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fi tness


franchising WES HODGSON


World Gym International, Ontario, Canada


fi tness club, as well as being the master franchisor for Canada. I already ran one gym – a family business that started in the 1970s – and a couple of years ago we looked at rebranding. The more we got into it, the more apparent it became that everything we wanted already existed in the World Gym International brand. It has loads of brand equity and history and was a good fi t for our gym. The change did concern some existing members, but we spent time explaining the benefi ts to them and transformed the club into a nightclub for a launch party. It was very Hollywood and lots of fun. As a World Gym club, we’re always bringing benefi ts to our members: for example, we have more buying power now, so we invest more regularly in equipment. Members also have access to other clubs in the World Gym chain. The initial franchise fee is US$25,000, but there’s a 50 per cent discount if you’re an existing gym converting to the


I


took on the World Gym International franchise two years ago and am now working on opening my third


Rebranding his fi tness facility into a World Gym has greatly boosted profi ts, says Hodgson


brand. Our rebrand has boosted our bottom line hugely: we’ve grown from 3,000 members in one club to 10,000 across two sites. Just hanging the World Gym International sign above the door attracts so many more people. But also, after being an independent operator,


it’s great to have access to the owners’ network to share ideas.


My aim is to be running six to 10 clubs within the next fi ve years. I also want to be strategic about getting the brand into all the key cities across Canada through other franchisees.


Just hanging the World Gym International sign above the door attracts so many more people


ALLISTER BEAUCHAMP


Snap Fitness, Orleans, Canada


open a third. I was bored with my job and looking to fi nd something I could be passionate about. Around this time, I also had a change


F


in lifestyle and lost 70lbs through eating better and exercising. That got me thinking about potential franchise business opportunities that would help improve the quality of life for others. I looked into a variety of options, including restaurants and speciality food stores, but in the end decided on health clubs. I chose Snap Fitness because I was attracted to the 24/7 aspect of the offering, allowing members to work out


ive years ago, I never would have thought I would own a business, let alone two and be looking to


(£130,000), and the biggest challenge was learning about a totally new area of business for me. The support from the Snap team


Snap Fitness is a 24-hour gym model


whenever it’s most convenient for them. I also liked the intimate size of the gym. The total cost per health club was approximately CAN$200,000,


62 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


really made the difference early on, as I experienced an infl ux of competition not long after opening and relied on the corporate head offi ce for guidance. They offered marketing ideas and strategies, and have an in-house design team to create customised advertising. I like the freedom and fl exibility that comes from owning my own business. I’m very involved in the day-to-day operations of the club, but also enjoy being able to decide how hands-on I want to be. Plus I love the fulfi llment that comes from helping others reach their fi tness goals, just like I did. Snap Fitness franchises are now available in the UK, with the fi rst sites open in Sittingbourne and Milton Keynes.


healthclub@leisuremedia.com kath hudson


september 2012 © cybertrek 2012


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