We understand the excitement of opening a new location comes with trepidations like extensive planning, council approval and choosing the RIGHT location; all of which can make the decision to open your own fitness business increasingly overwhelming. Whilst these are warranted realities, at Fitstop we pride ourselves on offering purpose built facilities which at its core relates to our approach of starting each location like we are building a new business; we understand that every community has their own characteristics that require personalised support.
As the saying goes, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Getting the location right is paramount and potentially your biggest weapon to succeed in a fitness business. Put simply, if prospective members don’t have visibility of your business, they aren’t located close enough or they simply don’t like the area - this creates a hurdle that could’ve been avoided with streamlined processes and knowledge that could be a mere suggestion such as to relocate around the corner.
With the success of Fitstop and our experience with opening 43 locations to date, we are well versed and equipped to provide extra services and expertise that can support our businesses to be in the best position possible, with the goal of opening your location cash flow positive from day one - an exciting prospect, right?
With this in mind, here are our top 5 considerations when finding the best location for your fitness business:
This first step is simple, however, arguably the most overlooked when choosing a location as Business Owners often fast track to feeling pressured to make an offer, negotiate deals and engage with fit outs. However, scouting the local area for an existing community is essential to ensure when the deal is done, members will actually want to visit your location. A great question to ask yourself is, ‘would you eat at the restaurants in the area, drink coffee from cafes and shop there?’ If not, it’s likely your members wouldn’t want to either and you are missing the opportunity to leverage the reputation of a highly popular, bustling area.
Real estate market is competitive and therefore once you have selected a promising area with a great community, the next most important step is selecting the space - remember, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Fitstop is a key support in this regard, as we emphasise the need for a retail-style space offering great exposure, perfect lighting, air conditioning, preferably with amenities, 200-300 sqm and a rectangular shape. The ultimate goal of having such direct requirements is to create a location that is inviting and explicates the unrivalled Fitstop experience. We are interested in building more than just a gym; it needs to be a place that’s warm and inviting, that feels like home, not a house.
Negotiation is key and is something worth taking advantage of as people often don’t realise the negotiation leverage that exists. Once you’ve found the prime location, we are focused on helping with the negotiating heads of agreement to ensure your business is set up for long-term success from day one. We encourage you to negotiate deals regarding price, the lease term or an incentive with both the leasing agent and landlord are willing to offer to ensure a chosen location fits with the Fitstop business model and will create an attractive breakeven point for your business.
We understand that every destination, community and council differs and requires a personalised approach; this is a significant advantage of Fitstop and we pride ourselves on acknowledging this, which only strengthens our impact in local communities. To support you in building a truly purpose built facility, we engage our expert design and build teams that take each floor space to a real life concept to ensure the Fitstop vision comes to life, whilst working with the individualised space. Like all successful brands, consistency DOES exist, ensuring every location is built with purpose to maximise impact and minimise overall investment.
The devil is in the detail when it comes to compliance, and our experience has given us transparency within the industry to know what to look for. We use the right certifiers, project managers and builders to ensure confidence in every element and cost leading into open day. It’s particularly important to understand the legal usage of the space, any noise and parking requirements as set out by your local council.
Our goal is to ensure a streamlined process from the signing of your franchise agreement through to the opening of your location, to ensure building a community is the paramount focus once opened. We don’t want any surprises or an ‘unexpected’ knock on the door from the council.
We understand a key desire for owning a franchise is that you are not alone in business. Our commitment to our Business Owners from the progression of enquiry to officially opening a location has given us a strong foundation for our Business Owners to be successful and not be impacted by details post-opening. Learning from our network of franchises has put us in the best position possible to support Business Owners through this often ambiguous and daunting process.
If you would like to further understand our process towards opening a Fitstop, contact Bec our Franchise Recruitment Manager today via firstname.lastname@example.org