Keep your customers with good service, not sneaky tactics.
- Offer multiple payment plans: Some of your customers are going to be able to afford more — and they’ll want more services as a result. You can have tiered pricing to accommodate the customers who just want a standard gym membership and appeal to those who want all the bells and whistles.
- Set flexible hours: If possible, 24-hour gyms are the way to go, but we’d definitely recommend making your business hours start well before the usual workday. Many clients like to workout before work. If you have flexible hours, then more clients are likely to sign up with your gym, making you more profitable.
- Offer fitness classes: Oftentimes, people need an incentive to work out. Fun is a great incentive, and a quick way to make working out fun is to make it a group event, like yoga, Zumba, pilates, or spin.
- Hire on-site personal trainers: While some customers will want group workouts, others will be more motivated under professional supervision. Having on-site personal trainers is a great way to grow profit.
- Choose the right location: Location is important! Even if you have the best rates in town, people probably aren’t going to come to your gym if you’re in the middle of nowhere. Downtown areas are great — but keep in mind that the rent will also be higher. Do your research before choosing a location.
- Cultivate a welcoming environment: If you have a great location and great rates but your environment is lacking, people are going to quit your gym, period. Make your gym environment welcoming by ensuring that your machines work, your staff is friendly, and your instructors are on their A-game.
- Keep it simple, silly: Your customers want to work out, not do hard work. Make attending your gym a simple, user-friendly experience. You can do this by giving customers key fobs, instead of making them sign in at the desk, or by having ample signage around the gym.
- Dangle the carrot: You can draw in new customers by offering seasonal sales or discounted rates. It’ll be less money up front, of course, but if you can offer exceptional service to your customers, then you can incentivize them to stay, even after the promotional period ends.
- Line the shelves: If they really wanted to, people could just work out at home. The main appeal of joining a gym is having access to high-tech, reliable gym equipment. Do your research before buying workout machines, and have a budget for machine maintenance each month. Consider it an investment.
- Get great reviews: Offering great customer service and keeping your equipment up and running is a great way to keep your customers happy. But the thing is: Happy customers aren’t as likely to leave reviews. Find a way to entice customers to boost you online by hosting a raffle.
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Is Franchising a Gym Smart If You Already Have a Profitable Business?
Yes, franchising a gym is smart if you already have a profitable business — if your business is in the health and fitness industry. If you have a profitable Etsy shop, it’s not going to really make sense if you franchise a name-brand gym (though anything’s possible, we suppose).
SEE RELATED: How Much to Own a Gym Franchise for Steady Profit?
If you’re profitable in any of these professions, then it’s absolutely a smart move to franchise a gym:
- Independent Gym Owner
- Health Coach
- Fitness Influencer
- Gym Brand Ambassador
Driving Your Profit Means Being Inclusive
Another way to increase your profit margin is by making your gym accessible for people with disabilities. Ensure that there are ramps leading to the front door and that there’s an elevator if you have a two-story space. “Accessible” doesn’t just refer to the physical space, although that’s an important part of it. You also need to have a friendly, welcoming environment, and staff members who know how to work with people with a wide range of mobility and cognitive abilities. Why not consider offering that environment by franchising with Special Strong?
Special Strong provides adapted fitness for special needs children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities. Through our online training platform, we also provide special needs certification courses for educators, professionals, and parents who want to learn how to adapt fitness to serve the special needs population. Fitness franchise opportunities are available.