What to look for before signing up with a bootcamp franchise
It can be hard to know exactly what to look for when choosing a bootcamp franchise. There are so many elements to a franchise that it can be easy to overlook important points and over analyze the points that may not be as important. The following 8 areas should be examined by anyone considering franchising a boot camp.
- Franchise fee
Look at the franchise fee. The franchise fee is the fee that the franchise charges each month for you being able to use their name and their business resources. There are typically two structures used when charging a franchise fee: fixed rate and percent of sales. Each structure has its own unique challenges. When dealing with a fixed rate franchise fee, the fee does not change. This means that in months where sales are lagging or membership is down the fee may become a burden. The problem with a percentage of sales structure is that it is like being taxed for being more profitable. Deciding which structure is important to you and how much you are willing to pay is an essential step in deciding that you want to franchise.
- Marketing support
Every franchise is going to have some type of marketing support. Choosing the right bootcamp franchise may hinge on the exact nature of the marketing support that they provide as well as the pay structure of that support. There are usually three price plans for marketing support with franchises. Pay-per-click is a lead generation tool in which you pay the franchise per click in a lead generation type of scenario. Some franchises choose to charge a percentage of sales for the marketing budget. This can be both good and bad depending on how those marketing tools are used. Finally the most flexible are marketing payments that allow the business owner to determine their monthly marketing budget and then they design the marketing around that budget.
Beyond paying for marketing a good bootcamp franchise should do some basic marketing things for you. Market research, search engine optimization, landing page construction and social marketing integration are all services that are provided by good franchises. If a franchise does not provide some of these basic marketing materials then it may be best to consider another option.
- Operations support
Does the franchise provide daily operations support? Do they provide you with policies and procedures and operations training? If the answer is yes then the bootcamp franchise that you are considering is probably a good one. If the answer is no then you should continue to look for a franchise that provides these basic support elements.
- Equipment leasing or purchasing
Equipment is a huge initial investment. One of the problems with equipment in a bootcamp is that the rate of use means that it has very high wear and tear rates. This can mean that the bootcamp owner is constantly purchasing new equipment. The two things that the franchise can do to help are leasing and providing discounts.
Leasing equipment is becoming a popular alternative to purchasing the gym equipment. This means that the bootcamp can have newer equipment more often. The problem is that the cost is usually a monthly cost instead of an initial cost. Ensuring that your franchise has this option, if it is one you want, can make sure you are getting the equipment you want when you want it.
Any worthwhile bootcamp franchise is going to be able to provide you with a discounted rate on equipment. If the franchise you are considering doesn’t have access to a bulk buyer program or a discounted rate, then keep shopping. This is a basic must for any fitness franchise.
- Popularity of the franchise
If you Google the name of the fitness franchise and all that populates are Better Business complaints then it is time consider a different franchise. In the same token if the bootcamp franchise you are considering has no information on the web and no customer reviews then you should consider a different franchise. The popularity and customer reviews of current franchise operations can provide an indication of how popular your location will be.
- Training programs
The franchise you are considering should have a wide array of training programs. A really good fitness franchise will have a school type setting where training is completed in person. Typically additional training should be provided over the phone and on the internet. Training is a must have element of any franchise.
- Legal support
The amount of legal support that a franchise provides may be a crucial deciding factor. A bootcamp should have certain liability insurances, consent forms, and waivers. If the franchise provides formats for these documents then it is less money that you are going to have to spend having a lawyer draft these documents. Pre-drafted legal forms are an important factor to consider when choosing a fitness franchise. If the franchise does not provide these types of forms then it may be time to look at a different franchising option
- Does their vision match yours?
The most important aspect when choosing a bootcamp franchise is determining whether or not their vision for your business matches your vision. If the company imagines a gigantic globo-gym type environment where you offer everything, including the kitchen sink, and you want a more personalized environment then you both are going to be dissatisfied with the result of the franchise. The vision that each party has for the same business needs to match. If there is a disconnect in the visions then problems are bound to occur.
As we have seen there are many elements that must be considered when choosing a boot camp franchise. Support and training are just as important as marketing and legal support. If there is a certain area that you know you will need more help with; ensuring the franchise provides assistance in that area is beyond important. Value systems must also match. A partnership between yourself and a company is never going to be successful if each party envisions a different end result.