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In this special feature we look at the ins and outs of fitness franchising. The upside to purchasing a franchise is that you get a proven brand or offer and you can work on making your facility professional, successful and profitable. For most of us, the downside is minor, seeing as so much of the work is done for you.

You simply need to decide whether you want to spend your days worried about where to print your logo on your shirt or whether you want to get a headstart and join one of the many successful franchised brands available today.

This issue of Fitness PRO magazine is dominated with stories from such companies and also from franchisees that have taken the step and become an early adapter of a local or US brand. Some of these brands are now well-established in both Australia and New Zealand. If you are yet to research your franchise options, Fitness PRO magazine has done much of the work for you. Your job is to take in this knowledge and meet with people in the industry before jumping into a contract that might not be the best fit for you.

Choosing the franchise that is right for you is something that not only requires significant research, but also an incredibly thought-out decision. You need to know what will work best for you in your chosen territory. Once you have signed up, you are committed and it can be hard to turn back as all franchisors have stringent contracts designed to protect their brand and investment. There are many stories of success out there and stories of failure too; with an abundance of information though, it should be easy to pick a franchisor that best suits you.

In terms of fitness franchises, 24/7 clubs dominate the Australian market. With more than 1000 of them now, they are the largest patronised fitness centres in the nation. Anytime and Jetts Fitness are the two biggest names in the business, with about four other brands offering even cheaper packages. Just by googling ‘fitness franchise Australia’ you will find plenty of opportunities to purchase a fitted-out club starting at around $250,000. This includes all equipment and signage, so you just have to find the venue and the clients. Plus, with any luck, you’ll make some passive income.

Does this sound too good to be true? It just might be. Caution is your friend, as are the following pages of this magazine. Our franchising guide aims to provide you with a good understanding of the opportunities available and will help you answer the following questions and more:

Which brand will suit you?

Where are the hot spots and no-go zones?

What is the difference between a franchise and a license?

Will you really get rich quick?

I am a firm believer that if someone truly applies themself, they will make it through any maze and come out of the other end wiser. You might read our franchising section and decide franchising is just not for you; if so, you have saved yourself a world of pain as it can be hard to get out of a franchise agreement. However, most franchisors will be there to help you. They are very invested in only opening clubs that work and support the overall perception and growth of their brand. They are also rather particular on franchisee applicants and helpful in selling a club to a new buyer if need be.

So how do you become a franchisee? Your first step is to choose a business model that works for you. Then you will choose what kind of franchise you are interested in. Finally, research and choose a brand in that category that is most appealing to you.

That is just the easy part. Once you have figured this out, it is time to get your finances approved, sign on the dotted line and begin to get your business ready so you can open the doors. This could easily take six months. What you have on your side is a strong brand, great facility and huge support channel. Ultimately, the success or failure of your business will be up to you.

Other managers will help you along the way and most good franchisors have ongoing training and development. By becoming a franchisee, you are joining a group of like-minded people who have taken a risk and, more often than not, you will reap the benefits of a well-run fitness business.

For some great information on franchising, visit:


For more information on franchising, purchase this month's copy of Fitness PRO Magazine.

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