A Former Athlete Spills on Opening a Fitness Franchise
Franchise Players is Entrepreneur's Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email email@example.com.
Heidi Parr has been engaged in the world of fitness for more than 25 years, as an athlete, sports coach, fitness instructor and certified personal trainer. Now, she has found a new way to approach fitness, as a Power Train franchisee. Here's what she's learned.
Name: Heidi Parr
Franchise owned: Power Train in York, Pa.
How long have you owned a franchise?
I signed the franchise agreement in December of 2014 and opened for business in March of 2015.
Franchising provides a proven business model and eliminates a lot of the guess work involved with starting a new business. In addition, the franchisor provides the franchisee with ongoing support to include local and national level marketing, staff training and development and problem solving support.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was a personal trainer, nutritionist and small group fitness instructor. Prior to that, I was a project manager at IBM.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I wanted to open a retail business in the wellness sector and considered many different business opportunities. A friend of mine, who knows I’m passionate about fitness, introduced me to Power Train. After visiting a location in Pennsylvania, experiencing a Power Train workout and learning about the Power Train business model, it didn’t take me long to decide Power Train was a solid investment choice.
Power Train has a 3-to-1 client to coach training ratio which makes personal training more affordable for the client and provides better resource utilization for the franchise owner. The training focuses on form and time under tension, principles that can be applied to any age, level and ability from the couch potato to the professional athlete. The boot camp classes are designed to maximize fat burning and increase metabolism while keeping clients engaged and motivated.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I have been working in the fitness industry for over twenty-five years so I am well versed in what works and what doesn’t. I’ve seen fitness fads come and go. I have been in countless gyms and have seen hundreds of different training techniques. I have my opinions as to what I think produces the best results and know the importance of customer service and finding a niche in the competitive fitness industry. The Power Train business model aligns with the beliefs I have formulated over the last several decades.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The most unexpected challenge of opening my first Power Train franchise was staffing. I am looking for individuals that share a passion for entrepreneurship and are disciplined, yet maintain a spirit of humility. These qualities can be hard to find but I am never willing to settle.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Be ready and willing to work long hours. Stay humble. Be patient. Let your employees grow into their positions while providing them with guidance and accountability. Do not waiver in the quality you want to provide the community. Don’t underestimate the need to hit the streets and knock on doors.
What’s next for you and your business?
We plan on growing each month. We have monthly membership and revenue goals. Our next Power Train location will be open before the end of 2015.
Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor.