The 2019 Fitness Franchise Market is in Great Shape
According to a National Health Interview Survey*, for the first time, more than half of Americans reported that they got the recommended amount of leisure-time aerobic activity.
Compare that to 2006, when only 43 percent of Americans hit that physical activity threshold.
That means that more Americans than ever are focused on getting/staying fit. And fitness franchise businesses are reaping the rewards.
Could a fitness franchise opportunity be the right one for you?
The Fitness Market
If you’re looking to buy a franchise, part of your research must include potential market size. And thanks to the internet, market data has never been easier to gather.
According to Statista*, the North American market had an estimated size of more than 28 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, of which 90 percent, around 25.8 billion U.S. dollars, was attributable to the United States. In addition, the United States brings in more revenue and has more active members in fitness and health clubs that anywhere else in the world.
The key is to find a high-quality fitness franchise opportunity that is unique and possesses growth potential for your geographic area.
Is Fitness Important to You?
In all my years of working with prospective franchise owners, I never met anyone looking at fitness franchises who wasn’t into fitness themselves.
That doesn’t mean you have to be a bodybuilder or a long-distance runner to own a fitness-related franchise business. But you do need to be able to relate to your clients and/or members on some level.
How to Find a Fitness Franchise That’s Right for You
If you feel that owning a fitness franchise makes sense for you, you need to find one that:
- Offers something unique and/or special
- Is available in your geographical area
- Has plenty of profitable and happy franchisees
Three Things to Look for in a Fitness Franchise
1. What makes the franchise special?
There are more than 60 different fitness-related franchise opportunities to choose from. To find one right for you, start off by visiting their websites, so you can see what makes each of them unique.
For example, do they offer cutting-edge fitness machines or technology? Do they target a specific demographic that’s appealing to you?
Choose the ones you like and go to step two.
The fastest way to slim down your list of possibilities is to see if there’s availability near you. Fitness franchises have been around for a while, so some areas of the country may be sold out.
To find out if you would be able to open a franchise in your area, go to their franchise website. There may be a map showing open (and closed) areas. If not, go to their consumer website, and type in your zip code to see how many units are near you. If there aren’t any, contact the franchisor and see if they’re interested in opening up in your area.
3. Happy Franchisees?
Assuming you’ve found one or two franchises that meet your criteria, and you’ve started the discovery process with a franchise development representative, you need to find out if their franchisees are happy and making money. Read this article to learn how.
I recommend talking to 12–15 franchisees. Any less than that won’t give you a good enough snapshot of the business. In my experience, if 80 percent of the franchisees are happy and making money, you may have found yourself a good franchise opportunity.
As long as consumers continue to care about their health and well-being, fitness franchises will continue to grow.
*Non U.S. Government links
(I wrote this article for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Used with permission. https://www.sba.gov/blogs/continued-growth-fitness-franchises)