The Pros and Cons of Owning a Health and Fitness Franchise

Are fitness franchises profitable? We look at the pros and cons of owning health and fitness franchises so that you can make a fully informed decision.

Are Fitness Franchises Profitable for Franchisees?

There are many benefits of owning a fitness franchise, including the low start-up costs of new locations and the opportunity for fast growth. 

On the other hand, you must be willing to work long hours (especially as your business is becoming established). With no set work schedule or fixed number of weekly hours (the joys of being a business owner!), it can be hard for new parents or people with children over the age of six months old who want more flexible schedules.

In this article, we take a closer look at the pros and cons of running health and fitness franchises.

What are the benefits of owning a fitness franchise?

Health and fitness franchises continue to grow, thanks to several factors that include:

  • An aging and more health-conscious population

  • Higher disposable incomes

  • Innovations that make health, fitness, and wellbeing more accessible

  • The growth of preventative healthcare (as an example, the practice of Yoga by Americans grew by 50% between 2012 and 2016 and one in three Americans have tried Yoga)

Unsurprisingly, health and fitness is tipped to be one of America’s fastest-growing sectors in the coming years, with a strong bounce back from the Covid pandemic, and global growth averaging more than 7% per annum through to 2028.

But it’s not only the huge growth potential of the health and fitness market that is beneficial to entrepreneurs considering buying a health and fitness franchise. Here are six other reasons owning and operating a franchise in this industry could be an exceptional business decision.

  1. Franchising is a tried and tested business model

A franchise is a tried and tested business model. The franchisor company provides the franchisee with a pre-established framework, which includes branding, products or services, operating procedures, and policies. This framework is readily available for anyone who wishes to start their own business. The result? Higher-than-average success rates for new businesses.

  1. Brand recognition and marketing

Being an established brand is a big advantage to new franchisees. Brand recognition helps to establish a foothold in the market and makes it easier to compete with other businesses. You’ll also receive plenty of help with marketing your business, from business owners who know how best to market a recognized brand.

  1. Training and support

Training and support are huge benefits to franchisees, who may not have business experience or direct industry experience. Many franchisors offer comprehensive training, at the outset and continuously, to help you be successful in your new venture. Remember, your success is their success ─ you’ll receive all the knowledge you need to be successful from people who are successful.

  1. Offer structure and consistency to clients

A franchise offers structure and consistency to clients. The franchisor provides the systems that are to be used, training, expertise, marketing, etc. Because you are following the franchisor’s business model and working practices, your clients will feel more secure with you ─ they know what to expect, and this makes them more willing to become loyal customers.

  1. High-tech equipment and lower equipment costs

It can be extremely expensive to start up as an independent in fitness and health. Walk into any gym or care center, and you are immediately surrounded by expensive, high-tech equipment. Because of their size, franchise businesses can negotiate highly competitive pricing from equipment manufacturers ─ and the savings made from this economy of scale is passed onto their franchisees.

  1. Wider reach

The health and fitness industry is not just about gyms or cardio machines. It’s also about coaching, nutritionists, and mental health.

Smaller businesses can take advantage of social media marketing and local advertising, but when it comes to reach, the pulling power of a franchise is huge ─ and this will help you target customers across a range of health and fitness needs.

But what about the disadvantages? 

A franchise is not for everyone. It takes commitment, hard work, time, and money. Before heading down this route you need to be sure it’s right for you. And this means understanding the disadvantages before you invest in a new business. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Expensive fees

While startup costs of owning a health and fitness franchise are usually much lower than starting your own independent business (as we’ve touched on above), you should be aware that you may also have expensive fees to pay. These include initial franchise fees and ongoing commissions/royalties on your sales.

Of course, one way to look at these extra costs is as an entry fee to set up in the name of the franchise, and then ongoing charges to continue to use that name, training, and support provided, their marketing muscle, and so on.

  • You may not get much support

Not all franchises are equal. Some fitness franchises give incredible support to their franchisees throughout the term of the franchise. Others aren’t so good. You should make sure you know the level of support you need ─ talk with a franchise consultant to learn more about how your experience and expertise dovetails with that of the franchise, and the support you are likely to receive from the franchisor before making a firm decision.

  • Strict guidelines ─ a lack of independence/flexibility

If you are the sort of entrepreneur who wants complete control over how you run your business, then franchising is not for you. One of the major benefits of buying a franchise business is that you gain immediate access to a tried and tested business model ─ why would you want to do it differently, and why would the franchisor allow you to?

Are you ready to take the next step in your franchising journey?

Are health and fitness franchises profitable? With rapid growth forecast for the industry, and following a tried and tested business model, they certainly offer the potential for high profits to those who have what it takes to be a successful franchisee. Do you?

Take our free franchise aptitude assessment today. It takes only a few minutes, and you’ll discover a huge amount about your business acumen you didn’t know before. It’s the first step to benefiting from all the advantages of owning a franchise business and mitigating the disadvantages.

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