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With Fit4Less, Newall was happy he was buying a tested business model


ANDREW NEWALL


Fit4Less, London, UK


Hill. I realised I was paying £140 a month just to lift weights and thought there must be a cheaper way. I had recently sold a backpacker business I owned in Canada and had moved to the UK, so was looking for a business opportunity. Other than


T


he idea of opening a low-cost gym came to me in 2009, when I was working out at a gym in Notting


being a gym-goer, I had no background in health and fi tness, so I did a basic fi tness qualifi cation and lots of research, including job interviews to see how managers interviewed. I considered a few franchises, but Fit4Less by énergie really appealed because I liked the budget concept. A Fit4Less franchise costs £20,000 – I bought four and opened my fi rst gym in 2010. I did the énergie management course


and they helped me enormously with the set-up, business plan, forecasts, fi nding a site and securing the fi nance, including getting a government loan to help new businesses. Without their help I would never have known about this.


Although the franchisor is extremely helpful – they’ve made the mistakes so I don’t have to – I also fi nd the network of franchisees invaluable. It’s great to speak to other owners about day-to-day issues. The biggest challenge has been that the club has been more popular than I imagined, which has led to more wear and tear issues than I was expecting. However, I’m now at the point where the gym is almost running itself and I’m looking for more sites to expand. The property market in London is making this diffi cult though, and I keep getting outbid. I defi nitely feel I made the right choice. It has helped me achieve many of my ambitions, including buying a sports car!


JAMIE CARTWRIGHT


Xtravaganza, Sheffi eld, UK


I


created the fi rst Ladyzone gym in 2006, in Sheffi eld, and now run fi ve clubs across the country, with two


more franchised out. As an owner- operator, I’m always looking for ways to diversify my business. I was therefore immediately interested when Xtravaganza contacted me with its bolt-on franchise, which offers dietary support. I believe we do gym very well, but historically we’ve struggled with diet, so this will be an exciting new offering and will create a further revenue stream for our clubs. After completing the week-long training course, I’m now in the process


september 2012 © cybertrek 2012


of implementing the concept at the clubs. It’s been a simple process, and Xtravaganza offers support by phone and email, free-of-charge refresher training and documentation on the intranet. I was impressed with the Xtravaganza


diet programme, which takes an holistic approach, working to change behaviour rather than just relying on willpower. There’s a big emphasis on giving people the tools to make the right decisions, discussion about the motives for eating, and how to stay focused during times of temptation, such as meals out. Xtravaganza charges £1,500 a year


for the franchise fee. That will, I think, very quickly pay for itself as we’ll charge members extra to embark on the programme. We already have a database of people interested in weight loss, so I envisage it will be an easy sell. I think it will also help us retain members –


people like to see results, and this will help them achieve those results quicker. So many people try to embark on the right path, but fail, so I’m always looking for ways to help people reach their goals.


Xtravaganza is a diet franchise for clubs Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 61


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