This Low-Cost, Fast-Growth Fitness Franchise Is Not Just Another Fad
This new fitness trend is disrupting the franchise industry. Here's how you can leverage its model to craft your own success.
The health and fitness category is one of the more competitive in the franchise industry. I have been looking for fitness models that have a true sustainable set of differentiators and not just another fad or copycat. In my recent article "Healthcare Franchises May Be Just What The Doctor Ordered", I described the difference between a fad and sustainable trend, pointing out that some franchise models have been built on fads and eventually did not make it.
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I recently interviewed Shaun and Liana Bezuidenhout, who are the owners of FITtec Fitness in Boulder, Colorado. They moved to the United States from South Africa and opened their FITtec Fitness Studio featuring an exercise system that is booming in other parts of the world but is relatively new to the U.S. market. Electro Muscle Stimulation, or EMS, training is the core of this technology-meets-fitness model. EMS utilizes a propriety technology that delivers electric stimuli to the muscles causing contraction that the client resists or applies apposing force. This technology eliminates the need for weights and exercise equipment such as treadmills, rowing machines or nautilus systems.
This business offers a very unique set of differentiators for the customers as well as the franchise owners.
1. The training works for virtually everyone.
The EMS system allows clients of all levels to enter the training at the level that suits their situation and health status. One-on-one personal training sessions along with a graduated workout intensity curriculum makes it possible for anyone to get started. This includes people with sports injuries, wounded veterans who need rehabilitation, senior citizens and those who want to lose weight.
2. The EMS system offers shorter workouts.
Liana and Shaun pointed out that the EMS system is so efficient that a 20-minute session is the equivalent of a 90-minute traditional workout. They said that some of their clients sign up for one session per week and some choose two sessions per week, which is the maximum. This is a tremendous time saver for busy, health-minded individuals that can get some of their time back with the FITtec system.
3. This franchise model has low overhead and faster growth.
The FITtec Fitness franchise model has a smaller footprint than most of the other traditional gyms. The FITtec 1,200- to 1,600-square-foot model is naturally a much easier location profile to find in most markets than the more popular 2,500- to 3,500-square-foot sites. This boutique model and compact equipment allow the business to operate efficiently with a lower operating cost resulting in a faster break even.
3. You can start with the benefits of a multi-unit model.
Due to the lower overhead and startup costs, the franchise owner can open multiple locations for the same investment as one larger, traditional health club. These smaller franchises need far fewer members to sustain the business so the owner can open additional centers as they get close to maxing out.
The fitness category has a long history of new ideas turning in to businesses. I have seen everything from pole dancing to baby goat yoga. When you are looking at franchise ownership, regardless of the category, you must look at the long-term sustainability of the business model. FITtec has strong dedicated leadership and a solid set of business differentiators that position them well for growth. You can learn more about FITtec at www.fittec.net.
Consider the following when you evaluate a franchise opportunity:
Is there a market for the business? Make sure that there is a big enough market for the product or service that the franchise offers. Cool ideas don’t always translate to successful businesses. Make sure that people need the business and are willing to pay for it in your targeted area.
Does the business have clear differentiators to set it apart from the competitors? You will want to have a competitive edge when you launch your business so do your research and check out the local competing businesses.
Does the business fit your goals and lifestyle? You have to be ready, willing and able to run this business, consistently, for a long period of time to succeed. Be sure it is good fit before you take the plunge.
You can implement these tips along with the strategies that I included in the Franchise Bible, 8th Edition to identify, launch and grow your own successful franchises.
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Rick has been involved in the franchise industry since 1994. He franchised his first company and grew it to 49 locations in 19 states during the mid to late 1990s. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and primary trainer focusing on franchise owner relations and creating tools and technologies to increase franchisee success.
Rick developed and launched his second franchise organization in 2003. He led this company as the CEO and CMO growing to over 150 locations in less than three years. He developed the high tech/high touch franchise recruiting and sales system.
Both companies achieved ranking on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 List. During this period Rick served as a business and marketing consultant to small business and multimillion dollar enterprises. He also consulted with franchise owners and prospective franchisees, franchisors, and companies seeking to franchise around the world.
Rick is the Author of Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise Bible series and his 9th Edition was released worldwide in April of 2021. He also is a contributing author to Entrepreneur Magazine and other industry publications on the subject of franchising and business.
He currently heads up the Entrepreneur Franchise Advisors program, serves as an executive coach and strategist for multiple franchise clients and is the co-host of the Franchise Bible Coach Radio Podcast with Rick and Rob.