How To Find A Business Partner And Take on a Fitness Franchise

It’s a great dream to have your own a business and be in control of your destiny.  One great way to start a business is to take a franchise, and one of the best sectors to invest in is fitness franchising; especially HIIT gyms franchises (see our previous blog on Buying a Gym Franchise).

This is a daunting step which can be made easier by having a business partner to stand with you shoulder to shoulder to make the business a success.  But what makes up a great business partnership?

Critical to the Success of the Business

You need a partner when it is critical to the success of the fitness franchise business.   Look at where the skill gaps are in your proposed business and be brutally honest with yourself.  Are you a fitness trainer and coach?  Are you experienced in delivering group exercise HIIT workouts? Do you have a passion for social media, crucial in the fitness franchise community? It is simply that you need more cash to invest in the business?

If it is not mission critical you may be better off employing or outsourcing.

Set Expectations

Too many people start a franchise business partnership without being clear about what the other person wants out of it.  Be clear and transparent about the key issues.  Talk and find out what your common ground is on personal goals; ideas and motivations; fitness and wellbeing goals; professional goals i.e. what do you both want out of the fitness franchise business.  The professional goals do not have to match exactly but should not be contradictory.

Your contact at the Master Franchisor can help set your goals.

Define the Relationship

The next important step is to formalise the relationship.  This is critical to success, as the agreement between the parties needs to be in black and white. A legal agreement is necessary to cover 3 crucial areas:

  • Roles and responsibilities in the fitness franchise
  • Compensation, if the business can afford it, then how much
  • Exit clauses

You can be hopeful of never coming into conflict with your business partner, but it does happen.  If it happens, the documentation is crucial and needs to be fair to both parties and allow the relationship to end amicably if that is the eventual outcome and you go your separate ways.

Typically a partnership sets up in an equal ownership and each contributes half the resource to set up.  Other routes can work where someone is bringing indispensable expertise and/or agrees to forego some compensation to ‘make up’ for lack of up front investment. 

Managing Egos

This is not talked about enough; everyone has their leadership style and sometimes they can clash.  It is important that, as co-owners in the franchise, you present a united front the to team and the members of your franchise. It is about not allowing your ego to affect business decisions.  If your partner has a better idea, take a deep breath and evaluate its worth to the business and put any emotion aside.  It does help if you know your onions i.e. do not start disagreeing if you do not know what you are talking about.  If you do not know, just say so.

Reporting on the business

Once you have started, how you split the burden the fitness franchise business is very important even if there are just two of you at the start.  This assists with communication and will keep you on track with business goals.  At the start there will be a lot of informal chat and that is fine.  However, at a minimum a weekly meetings setting out what needs to be achieved in the week then a ‘wash up’ meet at the end of the week to review progress is a must.

A formal monthly meeting to review results and the plan for the next month is the next step.  This helps with building in some thinking time about the business as each partner should come to meeting prepared to discuss their areas of responsibility and report on progress.

The advantage of a franchise is the support available from your Master Franchisor launching and reporting on the business.  This gives you a great structure to work with.

Exiting The Business

This is a very important topic to discuss.  You will need to consider this in line with your expectations we talked about earlier in the article:

  • Is it a lifestyle business i.e. you are in it to earn enough to support your lifestyles?
  • Are you in it for the long haul and want to be a multiple franchisee
  • Is it something you want to build and sell eventually or as quickly as possible
You need a broad agreement on this.  Yes, things can change but you need a view or plan at the outset so the strategic decisions have a base to them. 

We have a team here at YourZone45 ready to answer questions on how to start a franchise.  We run regular webinars and of course you can try a workout at any one of our studios.