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How to Start Franchising

Your fitness studio has been up and running for awhile and it’s doing pretty well if you do say so yourself! Now you want to go bigger, maybe open up another location or two…maybe start a franchise! (Probably the dream of every business owner everywhere.) In this post we’ll give you some tips and tricks for beginning your franchise, so let’s get started!

#1: Alter Your Business Mindset You’re playing on a whole different level now. You’re not just working on your fitness style and concept, you’re dealing with franchisees. You are responsible for promoting and supporting your franchisees while they deliver your vision. It’s time to starting thinking big-picture! #2: Be Prepared! Franchising is a big step and you’ll have to be ready for all the hurdles that come your way. This isn’t a one-person show anymore — you need people and money backing you up! If you stand a chance in the franchise business your original studio needs to be successful. People aren’t going to just toss their money at you; you’ll need to prove that they’ll receive a return on their investment. Another important part of preparing is having a business model that your franchisees can follow. You should have a plan with precise details about how your business is run, including administration, operations, marketing strategies…whatever it takes to run your studio. Something else to include are training manuals for instructors, managers and other staff members. You want your franchises to run as smoothly as possible and taking these steps will help ensure they do! #3: Hire The Right Council You’re going to need some support from other people on this journey: trainers, managers and assistants, but we’ll get to those next. Right now, we want to think about lawyers and consultants. There’s a ton of legal paperwork and research that comes with franchising and you probably don’t want to sort through all that by yourself. There are state and federal securities laws that you, as a franchise owner, must conform to, so it’ll best for you to have some experts on your side when you’re figuring all this out! #4: Hiring Awesome Support Staff and Franchisees These are the people who are going to carry on your vision, so be thorough when vetting them. You will be working with your franchisees on a regular basis so you should trust them and have a good working relationship. Everyone you hire should bring the same passion and energy to the studio that you do! #5: Money Matters Many businesses spout that “it’s not about the money,” but in this business it definitely is. Starting a franchise and keeping it afloat is going to take some serious cash. Each location should be prepared to spend anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 even before opening its doors, depending on your business. #6: Choose A Killer Location Look at the demographics of who currently comes to your original site. Using this information you can figure out the optimal location for your new franchise. If your target market is twenty-somethings, it’s not a great idea to set up shop right next to a retirement community. #7: Track Your Progress From the start of the building process all the way through the first year of operation and beyond, keep meticulous records of all your expenditures and decisions because this information will come in handy if you decide to open another franchise location in the future! #8: Take Your Time Franchising is complicated and time consuming, so remember to be patient! You don’t want to rush into anything and end up in over your head. Keep a level head and just take things one step at a time (and listen to your franchise consultant, which you no doubt hired back in step 3!)

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