Although running a business can be both stressful and challenging, it is also extremely exciting and highly rewarding. It is invigorating to build something from the ground up and watch it grow and prosper. A franchise is a good option when exploring new business opportunities, because there is less risk involved, and business development tools have already proven successful. However, as in the case of any business venture, there are certain factors to consider.

 

Establishing a Purpose

Many successful entrepreneurs believe that owning a business leads to a better lifestyle, which includes more free time. During the first 12 to 18 months, however, a franchise owner must be willing to put in 50 to 60 hours a week during the startup phase.

Before making the life-changing decision to establish a new business, there are a few questions to ask:

 

1.       Do I want to improve the quality of my life?

2.       Do I want the ability to substantially increase my income?

3.       Do I want to wake up in the morning excited about the day?

4.       Do I want to control my own destiny?

 

The answers to these questions will help you better understand your goals and what you are looking to accomplish as you transition from a personal trainer to business owner.

 

Reason for Change

            The transition from personal trainer to business owner is not difficult. In fact, many personal trainers work twelve plus hours per day with little to no time off; they have effectively become prisoners of their own success.

            Some trainers want to become business owners simply because they love training and enjoy helping others meet their health and fitness goals. They are also generally happy with their salary. Conversely, some business owners are not satisfied unless they are making $150,000 to $200,000 or more per year. The question then becomes: where do I fall in this spectrum?

            Perhaps you have heard that "risk equals reward." That is often true. How do you view risk? Are you willing to take a risk if it means a better life? A business can be looked at as a risk or as an opportunity. Only you can decide which one it will ultimately be.

 

Setting Goals

Success depends on setting and meeting realistic and attainable short- and long-term goals. Tangible, quantifiable, short-term and long-term business goals help business owners gauge progress and stay motivated.

            A long-term goal is based on values and can be attainable in no less than five years. When setting goals, be sure to share them with someone so they can hold you accountable and support you along the way.

Next, identify your short-term goals, which can be accomplished in less than a year. A plan of action is crucial to accomplishing short-term goals; it serves as a reference and reminder of what you set out to do.

Accomplishing goals can be easy when you set up an action plan. Outline the tactics that you will use to achieve your goals. Be driven. Be passionate. Focus. Learn from mistakes you make along the way so that you may overcome obstacles and meet the next set of goals.

 

Getting Started

The key to becoming an entrepreneur is to select a business model that will fulfill you. One such business model is the franchise. A franchise is a great way to duplicate the success of another business leader by utilizing existing tools. It is also less of a risk than starting a new business from scratch.

Franchise systems typically provide corporate assistance; have proven operating systems and expert mentoring; and have an established business model that ensures steady growth. These features will not only prompt entrepreneurial success, but they will increase growth opportunities.

            Additionally, the franchisor should also have a franchise school or other supportive programs, which are essential to its franchisees' success. Take advantage of discovery days; visit with the franchisor. Analyze the programs. Find out how much your initial investment will be and where that money is allocated. Ask about site selection. How do you go about finding the right address for your location? Will you have assistance in that process?

Once you have decided that a franchise is right for you, you can make the investment in yourself, in your quality of life and in your future. Remember: the hardest part is getting started and sustaining your motivation until your success becomes habitual.  

 

Plans for Your Business

In order to establish a top-tier personal training business, the business model and plan must be well devised, and all aspects of the business must be considered. Some important questions to ask are:

 

·         Who is my target audience?

·         How will I differentiate my business from the others?

·         How will I finance this project?

·         What are my projected fixed and variable expenses?

 

Other considerations include identifying the best architects and contractors; developing strategic marketing plans and overall strategies; hiring the right staff; and negotiating physical space and leasing options.

            As a franchise owner, you will hire others to work for you. Therefore, you must be willing to be a leader. Take advantage of proven leadership tips from the corporate franchise office. A leader plans proactively, rather than waiting for things to happen. A leader has - and shares - a vision. A leader sets the example and standards for his or her team, and a leader takes action.

 

The Bottom Line

Corporate assistance, proven operating systems, expert mentoring and a business model that ensures fast growth will not only enhance your credibility as a business owner, but will increase your employment and growth opportunities and allow you to benefit from the experience of other, successful business owners and leaders.

            Following guidelines, conducting the appropriate research, setting goals and engaging the support of business experts can help ensure that your business will not only succeed, but flourish.

 

For personal anecdotes of successful business owners, read on:

 

"As an independent studio owner I found myself dedicating a high percentage of time creating and managing systems for which I was not an expert. I realized if I truly wanted to grow, the proven business model that FTFC offered was absolutely necessary. If you are a personal trainer or an independent studio owner that desires real growth, take it to the next level as I did with Fitness Together." -Sean Carey, Rhode Island

 

"In 1998, I opened my own independent personal training business and within a year I was booked solid. I didn't have enough hours in a day to train everyone, and kept asking 'how do I duplicate myself?' I simply came up with more questions and never ended up with a good answer until I found Fitness Together. Now I can train more people than I ever could before. To anyone who is in a similar situation to mine, I implore you to stop fighting the same battle I did for five years - and join forces with Fitness Together! I have plans to open two more Fitness Together studios in the next two years. My only regret is not joining Fitness Together sooner!"

-Todd Opheim, Idaho

 

"After being a traveling personal trainer, I was ready to have a place to call my own. I had always dreamed of owning a personal training studio, but felt that I lacked the marketing expertise to take on the task. I began researching Fitness Together and after meeting with the owners, decided they were the people I was going to put my trust into and help me realize my dream. From the beginning of the venture, I have always felt confident and assured that the franchise office would help me out every step of the way. They made the start up process virtually mistake proof. Knowing that help was just a phone call away, no matter the time of day, was extremely helpful for me. I have only been open for 4 months, but have exceeded my financial goals each month since opening the club. Now I'm dreaming of my next club! Sincere thanks to FTFC for helping me realize my dream." -Diane Catrambone, Pennsylvania

 

Tom DeLosa, Vice President of Sales and Growth for Fitness Together, has over 10 years of studio management and franchise consulting experience. Fitness Together is the largest wellness organization in world with over 500 franchise sold in five countries. For information on how to own your own Fitness Together franchise, please contact Tom at 877-663-0880 x14 or at tomdelosa@fitnesstogether.com.

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