What to look for and how to select the right personal training franchise for you.

Starting a personal training franchise can be an overwhelming task. It is important when looking at the franchise opportunities for personal training that you look at key elements. The key elements of the franchise should determine if the format fits what you want. If you have already established a business plan, outlining what you want from your personal training business, then comparing it to the franchise statement may be the easiest way to tell if the franchise fits your goals.

There are 5 key components that should be examined when determining if a personal training franchise fits with your goals: Format, investment cost, preopening support, marketing support and equipment support are all very important aspects of franchising. Let’s take a closer look at why each element is so important when opening a franchise.


The format of the personal training franchise is an essential element to examine when starting a personal training franchise. If the format of the franchise includes you visiting client’s homes and you are not comfortable training inside a client’s home then it is a format that you should not consider. If the franchise format calls for you to carry equipment around in your business vehicle to different locations and this is not something that you can picture yourself doing, then it is not a franchise that you should open.

If all you want to do with your franchise is host classes then you should make sure that your franchise has that opportunity available for you. If the personal training franchise does not contain group elements then it would be a franchise that wouldn’t make you very happy in daily operations. The different elements of format must coincide with the vision that you have for your personal training franchise.

Investment cost

There is going to be an initial investment cost when opening any franchise. The fitness franchises and personal training franchise opportunities are all going to have varying fees. The amount of these initial fees should be a factor in opening your franchise. The investment cost should be balanced against the return on investment. Higher costs may be justified if the return on investment is much faster. Doing this type of analysis on the investment costs is made easier if you already have a business plan. Choosing a franchise that meets your vision of a business is essential. This includes choosing a franchise that may have the same initial investment costs.

Preopening Support

One of the main reasons that people choose to franchise over opening an independent business is the level of support that they receive when they open their business. To stay competitive many franchises have begun to offer preopening support that includes market research, loans for the initial franchise fees, and real estate support. Choosing a personal training franchise that offers more preopening support may make the initial shock of opening easier to weather.

Comparing your planned preopening activities against the preopening support that a franchise offers may be the best way to determine if the level of support is right for you. Some franchises go so far as to set up your webpage and Facebook accounts, others don’t. What you will need to do is determine which activities are possible for you to complete when starting a personal training franchise and which activities you may need help with. If you have a background in marketing then market research may not be an essential preopening activity.

Marketing Support

Marketing will determine the success of any business. Most franchises offer some form of marketing support. Where personal training franchises differ is in the way that they determine the amount of money you must devote to marketing. Some franchises take a percentage of your monthly sales and devote it toward marketing. This is usually a fixed percentage and can vary from franchise to franchise and even person to person. The problem with taking a percentage of monthly sales is that it doesn’t allow for special marketing campaigns and it can hurt the business when that percentage would be better suited somewhere else.

The best fitness marketing options when starting a personal training franchise are the ones that permit the individual franchisee to set the amount of money to devote to marketing. The franchise then dedicates marketing within that budget. Some franchises have even gotten smart and incorporated things like pay-per-click marketing where the franchisee will pay per click on lead generation. This is helpful to both parties because only generated leads are paid for and there is not an excess of marketing budget being wasted.

Equipment support

equipmentOne of the worst things for a customer to experience when dealing with a personal trainer is equipment that is beyond its ware and tare limit. Using a stability ball that seems like it may break at any moment does not inspire confidence. It is important to look at the amount of equipment support that a franchise offers because of the high rates of use that fitness equipment experience. When starting a personal training franchise if the franchise offers no equipment support it is probably not a franchise that you want to consider.

Likewise if you have an idea of the type of equipment that you want to purchase and the franchise does not support that then the franchise is not for you. If you picture yourself training primarily with a stability ball and free weights and the franchise wants you to purchase a Smith Machine then there is a conflict in the vision and you should consider a different franchise.

No matter which personal training franchise you choose it is important to consider how that franchise helps you to achieve your vision. This is one of the reasons it is helpful to compare your business plan with the franchise statement. If they are extremely different then you shouldn’t franchise with that company. Finding a franchise that meets the vision that you have for a happy career as a personal trainer is the most important step in starting a personal training franchise.

If support,  done-for-you marketing resources, and a high and fast return on investment are high on your list, consider looking into a Fit Body Boot Camp Franchise Opportunity