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Fitness Franchise


Working out the kinks of a fitness franchise

The fitness craze is sweeping the nation. Ever since Richard Simmons began 'Sweatin' to the Oldies' in the mid-1970s, public awareness of the benefits of exercise exploded, yet (along with the American waistline) still has room to grow. As long as staying active remains at the core of a healthy lifestyle, a fitness franchise can only be a sure thing - or can it?


A main concern when opening a fitness franchise is cost. How much time and money you invest, of course, depends on the brand name you choose to franchise and the size of the operation. Prices soar when you add perks such as saunas, spas, aerobics and fitness classes, a pool, an indoor track and/or a café to your fitness franchise. The largest fitness franchise, Gold's Gym, requires an investment of $300,000 to $2 million, while a Pee Wee Workout is only $2,700.

The overall cost of establishing a franchise depends on the individual brand you choose and the size of operation that you expect to run. total investment, royalty fee, franchise fee, terms, availability of financing and franchisee qualifications all depend on each individual brand's franchise policy. The time required to get your fitness franchise up and running also depends on the individual brand and size of the franchise.

Of course, there's an upside and downside to owning and operating your own fitness franchise. The benefits:

  • Fitness will never go out of fashion and as awareness, and waistlines, grow; more and more people will heed the call to exercise
  • Only 15 percent of Americans have gym memberships, leaving the other 85 percent wide open as a receptive consumer base
  • Life and work are busier and more hectic than ever, sending people searching for options that allow them to fit fitness into complicated schedules
  • There's a wide range of franchise pricing available, depending on the level of complexity you want to involve yourself
  • There's an unlimited assortment in the 'fitness franchise' industry. For example, try men or women-only fitness centers or children's and pre-school fitness. Perhaps a specialized gym focusing on Pilates or yoga. Some franchises provide customers with a regimented workout while others are all about luxury with aromatherapy massages. You can even run a no frills gym devoted to muscle building

And the issues:

  • Fitness franchises can require a lot of investment, depending on how complex an operation the franchisee plans to run
  • Competition is especially tough in urban areas where exercise is relegated to fitness centers
  • Fitness franchises require a permanent site, which means renovating an existing one or building a new site
  • Other necessities include ample parking, a janitor service and the need to constantly replace equipment and train staff