Many of us dream of owning our own businesses so we can get away from that 9-5 monotony and work for ourselves. If so, owning a franchise might be a good option for you. Being a franchise owner is like being a “formula entrepreneur,” you essentially take someone else’s methods and system and execute on it. You get the freedom that comes with being your own boss, but with a pre-existing framework. Before you start looking into franchise opportunities, it’s important you understand where the franchise industry is headed.
A Look At Where the Industry Has Been
After the market crash in 2008, a franchise industry trend became apparent. As the unemployment rate went up, so did the number of people looking to buy into the industry. This is due to the allure of securing a stable job during times of economic hardship. The Franchise Model, albeit an initial investment, is ultimately job security.
Franchises are known for eliminating the guesswork out of owning a business. The franchisor provides the franchisee with ongoing support, including local and national marketing, staff training, development, and problem solving support.
Today, people agree that the economy is doing well. In recent years, we’ve seen a steady decrease in unemployment and therefore, a decrease in the number of people looking to franchise. This decrease in demand isn’t a negative thing, in fact, it just means the people that are looking to franchise are higher quality. Chris Myers of BodeTree agrees that this is a much more favorable environment for consumerism. “As growth slows, there will be a shift from quantity to quality. The candidates who engage in the sales process will be better qualified and better positioned for long-term success.”
The Growth of the Franchise Industry
There are many google searches you can do to begin your quest to find the right franchise to invest in. With a little digging and thorough discussions with franchise services, you will likely be directed towards the fitness industry. The U.S. fitness market currently nets close to $31 billion annually. $1 out of 10 comes through a franchise, but more recently, the franchise growth has outpaced the industry as a whole. According to IBISWorld, a market research firm, the fitness industry will grow at 1.5% between now and 2022, and franchise brands will grow twice as fast as they become stronger and formula entrepreneurs look for “turnkey” opportunities.
The growth rate in the fitness industry is due to several different factors. The first and most notable is that brick and mortar store closings are on the rise. Chris Rondeau, CEO of Planet Fitness, hails this is a contributor to the death of retail. Commercial vacancies are making larger locations available for service industries to rent. Rondeau says, “Seven or eight years ago, it was much harder to get good sites, we were fighting with Best Buy and Barnes & Noble. Now landlords are looking for new businesses to drive traffic, and we’re getting much better locations at cheaper costs”. Patrons frequent the gym at least twice a week, which ensures foot traffic for strip malls and shopping plazas, giving other businesses a reason to stay put.
The second driver for a profitable fitness business is wellness mania. It is in our human nature to want to look and feel our best. It is not uncommon to see someone wearing a health tracker or using apps to monitor their weight loss. Meal planning, buying organic meat and produce, and participating in healthy community events also contribute to a certain lifestyle, or as Bryan O’Rourke, a brand consultant calls, a “lifestyle design.” Consumers are interested in combining multiple services and tools rather than investing all into one thing to build a custom wellness plan.
What does the future look like for franchises based on franchise industry trends? It’s important to note that Millennials will be the next generation to take over the industry. They can offer a fresh approach, are technologically savvy, desire independence, and are hungry for success. Unlike older generations, Millenials are not stuck in their ways and are willing to try new things. If given the necessary support and training, their ways of thinking and curated skills kits will transform the franchise industry.
As the largest part of the workforce, it is a fact that Franchising needs Millennials. It is critical that Franchisors look past any misconceptions about the generation and invest their time and energy into what will make them successful in the industry. How is that done? The following is a guideline for what will aid in creating a path to success for the future of the Franchise Industry.
Provide Feedback – Millennials want to know how they are doing and what they can do better. Franchisors will have to take a more ‘hands-on’ approach when it comes to millennials.
Devote Time to Training – Millennials don’t want to be left to their own devices. They want training and mentorship to help them succeed.
Freedom In the Workplace- Franchisors should be allowing millennials to have the self-sufficiency they need to thrive. They want to be trusted to implement new ideas and take different approaches. They don’t want to be restricted by various rules and regulations.
By working together, Franchises and Millennials will benefit one another greatly. Forward-thinking partnerships will result in more innovative offerings, subsequently allowing for a reduced cost of entry to the Franchisee’s, and will craft different offerings to attract new talent. All things are possible for the future of Franchises!
Is Franchising Right For You?
With both the franchise and the fitness industry booming, it might seem like a no brainer to open a fitness franchise. However, before you dive right in it’s important to ensure that this is something you are passionate and excited about. There is an initial investment involved in opening a franchise so you need to be committed to seeing it through.
If you’re wondering how you can make a profitable business in the fitness industry, consider franchising with Rush Cycle. At Rush Cycle, we focus on creating a unique culture and community centered around health and fitness and providing our customers with a fun, calorie-torching cycling workout. If you’re interested in franchising with Rush Cycle, reach out to us today to talk more about this franchise opportunity.