Meet Listen To Your Body CEO and Founder, Ben Fletcher
When someone with nearly 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry and the founder of a national fitness franchise is ready to tell us how they built their success, we’re ready to lean in and listen up!
Tell us about your journey as a personal fitness trainer and the rise of LTYB as a franchise.
The industry certainly has been kind to me. On a personal level, I have been fortunate to run over 1,000,000 workouts in 19+ years, employ over 100 staff, sign up tens of thousands of members with super strong retention, and oversee the launch of all our franchises and support their growth.
I started out as a Personal Trainer (PT), originally running a one-on-one personal training business. In 2008 I decided to create a unique model combining one-on-one and group training, delivering a personalised service within a group setting.
After piloting this concept, we quickly became booked out and that is when we thought the model was scalable. In 2012, we started building the franchise model, which also included a pilot franchise to test out all systems and replication prior to going to market.
As of today, we have 17 Franchises in three states, more than 50 PTs, close to 20,000 members on the database and strong growth plans Australia wide.
What makes LTYB unique?
Our main service is ‘Personalised Group Training’. We believe one size doesn’t fit all; every member has their own training history, limitations, schedule and goals. We customise our workouts to meet our clients’ genuine needs, which allows the network of LTYB Studios to average 91% retention.
Our standard member profile is 40-50-year-olds who have been inactive and want to lose weight, increase fitness and feel better. Sure, we also work with very fit people, sports people and juniors, but the reason we specialise in this market is because they are lost in the industry. They don’t have the motivation to do it themselves at the gym, they will not keep up in a high intensity group fitness model and they don’t want to spend $200 per week to hire a PT. They come to us to get the individualisation while paying $52 per week on average—and every workout is achievable, no matter their fitness level or needs.
What type of fitness buff would 'fit' your franchisee profile?
Our ideal franchisee is a business minded, fit and healthy individual. In our network, we have two types of franchisees: the Business Managers who head up sales, people management, member service, and strategy; and the hands-on Head PTs.
Where are your franchises located and what locations/territories are available?
We have territories Australia wide available. We have certain criteria we need to meet to approve the territory such as the demographic profile, population and geographical area. Our territories are dynamic to ensure the site boundaries protect our franchisees from future sites. Each territory has a very generous size to provide the highest chance of profitability in the shortest time.
What support to do you offer your franchisees?
Support is our greatest strength. We are on site four times per year minimum at every studio, with 10 visits in year one. We provide multiple up skilling training sessions, negotiate leases, provide franchise induction training, assign business managers to each studio, and so much more.
How have you coped during the pandemic and what do you hold in store for the future?
We survived Covid-19 very well and used the time to launch an online shop, upgrade our online operations system and training, and achieved positive profitable growth. The next 12 months is about ensuring existing franchisee profitability increases. We have four sites due to open prior to June 30 and are targeting 15 new franchise partners in 2021.