You grew up playing sports, order a monthly health and wellness magazine, make activity a regular part of your routine, and take pride in what you eat. Maybe your passion for exercise is new and you want to help other fitness enthusiasts stick with their goals. Or maybe you’re a smart entrepreneur looking for a new business opportunity.
So now you’re thinking about opening up your own fitness franchise. Where to begin?
As a future business owner, you must consider the investments needed in order to get started, the resources made available to you, and exactly what you need to bring to the table to make a franchise agreement successful.
When you’re researching franchises and which business model is best for you, consider:
- Audience - Does your gym cater to women, men, or both?
- Support - What kind of marketing assistance do you receive? Are you provided with workouts or other resources for your clients?
- Royalties and franchise fees - Are you asked for a flat fee or percentage? Can you pay in installments or is the amount required up front?
- Initial investment - What is the range of financial investment you should expect?
- Size of studio - How much space do you need?
- Membership structure - How many members can you serve? What is the range of monthly membership fees?
- History of franchise - How long has the company been operating?
- Current number of studios - Is the franchise quickly expanding? Are there other business owners you can speak to?
We’ve researched some of the top boutique franchises in the fitness industry to compare costs, studio sizes, membership numbers, and support for new gym owners.
- In 2010, Orange Theory Fitness exploded onto the scene. With almost 1,000 stores worldwide, members pay anywhere from $69 to $189 in monthly dues to workout in gyms half the size of a basketball court. For business owners, initial investments range anywhere from $488,405 to $994,430 --- in addition to franchise fees of $49,500. Royalties are also collected, a figure around 6% that permits entrepreneurs to use the Orange Theory name, receive monthly workouts for their clients, and get both business training and marketing support.
- 9-Round Fitness also provides franchise owners ready-made kickboxing workouts yet doesn’t package the same kind of marketing-in-a-box that Orange Theory and Delta Life provide. Since 2009, 9-Round has expanded to 580 studios with an “old school” boxing format that appeals to fitness enthusiasts looking for a no-frills circuit workout at affordable costs (monthly memberships run from $29.99 to $79.99). Business owners can expect a royalty fee of $449 on top of a $24,000 franchise fee, plus initial investments that can range anywhere from $75,200 to $116,800. Studios accommodate around 600 members.
- Burn Boot Camp has quickly amassed a cult-like following: This boutique studio primarily caters to women, though men are permitted to use facilities at certain times. More than 83 franchises have been established since 2015, each location accommodating as many as 250 members. The 45-minute circuit workouts appeal to members who pay anywhere from $99 to $179 each month to sweat in studios ranging from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet. In addition to a $30,000 franchise fee and initial investments ranging from $105,000 to $168,000, business owners pay 5% in royalty fees.
- F45 Training, an Australian studio devoted to functional fitness, has established over 80 locations since opening in 2015. Studios serve up to 400 members, with each member paying $80 to $160 monthly. Initial investments can be steep, ranging from $210,000 to $289,000 plus a $50,000 franchise fee. The company collects $2,500 in royalties.
- CycleBar, an indoor cycling boutique provides franchisees pre-planned workouts and marketings so busy business owners can focus their attention elsewhere. Since 2015, the company has opened 124 locations. Studios run from 1,800 to 4,000 square feet and can serve over 1,000 members who pay per class, anywhere from $28 to $33 per class. The franchise asks for a 7% royalty, in addition to an almost $50,000 franchise fee. Initial investments can range from $379,000 to close to $900,000.
- And then there’s Delta Life. We’re a boutique studio that focuses on women and community. By providing marketing, readymade workouts, and business support, we aim to make sure every business owner receives the help they need to build a thriving fitness studio.
We know starting any business requires significant investment, but we strive to keep fees low: By collecting a 6% royalty fee, we have dropped our franchise fee to $39,500. Initial investments range from $194,400 to $398,650. Studios are size-able, around 2,300 square feet, and can serve up to 800 members. With each client paying $59 to $159 dollars each month, owners can quickly see a return on their investment.
Since April 2018, over 13 franchises have powered up. And we’re just getting started.
To learn more about opening up a studio of your own, request information and speak to one of our trusted team members.
For a quick comparison of some different fitness franchises, download this comparison chart by clicking on the button below.
- 200 Paths to Franchise Success - Franchise Business Review
- How Orange Theory grew to dominate the boutique fitness industry - Fast Company
- Fitness Franchise Industry Report 2018 - Franchise Direct
- 20 Fitness Franchises: Planet Fitness and Beyond - Small Business Trends
- What I’ve learned from two months at CycleBar - Towards Data Science
- 10 Best Fitness & Gym Franchises 2018 - Fit Small Business