Growth of the fitness industry remains strong, with continued diversification of concepts and business models. There are dozens of fitness franchise opportunities to choose from — ranging from traditional gyms and group fitness, to kickboxing, yoga, one-on-one personal training, and everything in between.
With so many options, how do you choose a fitness franchise that’s right for you? Franchise Business Review has done the heavy lifting for you, narrowing the list to this year’s 2017 Top Fitness Franchise Opportunities. We surveyed over 1,000 franchisees from dozens of different fitness franchises to find the very best opportunities based exclusively on owner satisfaction.
This year’s top 10 brands include some of the hottest new fitness concepts, as well as a few classic brands. If you are serious about owning a fitness business, we’re confident one of these franchises will be a great fit.
||#1 ranked Crunch Fitness has the highest franchisee satisfaction in the category, and equally impressive financials — averaging $1,906,305 in gross sales and $444,449 in operating profit per club based on 2017 franchise disclosures. Crunch is looking to recruit franchise partners interested in multi-unit development opportunities. While the unit-economics and potential ROI are impressive, investing in a Crunch franchise requires some strong capital backing. You (and any partners) must have a minimum combined net worth of $1,000,000 with at least $400,000 in liquid assets. Learn More about Crunch Fitness.|
||Equally impressive from a growth perspective is #2 ranked Orangetheory Fitness – who has surpassed 600 studio locations opened in just seven years of franchising. Fast growth doesn’t always translate into franchisee success, but the Orangetheory management team has kept franchisees happy without a single franchised studio closure in the past three years. Investing in an Orangetheory franchise ranges from $488,000 – $994,000 (not including real estate) with average annual sales north of $1,000,000 for studios open at least 24 months.|
||For franchise candidates looking for a slightly less expensive fitness franchise alternative, #3 ranked 9Round Kickboxing will only set you back about $100,000. 9Round offers one of the least expensive franchise options on our list and has a uniquely low, fixed royalty fee of just $450 per month. 9Round keeps their clubs small – just 1,200 sq. ft. for a typical club – which helps keep the overall investment and operating costs lower relative to similar concepts. Founder and retired professional kickboxer Shannon Hudson and his team opened 120 new franchise locations last year, and have already beat that number this year – skyrocketing to over 550 locations in 40 states.|
||#4 ranked iLoveKickBoxing has a business model that offers members a larger kickboxing studio with high-end changing rooms and bathrooms. The added luxuries increase startup costs, which range from $158,000 – $398,000. That said, their typical boxing studio also has higher annual revenues than many competitors, averaging $425,000 in 2016 based on franchise disclosure information.|
||Other franchise opportunities on the less expensive end of the fitness spectrum include #5 ranked 30 Minute Hit with a startup investment range from $77,000 – $121,000, and #7 ranked The MAX Challenge with an initial investment requirement between $112,000 – $212,000 depending on your location. 30 Minute Hit specializes in a boxing & kickboxing circuit workouts designed for women, while The Max Challenge promises to transform mind, body, and spirit through their fitness, nutrition, and motivational programming.|
|Learn more about franchise opportunities with 30 Minute Hit and The Max Challenge|
||#6 ranked Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) leads our list from a size and revenue growth perspective. According to the most recent public financial filings in June, Planet Fitness reported year-over-year revenue growth of 17.3% and opened 32 more gyms in the second quarter. Planet Fitness now boasts over 1,400 total locations with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Franchise opportunities range from $857,080 to $3,314,600 depending on the size of your facility and assuming you lease your fitness equipment package.|
||Birmingham, AL-based Iron Tribe came in at #8 and brings a true “tribal experience” to their popular group fitness classes. Specializing in short, 45-minute group workouts for up to 20 members, Iron Tribe’s cult-like following helps drive a 97% member retention rate. Based on their most current franchise disclosure, Iron Tribe’s six corporate locations have average annual sales of $620,000 and average net profit of $140,000. Franchise startup costs range from $300,000 – $434,000.|
||#9 ranked World Gym doesn’t try to sugar coat its “muscle head” attraction. While competitors like Planet Fitness have appealed to the masses with their “judgement free zone” tagline, World Gym has stuck by their hardcore, bodybuilding roots. Founder Joe Gold was the man that started it all – bringing bodybuilding off the beaches of Venice, CA into the world of Hollywood (i.e. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno to name just a few). Today, World Gym has fewer than 100 locations in the U.S, but their iconic brand still has strong appeal in certain markets. A brand new World Gym franchise requires an investment of $767,500 to $3,273,000.|
||#10 ranked Fitness Together is a classic example of “survival of the fittest.” The company exploded on the fitness scene in the late 90’s and grew quickly to over 400 locations – eventually going through some fallout during the recession starting in 2008. While many franchise locations were unable to withstand the recession and went out of business over the past 9 years, Fitness Together appears to have stabilized. With approximately 150 studio locations today, the revised Fitness Together model featuring smaller studios and lower overhead seems to be working. Studio revenues are up (averaging $314K in 2016) and most importantly, franchisee satisfaction is up too. All-in, opening a new Fitness Together studio will run between $125K – $191K.|
Regardless of which franchise business you choose to invest in – a fitness franchise or something in another industry – be sure to do your homework. Talk to franchisees and ask them the hard questions. Are they getting the support they need from corporate? Does their business model provide a competitive advantage? Are they optimistic about their growth and the future growth of the brand? For a complete listing of today’s top franchise opportunities, visit our 2017 Top Franchises awards list.
At the end of the day, your success in franchising will ultimately be up to you. Owning any business requires a lot of hard work, and while franchising offers a proven model and support, it’s not a “silver bullet”. Find a business that gets you excited to go to work everyday – and then work hard to make that business successful. We wish you all the best!