Right now is a particularly opportune time to consider starting a fitness business. As Americans become increasingly health conscious, gyms, yoga studios and other fitness related enterprises have seen a steady increase in membership. As you plan your fitness business, you can go with a ground up approach, or you can buy into a franchise. Franchises have a number of advantages, including a quicker start up time and a pre-existing infrastructure. While a fitness franchise can seem expensive, franchise financing can help you reach your goal of purchasing the franchise license, equipment, furniture as well as fund leasehold improvements and even working capital for the first several months of operations. However, you will need to do a little homework to get started.
Understand Your Chosen Franchise
As a first step, you must educate yourself about the different fitness franchises available and the characteristics and nuances of their varying franchisee programs and requirements. Most franchises require that you follow very specific guidelines, and while there is usually room for your own contributions, you must usually make them within the context of the larger framework. Even if you have owned a business before, you may have to learn some new operational approaches, as the franchise’s specifications may differ from your experience.
Understand the Legal Angles
As you enter into the fitness franchise arena, be mindful of the various legal requirements and actions you must take. You will almost certainly need to consult experts to help you navigate the maze of regulations. For example, since you are opening a fitness business you will want to be clear about insurance liability. There are many reputable franchising consultants whose careers are built upon helping clients navigate this path and become successful entrepreneurs.
Since franchises can be quite expensive, most new franchise owners either choose or need to finance their business. As you work through the process, you may want to apply for a small business loan in order to have the necessary capital required for starting a new business.. SBA loans are often a popular product for new franchise owners as they are partly guaranteed by the government and therefore mitigate risk for lenders. When seeking franchise financing, make sure to create a solid business plan. The better and more detailed the plan, the more likely you are to attract interested lenders to your deal.
Plan for Growth
Think beyond your initial project and set goals based on projected growth. Take geography and population into account as you decide when, where and how many franchise locations you think you may eventually be able to own and operate. You might even consider growing beyond your locality and into neighboring states and beyond. There is nothing wrong with thinking big, even if you are starting a single franchise.
From securing franchise financing to finding a viable location to opening the doors on your first day of business there will no doubt be challenges as you set up your fitness business. All of the work, however, will pay off in the end as you enter into an exciting industry with unlimited growth potential in today’s health conscious market.