Fitness is booming. But which sector is right for you – and should you start your own or buy a franchise?
Have you ever worked out at a gym and thought: “This could be a great career?” You’re not alone. The global fitness industry is booming and fitness franchise opportunities of all shapes and sizes continue to rise in popularity to meet rising demand.
With the growing numbers, comes a variety of new workouts and fitness environments as well. Collectively, they are taking fitness to a whole new level for members in terms of experience, results and, in many cases, even luxury.
Here are four reasons why purchasing a fitness franchise is shaping up to be an attractive investment around the world:
A growing industry
In 2017, health club industry revenue totaled $87.2 billion with over 201,000 clubs serving 174 million members according to the IHRSA 2018 Global Report. In addition, the industry has seen continuous growth every year throughout the world.
The U.S. leads all markets in club count and memberships with Brazil second in club count and Germany second in number of members. The U.S. also leads all markets in revenue with $30 billion – earning more than the two countries coming in second and third combined. Germany comes in second with $5.6 billion and the United Kingdom comes in third with $5.5 billion.
Myprotein conducted a survey covering 1,350 Americans, a small size for collecting conclusive nationwide data, between the ages 18-65. They found that the average American adult spends $155 per month on their health and fitness – that’s an average of $122,000 in their lifetime. But new fitness opportunities aren’t the only thing contributing to growth.
Smart watches, audio fitness apps and other wearable technology have found themselves immersed in the fitness industry. Consumers are often reminded, and even alerted, by their technology to walk a number of steps, burn calories and just keep moving. This motivates result-driven consumers to create fitness goals and ultimately reach them.
If you’re interested in owning a fitness franchise, the possibilities are endless. There are more fitness opportunities available now than ever before. That includes studio boutiques that can offer a very specific workout, such as HIIT (Hi-Intensity Interval Training), boxing, kickboxing, yoga, pilates, spin and much more.
These classes can be enticing because the exercise routine is already planned out for members and led by experienced instructors. The classes might range from a 30-minute workout to an hour or more.
However, if you’re looking for a fitness franchise with some variety that can attract a broader cross-section of members, gyms could be a better option for you.
Fitness gyms are often classified into three different levels:
Inexpensive memberships around $10 to $20 per month
General fitness equipment available
Little to no extra amenities like group classes or a kids club
Mid-tier/full amenity gyms
Memberships ranging from $25 to $75 per month
General to higher-end equipment
Group classes and personal trainer offerings available
Extra amenities depending on the gym
Memberships for $75 to $150+ per month
Luxury experiences with a spa-like environment
High-end equipment available for use
Extra amenities like group classes, personal trainers, spas, juice bars, and more
Each gym has its own unique opportunities, and the investment level for the franchise prospect as well as the workout cost and experience for the customer offers a place for everyone.
When you’re contemplating opening a business, there are things you need to consider. Building a business from the ground up might carry a much higher risk than following a proven franchise system. There are several reasons a franchise can be more attractive from the very start:
The brand is established
If you buy a franchise, it already has a proven business model with a track record across the existing system.
There are operations, marketing, and training programs to assist with your success.
You have a peer network of other franchisees in the system.
Starting a new business can be intimidating, stressful, and more of a trial and error process. But with a franchise, the franchisor helps to eliminate those factors. They know what to do to replicate the system from the very beginning – saving you time and energy while placing you on a faster track to success.
Making a difference
Perhaps the most compelling attraction to owning a fitness franchise is the ability to impact the wellness of the communities where you operate. The fitness industry offers life-changing transformations for its customers.
Whether they are fighting hard to lose weight, tone up or just get healthy again, when you operate a fitness franchise, it gives you the chance to be a part of someone’s success story.
Fitness isn’t only physical, it’s also a healthy way to help reduce and manage stress. Every day, you have the opportunity to encourage members and guide them on a path to a healthier life – mentally and physically.
The fitness industry reaches people of all backgrounds, shapes, and sizes.
It’s an industry that has hit its stride with increasing demand and extreme growth potential across the globe. Yes, there is competition among brands, but in the end, the competition isn’t our neighboring brand, it’s reaching the 80 million people who still haven’t committed to a gym membership.
Give this career a true workout to find the right fit for a healthier future – not just for you, but for your local consumers who might find themselves being a member at your gym.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken Phipps is Director of Global Franchise Development for Gold’s Gym Franchising LLC. If you want to experience change, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-296-5026.
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