8 Fitness Franchise Opportunities from Major Industry Players

Fitness franchises are some of the fastest-growing businesses in the world of franchising. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the fitness industry navigates the world. Some of the top fitness franchises have had to adapt to changing consumer priorities to remain relevant and profitable in a post-COVID-19 world. 

As a franchise owner, you benefit from a recognized brand and proven business model. In terms of starting a business, a franchise comes with relatively low risk, which is one of the reasons it’s such a popular way to launch into the fitness industry. If you’re passionate about fitness and looking to buy a franchise license from a major player in the fitness industry, here are 8 top fitness franchise opportunities to get a piece of the pie. Skip ahead to:

  • What is a Fitness Franchise?
  • Fitness Franchise Industry Trends in 2021
  • 5 Reasons to Invest in a Fitness Franchise License
  • 8 Fitness Franchise Opportunities From Major Industry Players

What is a Fitness Franchise?

If you’re looking for a business opportunity without having to build a brand from scratch, franchising may be ideal for you. A franchise is a business with an established owner known as the franchisor. The franchisor sells the rights to use their trademarks, company name, and business models to independent operators known as franchisees. There is usually a one-off fee and ongoing percentage of revenue or cost to become a franchisee. 

A lot of businesses decide to franchise because it gives the business owner access to rapid growth that would be hard to achieve if you had to foot the bill for every business expansion and location. For independent franchisees, it allows you to run a business without starting from scratch. Not only do you gain access to a proven business plan and services, but you have the backing of an experienced fitness management team to help you hit your business goals. 

The Fitness Founders Podcast has an interesting episode with Debra Strougo and Eric Von Frohlich, the founders of Row House. The pair talk about building Row House into a successful boutique fitness franchise. They discuss what the future looks like for the company and the fitness franchise industry in general. 

Fitness Franchise Industry Trends in 2021 

Fitness franchises continue to be widely popular and profitable businesses. Planet Fitness and F45 Training are in the top 10 fastest-growing franchises in 2021. Also in the top 500 franchises are Jazzercise, CycleBar, Snap, and Pure Barre. This shows how consumers are leaning more and more toward boutique experience and on-demand fitness. 

As the fitness franchise industry continues to grow, it’s now about choosing the right niche and franchise to be successful. Despite setbacks from the coronavirus, the fitness franchise space is expected to grow for the right concepts. Innovative business models continue to come to the market, and training concepts evolve to meet changing demands and trends. Online and digital fitness has become a significant part of fitness in the last year. Fitness franchises are now taking steps to run as a hybrid business model with both in-person locations and digital services across their offerings. 

From group classes and outdoor fitness to digital fitness and virtual personal training, the fitness industry has seen a massive shift in the last year in consumer mindset and priorities. As trends like wearable fitness technology, high-intensity workouts, and functional fitness continue to be huge in the industry, the most successful businesses need to adapt and evolve with their members’ needs. 

Just like any other business, fitness franchises are facing a ton of competition. In recent years, there has been an explosion of franchises within the fitness industry. From larger chains to a massive rise in boutique fitness, it pays to be ahead of the competition. Keeping members motivated and happy is an ongoing task. One of the biggest challenges with a fitness franchise is being different from others. 

In this episode of The Fitness Founders Podcast, Russ Harrison, Group Managing Director of Spartans Boxing Club, talks about growing a successful fitness franchise from the ground up.

Founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Naz Musa, the franchise opportunity for Spartans was clear from the very beginning. Since then, the community-focused boxing club has experienced rapid growth across the Middle East and the Asia Pacific. 

5 Reasons to Invest in a Fitness Franchise License 

When you’re thinking about starting your own business, you will likely come across either investing in a franchise or building a business by yourself. There are several reasons why someone chooses to invest in a major fitness franchise. 

1. Speed of Growth 

Running a fitness franchise allows you to enter the market at a rapid speed. The potential for growth and the pace at which you can start and grow your business is much faster than with an independent fitness club or studio. Having access to a proven business model, procedures, marketing, and policies help fitness franchisees grow their business much faster. 

2. Committed and Motivated Mentors 

Often when you invest in a franchise, you’re gaining access to a senior level of management. You can speak to committed and motivated mentors and other franchise partners. You have a shared passion and goal and have the opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes. Your success is important to the greater fitness franchise. 

3. Lower Risk Point 

Naturally, a fitness franchise has a lower risk point. Of course, you need liquid capital to invest in the fitness business. It’s not that buying a franchise is cheap. In fact, there are plenty of costs and fees that come with running a franchise. The main difference is that there is proof the business works and makes money. Whereas with an independent studio, there is more trial and error. 

4. Efficient Business Model 

Investing in a fitness franchise means that you’re signing up to use a proven and efficient business model. While a passion for fitness is essential in the industry, you need to have a solid understanding of the business side of running a studio or gym. A tried and tested business model creates a lower risk point when it comes to starting a business. 

