Gym Franchising: What you Need to Know


This may be surprising, but one in every seven people in the United Kingdom are gym members.

That’s over 9.7 million fitness members in the UK alone, and the numbers increase as more people quit their sedentary lifestyle and commit to improved health.

As a matter of fact, from 2016-2017, over 270 new gyms were opened in the UK, a true testament to the increased demand by customers.

If you are considering launching your own gym, a franchise could be the way to go. Below, we break down what franchises are and why they could be the right path for you.

What is a gym franchise?

Developing a brand for a new gym takes years of work, high customer satisfaction and significant resources.

Gym franchises offer an easier alternative to jump-start a successful business: open a branch (aka franchise) of a well-known gym brand.

By opening this franchise, your new business becomes part of a chain of reputable gyms.

Why become a gym franchisee?

There are numerous benefits to owning a franchise as opposed to developing your own brand.

Franchise brands already have existing brand loyalty – potential customers know what to expect in terms of the company’s reputation.

They also have an existing customer database, which means they have perfected their management, pricing, equipment and many other details based on customer feedback. This cut backs on trial-and-error situations.

Additionally, a franchisee receives a significant amount of support when opening their gym – there is no guess work involved.

Many franchisers also offer discounted equipment due to their buying power, and will assist with planning and smaller details like insurance and compliance to all laws.

Having this support and industry insight is invaluable and would otherwise take many years of experience to match.

Last but certainly not least, a large majority of franchises see a profit, particularly after the first year.

How to get started

Review different gym franchise opportunities to understand available options and what they entail from the franchisee.

Franchises require different down payments and total investments, with lesser-known brands requiring a lower sum.

They also may target different demographics (such as children’s gyms, or women-only gyms) and offer different types of activities and workout equipment.

Any franchise agreement will require careful examination, likely with the assistance of an attorney or an expert in the field.

After deciding on a franchise plan, you will need to get financing requirements in order. Consider both the down payment and any additional fees, such as equipment, signage, rent and training.

All in all, it’s a challenging endeavor but one made much easier through the hand-holding of the franchisor.