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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Josh Carter’s weight made it difficult to play with his son, he decided it was time for a change. After getting to a healthier place, he became a franchisee with Fit Body Boot Camp. Now, he’s following his passion. Read on to learn more about why he joined the company and what he learned along the way.
Name: Josh Carter
Franchise owned: Fit Body Boot Camp in West Hills, Calif.
Q: How long have you owned a franchise?
I've been a Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owner since 2013. I’ve had issues with my weight my entire life -- at my biggest, I was 273 pounds. I finally decided to get serious with not only losing weight but keeping it off after my weight kept me from playing with my son. I decided to open a Fit Body Boot Camp franchise location after trying it for myself. I lost fat, firmed up my body and toned my muscles in 9 weeks flat and never looked back.
Q: Why franchising?
I liked the idea of being part of a recognized brand and having systems and support from the corporate structure that would make my business more predictable. My decision was solidified after I met Bedros Keuilian, Founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp, and heard his life story. Bedros has been an incredible mentor to me and has helped me grow my franchise tremendously.
Q: What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
Before I became a FBBC franchise owner, I owned and operated my own training gym. While it did well, it was lacking a real system as well as support. That meant I had to spend a lot more time and energy running it.
Q: Why did you choose this particular franchise?
After meeting with Bedros and seeing the success of FBBC franchises, I made the decision to choose Fit Body Boot Camp. I believe in the company’s training method - it's backed by science and my clients get amazing fat loss and fitness results. I also chose this company because of the turnkey business model owners are provided with. So many things are done for you ahead of time, such as the program design, marketing systems, sales process, and step-by-step operations. It makes running my business easier and predictable.
Q: How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
One thing that FBBC offers that many fitness franchises don’t have is an affordable franchise buy-in. When I opened my first gym in 2007, it cost me near $150K to get it off the ground. When I followed the Fit Body Boot Camp model, I was able to get that down to right around $46K. That price is soup to nut and includes everything I needed to launch. There was a $10k buy in, $9k rent and deposit, $17k for equipment, $5k for buildout, $3k for signage and $2k for grand opening and marketing for the first 90 days. I was able to open my doors 30 days after signing my lease. Thanks to the marketing Fit Body Boot Camp’s corporate office conducted prior to my location opening, I already had paying clients ready to train.
Q: Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I first did my research online. Once I decided that FBBC was the right business model for me, I talked to one of their Franchise Business Advisers at the corporate office and they shared more info and walked me through the their franchise disclosure document and introduced me to a couple of existing owners to talk to. It was easy to make my decision after that.
Q: What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The two big challenges I faced were dealing with the city, who required that I have a conditional use permit. I know not all locations have to go through this, but in my case I did and that added an extra 15 days to my opening day. The challenge was getting in the flooring and installing it on time. Fit Body Boot Camp uses very specific type of flooring and this particular time the supplier was running behind on shipping.
Q: What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
I think owning a franchise business is a smart move if you do your research and know for sure that the franchise HQ will deliver the support and structure they advertise. It is important to know that when you're part of a franchise, you're part of a partnership so it is imperative to make sure that the corporate offices' vision aligns with yours. I have a fantastic relationship with Bedros and I really believe in Fit Body Boot Camp’s mission.
Q: What’s next for you and your business?
I plan on opening up another Fit Body Boot Camp location in my area in the near future. It's great having a business model that's built on systems. But what I really love is being able to help so many people in my community burn fat and get back into shape. That's my passion so it just makes sense that I do more of it.