So you have decided that you want to open a fitness boot camp, but do you open a fitness boot camp franchise, or venture out on your own? There are many things to consider when deciding whether you should franchise or start an independent operation. This article should help you evaluate the pros and the cons of franchising your boot camp.
Benefits of Franchising
- Assistance with opening
Most franchises have a plan in place to help their new owners even before the door opens. This includes things like competition analysis and assistance with real estate. If the beginning stages of opening a fitness boot camp franchise are intimidating this is a great reason to franchise. Franchising can make the entire process of opening a new boot camp easier because they already have all of the processes outlined.
Crafting effective marketing materials is essential to any business’ success, especially a fitness business. Fitness boot camps must be marketed to the right people at the right time to keep membership at a steady number. When franchising a fitness boot camp most of the marketing materials are created for you. This makes the entire marketing process more effective and less time consuming.
The less time that is spent on marketing means that more time can be spent in other aspects of operations. The benefit of a franchise is that when you have moved your time away from marketing to another area of the business the quality of the marketing will not suffer.
- Policies and procedures
Knowing which policies and procedures are going to assist in the effective operation of your boot camp can be difficult when operations first begin. This is one reason people choose a fitness boot camp franchise over beginning their own boot camp. All of the operational policies and procedures are already outlined for the franchisee.
Legal loopholes in contracts and billing arrangements are less likely because the franchise has been in operation for a long time and knows what is appropriate in a contract and what is inappropriate. The prewritten policies and procedures can also save on the legal costs associated with drafting such documents.
- Assistance with equipment
When franchising, one of the major benefits is that the franchise already has bargaining capabilities with their equipment suppliers. Becoming a part of a franchise is equivalent to having a supply chain for a gigantic business already established. The ability to receive equipment at a discounted rate or under better leasing terms can make a fitness boot camp franchise the superior choice.
The recognition of a fitness boot camp franchise is a reason to consider a franchise instead of a solo operation. Name recognition inspires trust and confidence. Many people will choose a national brand over a local brand simply because they know what to expect. This is true of franchises also. The fitness boot camp that is recognizable is going to get more business than one that has no name recognition value.
- Business support
The support available for those who do not franchise is limited. Most franchises want their franchisee to be successful. Their name relies on the successful operation of each of the locations. The best reason to franchise is if the franchisee needs support, whether it is with training for operations or marketing most franchises offer that support and have entire teams dedicated to making the franchisee successful.
Why not to franchise
One of the biggest negatives to starting a franchise is the franchise fee. Many franchises choose to take a percentage of the monthly sales as their franchise fee. Paying a fee that is based on sales is like being taxed more because you make more money. Not only will your tax bracket change but you will also be forced to pay a higher percentage to the franchise. Even the companies who are more franchisee friendly still take a monthly fee on a fixed rate. These fees take away from the profit of the business and can become a problem for some business owners.
- Not true ownership
Some people feel that when starting a fitness boot camp as a franchise, there is not a true sense of ownership. This is because there are some elements of the franchise contract that are unchangeable. Some things an owner simply cannot do because it would violate the franchising contract. Operational elements that are outlined by the franchise contract may be an attractive reason to franchise for some, but for others it is a reason not to sign a franchise contract.
- Less creativity
When opening a business many people enjoy that element of creativity. They want to be the one who crafts the marketing materials, designs the logo and decides the policies. The problem with opening a franchise is that many of the creative elements of opening a business are already done. Many of the marketing materials are already crafted. The logo is already designed for a fitness franchise. Often franchises also provide all of the paperwork for the policies and procedures. This can be something that takes the adventure of opening a boot camp away. For those wanting to do all of this leg work themselves this can be a major negative.
- Compared to national brand
Many people simply do not want to be held to the standard of a national brand. Being told that your boot camp is nothing like the boot camp in another city can be frustrating. This can also be a source of problems if the boot camp is not upholding the franchise expectations. The entire concept of holding to a standardized image can be a major obstacle for some owners.
Franchising is a clear winner
Based on the few cons of opening a franchise and the many benefits of franchising it is clear that there are many benefits to franchising when opening a fitness boot camp. The fitness boot camp franchise is going to provide much more then it is going to take away.