3 reasons to buy a fitness franchise

By Nick Hall | 03 Oct 2019 View comments

Got a passion for health and fitness? Australia’s demand for innovative gym and wellness models has rapidly increased over the last 10 years, making it one of the best times ever to buy a fitness franchise.

A combination of affluence, convenience and flexibility has driven market growth in the fitness sector, with the average consumer now holding memberships at multiple outlets.

While saturation has emerged as a potential challenge for the fitness sector, new boutique offerings are opening the door for smart operators to target key customer bases. A wealth of new entrants has seen the sector extend its reach, providing unique models and classes.

But that hasn’t reduced profitability for the big players either. Large scale gym franchises such as Anytime Fitness have been able to maintain significant market share, while at the same time offering prospective franchisees a more flexible venture.

Whether you are looking to buy a fitness franchise that focuses on fast, functional or reformer, there is a model out there for you. Here’s four reasons to buy a fitness franchise and get into business for yourself.

1. Market growth

As mentioned above, the fitness sector is one of the most consistent performers in terms of service-based industries nation-wide.

The sector’s ability to adapt to market change and implement innovative new models has allowed fitness entrepreneurs to seamlessly evolve. Just look at the number of gyms introducing bolt-on offerings, such as boxing classes, HIIT training and Pilates that are attracting new members and retaining existing ones.

The resulting market evolution is generating strong returns for operators, with that trend set to continue moving forward. In fact, market research firm IBISWorld predicts that fitness centre revenues will grow at an annualised 1.8 per cent to 2022/23, reaching $2.4bn as a result.

Where there is market growth on offer, savvy investors and prospective franchisees should look to buy a fitness franchise with a history of sustained operation.

2. Non-seasonal offering

If you’ve ever been to the gym in early January, you’ve probably noticed the sea of fresh faces and new years’ newbies. But despite the start of year surge, buying a fitness franchise won’t be a seasonal venture.

The majority of businesses within the sector now operate on a membership basis, ensuring profitability for operators year-round.

Unlike other industries however, the fitness sector is well-known for its transient nature. Membership numbers will ebb and flow throughout the year, and in many cases gyms will operate at a membership level that far exceeds the capacity of their floor space.

If you are planning on buying a fitness franchise, it is important to remember that while customer acquisition and retention is an ongoing task, you can still make use of seasonal efforts as marketing tactics.

Be sure to have a franchise accountant take a look at your proposed figures. Here, you will be able to determine the number of members you will need to break even and establish a target level for profitability.

3. Work/life balance

One of the biggest benefits for those looking to buy a fitness franchise is an increase in work/life balance. Many gym operators will have a background in personal training, meaning they usually have experience in split-shit hours and early rises.

However, buying a fitness franchise, particularly a 24-hour operation, will mean that business is generally member-driven. In this instance, franchisees can choose their own staffed hours, allowing them to schedule personal tasks and perform administration duties.

That being said, by far the biggest outlay in buying a gym will be wages. Franchisees are encouraged to develop a team of dedicated staff and managers to help assist them run the operation. It is critical that you invest wisely in your team to help the process run smoothly.

Why buy a fitness franchise?

For prospective entrepreneurs looking to get into business for themselves, one of the most effective ways to kickstart a new career is to buy a fitness franchise.

The wealth of offerings, both boutique and big box means there is a core customer-base for any business, however, it is critical that you are able to differentiate yourself. Choose your territory wisely and be sure to provide value for members.