Did you know that Australia’s gym market is one of the most competitive and saturated markets in the world, according to IBISWorld? (Why are we still so fat, and have more health problems than ever before?
Simply put, there are a lot of businesses fighting it out for your fitness dollars.
As a seasoned Personal Trainer, I am going to give you as much of an unbias opinion both from a business owners point of view and weigh it all up for you.
Let me take you back some 6 years ago whereby my dream to open my own personal training studio was taking shape; a place where I wasn’t bound by the restraints of a large-scale franchise; a place of change and positivity, and where I had the freedom to really help and change people’s lives.
I searched for a studio space for a very long time; it had to be the exact ‘right’ space that aligned with my philosophy and training style. I was excited to open Realfit Personal Training in Prahran (Victoria) in 2012 and later followed with a second smaller studio in nearby East Malvern in 2015. I tried to make the two premises work for a few years, however, while I could replicate the system, I couldn’t duplicate myself.
I couldn’t duplicate my knowledge and experience or be in two places at once or nurture each member on their journey (people often came to a small style studio to connect with owner). And so, I ended up selling the Prahran studio in 2019.
For today’s seasoned Personal Trainer looking to go out on their own it can be difficult enter the franchise model, you see them everywhere and quite often from witnessing the last decade a lot have come and gone only the ones with a ridged business model seem to survive. So, I have put together some advantages and disadvantages on this subject (note this is my opinion).
- Initial franchise costs can be very high, and it can take two or more years to turn a profit
- Training and Continued Support of Franchisees. …
- Poorly Performing Franchisees. …
- Compliance Costs and Risk. …
- Managing Growth.
One of the most frequent causes: lack of funds, poor people skills, reluctance to follow the formula, a mismatch between franchisee and the business, and — perhaps surprisingly — an inept franchiser.
Franchisees don’t have to build the brand or set up the systems and processes to run the business efficiently they simply plug in an existing proven model.
For those who want to become part of a franchise, there is one common question: Is entering a franchise worth it? The short answer: not so sure if you and the franchisor do your parts. You can have a lot of business advantages when you decide to franchise. However, there is heavy financial risk, as with any new business.
A word of Caution
My advice would be to do what I did and gain around 3-5 years’ experience in a smaller style gym. Don’t worry about the pay, if it covers your bills, food, and rent! Work your frickin backside off! Work 50-plus hour weeks, put your heart and soul into learning, helping clients and getting as much coaching experience as possible.
Spend all your spare money on books, courses and improving yourself.
Then after the first year start to develop a business plan, read books on business, read autobiographies of successful entrepreneurs, and get inspiration from people in the industry who you look up to, and get yourself a business coach, you need to be patient and have the long game in mind.
Your own Personal Training Studio
Yep, be prepared to work long hours and really roll up your sleeves, you’re creating a brand one that you can eventually sell and be proud of, as a business owner you also may have sleepless nights as this is your baby you will be worried about it 24/7 so it’s not for the faint hearted. (You need to have big kahuna’s)
If you persist and have a solid business plan that can adapt along the way you’ll be able to carve out a nice place for your business, potentially helping hundreds of people change their lives, and building a successful personal trainingbusiness along the way, and nothing feels better knowing that you have impacted someone’s life under your own brand and your terms.
Now I am well into my 50s and my passion top operate a small studio has not dissipated, it has only increased with time. I still get a kick out of mentoring my team of personal trainers and love the connection I have with my clients who include everyday people, athletes, and celebrities alike.
We encourage new and ground-breaking ideas within a fun and challenging environment. If we make mistakes (and we do), we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep going.
This is the spirit of my studio, moving forward all the time. We instil a positive approach with our trainers and encourage them to believe in themselves, the way I did during my own learnings over time. In turn that belief helps clients believe in themselves.
We’re in it for the long haul and it’s evident in the way we work.
The core of the business is transformations, whatever that looks like for each individual client: body changes, nutrition changes, reduced stress and anxiety, more confidence, better sleep etc. We’re here to help facilitate the changes each client desires through one-on-one personalised training or group sessions, either in-person or online. Access to first-class training, no matter your location, and resources to support your journey, is our priority.
At Realfit you will find trainers of both sexes, sporting different body shapes and sizes with diverse sporting backgrounds who all have one thing in common — YOU and your success!