What to Look for When Buying a Franchise in 2023

In the current environment, people want more. We’re changing jobs more than ever, we’re looking for what could give us freedom, and above all, we want a job, side hustle or a career pathway that we’re passionate about. That’s why at Fitstop, we’re not just selling a business or an investment or even a job; we’re selling a lifestyle. This is what makes buying a business both an financial and emotional decision, and an important decision at that. 

So, once you’ve started thinking about buying a franchise business; here’s what you should do next: 

Our top 5 tips when buying a fitness franchise: 

1. Independent vs franchise?

It may seem obvious, but weighing up your options between independent vs franchise is super important because to be successful in franchising, you have to trust the brand!  

Franchising 

Franchising allows you to apply your passion to systems and processes, or easily lead a team to have this same passion as everything is already set out. Basically, everyone in franchising would have been in your position before in multiple ways, so there’s direct experiences and learnings you can benefit from. For Fitstop, we use our Fitstop Academy to detail everything from the opening process, campaign cycles, membership nurturing, brand guidelines and more. 

Basically, the grunt work is done for you - you’re empowered to grow and scale instead of develop your business from the ground up, and there’s a huge difference in terms of lifestyle. 

Independent

Creating an independent business can be a great option if you think there’s a genuine gap in the market. You make the rules and you have full control over the strategy of your business. Typically, people who have a high appetite for risk and like to consistently think out of the box thrive in these conditions. 

Summary 

Whilst people often think going independent is cheaper, yet, this is not always the case as you won’t have access to relationships and deals developed within a franchise network. On the otherhand as a franchisee, you do need to be positive and aligned to the brand as a non-negotiable and be comfortable working with and not against the collective. 

Find out more about franchising v independent

2. What do you want from the franchise?

Not all franchises are the same. The key differentiators are product, community, support, systems, opportunities to expand, technology and many, many more. 

At Fitstop, we attract those who want a high-returns investment and who are genuinely excited about what Fitstop has to offer in terms of leading member and business owner technology, genuine team-based sessions and performance-based training that focuses on progression. Our community is next level and this comes from our teams of business owners, so having people who are passionate about Fitstop is often what sets us apart.

So, it’s time to double down and decide what you want from your investment. Unfortunately, we can’t make this decision for you, but some pointers include: 

  • Do you want a business with multiple in-person touchpoints? 
  • Is a strong brand or product more important to you? 
  • Are you planning on owning multiple franchises so you need systems and tech that allow scalability? 
  • Do you want someone completely distinct from competitors and innovative or a business that is similar, yet stronger, against competitors? 

The best way you can start to understand more about these differentiators is by following each brand and their local community on social media and book in a session! 

3. Do you align with the product?

You may be thinking that the product or even brand doesn’t matter in franchising, and instead, it’s all about the return on investment. Well, we like to think the product really does matter as it’s the backbone of everything. At the end of the day, the product attracts your members and your team and these are crucial to your success. 

This all plays into your understanding of the market place. Is this franchise business a fad, around for the long haul, will this be supported by your ideal territory - or does it suit your community? Is it an imitation of something already on the market?

4. Do you align with the values of the franchise? 

As a long term business - do you see yourself in business for next 3, 4, 10 years? It’s important to treat any franchise business as a true partnership. Especially when building a fitness business, true success requires building and nurturing a community and this doesn’t happen overnight. 

Instead, success happens when you or your team commits to the vision of the partnership; and this vision stems from values. 

At Fitstop, we don’t call them values, but instead, they’re our DNA: 

Performance: With an athlete’s mindset we progress, always

 

Experience: Memorable moments matter

 

Education: What got us here, won’t get us there

Community: We are stronger together

5. Connect with the experts

As we said, investing in a franchise is an emotional AND financial decision. The best thing you can do is get legal advise or go to your accountant as a first point of contact. Trust the experts! 

Better yet, after seeking professional advice, the best thing you can do is find mentors in the position you want to be in. Reach out to these mentors and grab a coffee! 

For a more comprehensive outlook at what Fitstop has to offer, make sure you download our free information pack to get you on the right track. 

Rebecca Hull

Franchise Recruitment Manager

Fitstop Franchise Recruitment Manager, Rebecca, combines her love of fitness and experience as a Senior Recruitment Consultant to help progress passionate people into owning their own successful fitness business.