The health and fitness industry in the UK is currently booming and this is a trend that looks set to continue.
More and more people are interested in joining gyms to combat rising levels of obesity and to generally improve their fitness.
The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report revealed that one in seven people in the UK is a member of a gym. There has never been a better time to get involved in this sector with a gym franchise.
There are plenty of benefits of buying a gym franchise; a business where you are allowed to operate a gym operating under the owner's brand name.
In a sense, all the hard work - the marketing, the business plans, the programmes and even the equipment and interior design have already been taken care of by the company.
All you have to do is get on with managing the gym. One of the best things about taking on a well-known franchise is that clients know exactly what to expect.
You can also take advantage of the assistance and advice of the franchisor throughout the process which can be great for building confidence.
If you would love to own your own gym but are daunted by the thought of starting one all by yourself, a franchise is an ideal solution because the risks of starting your own business are minimised.
However, owning a gym franchise brings its own set of challenges. You will probably be expected to be an active full-time presence in the gym for at least the first year, and this can involve long hours.
There are additional licensing fees and ongoing costs so it is important to have a clear understanding of these before signing any paperwork.
It is far more likely to be a positive experience if you have a keen interest in health and fitness and enjoy working out yourself.
Another factor, which could potentially be an issue is the fact that there is often not much leeway for change. If a juice bar, for example, is unpopular in your particular branch, or a spinning class isn't taking off, you will still need to comply with the rules and regulations of the franchisor.
As with all business opportunities, take the time to do plenty of research before jumping in. Visit a branch of a gym franchise and talk to the owner about their experience.
Read all the details carefully and think about the geographical location of the area you are thinking of working in.
The good news is that gyms can be successful in most areas of the UK - even in rural locations - as so many people are keen to take advantage of their facilities - from teenagers to retired people.
You will need to have good communication skills and enjoy working with all types of people. You will need to have excellent organisational skills, a good work ethic and self-motivation, and be able to manage staff effectively.
An understanding of the leisure industry and a personal training qualification would also be an advantage.
How to Buy a Franchise
Start by applying for an information pack. Then, simply complete an application to the franchise company and - as long as you meet the financial criteria i.e. you might have to pay an up-front fee - you should soon be ready to manage your own gym.