5. Brand Recognition 

One of the key benefits of a fitness franchise is starting a business with a recognized name and brand. People already know who you are and what you do. This means that there’s already an established culture within the business. Potential members know the value you bring. You can focus on growing your business from the start rather than building brand awareness from the ground up. 

8 Fitness Franchise Opportunities From Major Industry Players 

Depending on your passion, qualifications, and interests, there are several fitness franchise opportunities to invest in. If you’re looking to be part of some of the biggest names in the fitness franchise world, here are eight potential fitness franchise opportunities to join. 

1. F45 Training 

F45 Training is one of the fastest-growing fitness franchises. They use interval cardio and strength training to drive results. It’s one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build lean muscle. 

The brand was founded in 2011 and later started franchising in 2014. They now have over 1,700 studios in 45 countries. The investment fee is between $100,000 and $300,000 with an ongoing 7% royalty fee and 2% ad fee for the initial contract of five years. 

2. Orangetheory Fitness 

Another massive name in the fitness franchise world is Orangetheory Fitness. The business was founded in 2010 and started franchising the same year. The workout is scientifically proven to get results. With nearly one million members and over 1,300 studios around the world, Orangetheory has experienced rapid growth and development. 

To invest in the fitness franchise, you need a total investment of $560,000 to $1,000,000. This includes liquid capital and net worth requirements as well as the franchise fee. When you invest in the franchise, you gain access to corporate training and support with real estate, sales, fitness, technology, and training. 

3. Snap Fitness 

Snap Fitness is a 24/7 access gym. It has a no-frills approach to fitness and provides members with a low-cost monthly gym membership. The gym franchise has a signature workout that is hugely popular and leverages real-time fitness data tracking to elevate the member experience. 

The total upfront investment ranges from around $150,000 to just over $500,000. Established in 2002, Snap Fitness has over 2,000 gyms in 26 different countries. The brand provides around-the-clock access to fitness, focusing on functional, cardio, strength, and group training.  

4. Crunch Fitness 

In terms of size, Crunch Fitness isn’t as big as, say, Planet Fitness. However, it has a commitment to rapid growth. They currently have more than 350 open locations and plan to open an additional 1,200 franchise locations. The brand was founded in 2010 and started franchising the same year. Crunch Fitness aims to provide a judgment-free zone for fitness to help members meet their goals. 

The initial investment can range massively from just over $300,000 to over $2,000,000. It also includes an ongoing 5% royalty fee and 2% ad fee. The initial contract length is 10 years. It’s one of the top franchises and is known for its fun and quirky branding and marketing. 

5. 9Round 

9Round is a kickboxing fitness class developed by a world champion kickboxer. Since it started franchising in 2009, 9Round has over 600 units across the United States. It features nine workout stations and 30-minute classes with a mixture of interval training, cardio, functional, and circuit training. 

The total initial investment comes in at just under $150,000. Ongoing fees include a 6% royalty fee and a 2% ad fee. You also have the opportunity to invest in multiple units at one time to go straight into the owner/investor role rather than the owner/manager. 

6. Club Pilates 

Club Pilates offers full-body workouts using equipment like EXO-chair, TRX, and a springboard. The company is one of the largest Pilates brands with more than 600 studios open. As a franchise operator, they provide support in real estate, sales, marketing, recruitment, and training. 

The brand continues to grow rapidly and requires a total investment of up to $280,000, depending on your facility’s size. The initial contract lasts 10 years, and there are ongoing fees based on gross sales. 

7. Pure Barre 

Pure Barre is the largest barre brand with almost 550 studios and over 76,000 members. They use ballet barre movements to provide a complete full-body workout. With a strong brand and scalable business, Pure Barre promises a smart investment that’s always evolving with its members. 

The initial startup costs between $198,650 to $446,250, including a $60,000 franchise fee. This cost is in addition to leasing or purchasing real estate. The royalty fee is 7% and the marketing fee 2%.  

8. The Bar Method 

The Bar Method workout uses bodyweight exercises and some small pieces of equipment to produce a safe and challenging workout. The brand was founded in 2001 and started franchising in 2008. There are now over 123 fitness centers and counting. 

The total initial investment for the Bar Method ranges from $218,964 and $427,405 and includes an initial franchise fee of $52,000. The cost of opening a new studio varies depending on your location and size. There will also be 6% ongoing royalty fees and 2% ad fees. 

In Summary 

There are a lot of fitness franchise opportunities in the industry. By investing in the right concept and recognized brand, you can run your own business using a proven business model and support. Fitness franchises offer various concepts and use innovative models and technology to continue to stand out from the competition. You can find fitness franchise options to suit almost any budget. If you’re passionate about fitness and looking to enter the fitness market through one of the top franchises right now, these brands have huge potential. 

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