Ensuring You Get a Healthy Return on a Franchise Investment

Lindsay Carroll | National Retail Association

Ensuring You Get a Healthy Return on a Franchise Investment

Looking the part is something more, and more Australians are increasingly prioritising. And health, fitness and beauty franchises have become the beneficiaries of this growing trend.

The most recent National Health Survey, conducted in 2018 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), found that a staggering two-thirds of all Australians are overweight or obese. Maintaining an active lifestyle is a remedy that many people are now adopting to combat bulging waistlines.

However, increasing one’s fitness does not only improve physical fitness; it is also great for combatting stress levels and maintaining good mental health. That’s why the Australian fitness industry is now estimated by IbisWorld to be worth a whopping 2.4 billion dollars thanks to franchise chains such as F45 and Jett Fitness.

Meanwhile, beauty franchises are also on the rise, encompassing services ranging from hairdressing, beauticians, tanning, cosmetics, teeth whitening and much more. Again, according to IbisWorld, the beauty industry in Australia has boomed to be worth 6.5 billion dollars, with personal grooming services withstanding the sluggish economic conditions.

However, while the health, fitness and beauty sector is performing strongly, finding the right franchise is easier said than done if you’re looking to enter this market. A quick google search will provide plenty of examples of disgruntled franchisees across numerous sectors who did not enjoy the best relationship with their franchisor. However, it's also worth remembering that the many success stories of franchisee/franchisor partnerships seldom get reported, for the simple reason that’s it’s just not newsworthy.

The first thing you should consider is the strength of the franchise brand. The fitness market, in particular at the moment is incredibly competitive with several different brands jostling for clients. While the high demand is proof that the sector has the potential to deliver a good return on investment, picking the right franchisor is essential.

One of the benefits of entering the franchise game is that you don’t have to spend years establishing a name for yourself. Particularly if you’re entering a saturated market, such as the health, fitness & beauty sectors, selecting a business with extensive brand awareness means you're not starting behind the eight ball in attracting customers.

By nature, a business with a reliable brand has a reputation within the market for delivering services that cater to the wants and needs of consumers. Investing in a business that is seen to have a positive track record of success goes a long way to ensuring that you’re not lacking a healthy clientele level.

Moreover, do your due diligence on the prospective franchisor, ranging from the business model they operate through to the way they interact with their franchisees. For instance, in fitness, there are a variety of different types of services varying from personal training, yoga, strength training and many more. All of these appeal to different demographics and attract different proportions of market share, so if you’re looking to become a fitness franchisee study which trend you believe will deliver you success. The same goes for the beauty sector, where the industry has expanded well beyond barbershops and beauty therapists, with both men and women increasingly purchasing products and services in this space.

Doing your research also involves the obvious, but crucial question of whether you can afford it. Becoming a franchisee is one of the most significant financial investments you can make, and it's vital that you can buy into a business while also juggling other commitments such as a mortgage, raising a family and affording a decent standard of living. This may well mean that some of the more prominent franchise brands are out of your price range, but it's certainly worth taking the time to get the balance right between a well-known business and what is cost-effective.

Also, do background research on how the franchisor operates and how they engage with existing franchisees. Of course, the franchisor is going to tell you that they're wonderful to deal with but to gauge an accurate understanding reach out to some of their franchisees to determine the sort of relationship you can expect. A partnership that balances providing the necessary levels of support while not being an over-zealous supervisor is something that some franchisors do better than others. Make sure that you’re confident that your chosen franchisor has a proven set of systems in place that will assist your business in succeeding and that you’re fully across all rules and requirements that you would need to comply with.

One final piece of advice is perhaps the most simple of the lot – make sure that you're passionate about the business you're getting into. As the old saying goes 'find your obsession, make it your profession, and you’ll never work a day in your life’. If you’re only looking to get into the health, fitness or beauty industry because you think the market is strong and there’s an opportunity to earn some quick money you’ll quickly find yourself struggling with the grind of owning a small business. Being a franchisee involves long hours, learning to manage staff, frequently working weekends and ensuring that your services meet the standards of both your clientele and franchisor.

If you don't love what you do, there's every chance you won't get either the enjoyment nor the return on the investment required to enjoy success. All professions have their moments, and everyone has days where they'd rather sleep in than go to work, but having the necessary level of commitment is often the difference between struggling and thriving in the franchise game.

Current market trends indicate that the health, fitness and beauty industries are certainly ones that can generate good returns on investment. Australians do seem to have become more conscious of the need to proactively maintain a healthy lifestyle, while also looking to utilise services that make sure one is looking sharp and at their best.

However, no sector is fail-proof and running any business comes with a variety of challenges. Don't dive into a franchise agreement headfirst - do your research, add up the sums and ensure that you have the drive to succeed and withstand the challenges. Just like with your customers, keeping your business fit, healthy and looking the part doesn’t come without effort.

 

At the NRA, Lindsay oversees the largest in-house team of workplace relations advisors and lawyers orientated to the retail industry. She is a leading workplace relations specialist with extensive legal experience.

 

The National Retail Association is Australia’s largest and most diverse industry association. As a not-for-profit organisation. Its members range from small, family-owned and operated businesses to leading national brands and span nearly every retail category including fashion, groceries, department stores, household goods, hardware, fast food, cafes and services. The NRA is the only retail industry association to deliver practical legal advice through its wholly-owned and incorporated legal practice, NRA Legal. Its mission is to support, inform, protect and represent the interests of retailers and fast food businesses, providing advice on issues such as employment law, industrial relations, training information, workplace health and safety issues, event details, advocacy and policy updates, HR advice and migration and visa issues.