America has been having trouble with obesity for years. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that showed nearly 40% of American adults and nearly 20% of adolescents were obese. Even more alarming is the fact that toddlers are now part of this epidemic. One in ten kids, aged 2 to 5, aren’t just overweight. They’re obese.
Naturally, health experts are alarmed. Obesity-related illnesses are well documented, and a growing number of Americans are more at risk than ever. Other concerned, business-minded citizens and entrepreneurs have also taken a step in battling the obesity epidemic by opening gyms and providing weight loss services.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
If you’re interested in helping curb obesity, you too can open your own independent gym or you can opt to own a weight loss franchise. Each of these business models has its own distinct pros and cons.
Costs will be hefty no matter if the fitness business is yours or a franchise. Franchising means fees—a whole lot of them. Apart from a licensing fee, you also need to split a percentage of your earnings to the franchising company. On the upside, franchisors usually provide all the equipment for you. Let’s face it; the cost of gym equipment is no laughing matter. This can help alleviate your costs big time. Having your own, on the other hand, means you get to keep all the revenue for yourself. The downside is you’ll have to spend for everything yourself.
Franchises have a fixed program unless stated otherwise. The times, classes, equipment, and other offerings are the same, no matter where the franchise is located. However, this also means that franchisees need to comply with all the franchisor’s regulations. Now for the good part: The franchisor usually answers for staff training and tutorials. This leaves you with more time to focus on other things that the business might need. Independent fitness owners are free to offer amenities, classes, and other things as they see fit but they’ll also have to tend to the staff training.
An advantage of franchising is the support the franchisee receives from the franchisor. For those who’ve never ventured into a business before, receiving support means that you, as the business owner, can concentrate on other aspects of the venture. For independent business owners, on the other hand, fixed support is practically non-existent.
One of the best advantages of franchising is the ease of marketing. Certain franchises have established a great reputation, so much so that franchisees need not worry about getting the word out or about the influx of clients. The reverse is also probably one of the biggest downsides of owning an independent business. As an entirely new player in the market, establishing an independent venture comes with its own set of challenges in building and marketing the brand.
The weight loss business does not have to be intimidating when you determine which business model works best for you. Here’s hoping that this list helps narrow down your decision-making process.