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5 Advantages of Franchising with a Legacy Brand

Two Jazzercise franchisees shared their thoughts on the benefits of franchising with a legacy brand.

There’s something to be said about franchising with a legacy brand: a household name with hundreds - if not thousands - of units.

Enter Jazzercise, an international dance fitness company that first arrived on the scene in 1969 and began franchising in 1983. Today, the brand has over 500 brick-and-mortar locations and 1,110 satellite locations, located in places like gyms and YMCAs. There are 8,300 franchisees in the Jazzercise system, and the brand is still expanding.

Mary Wadsworth has been an owner since 1983 and has two franchise locations, one in Houston and the other in Cypress, Texas. Tami Stone also owns two Jazzercise franchises, one in Stockton, California and the other in Lodi, California. She has been an owner with the brand since 2016. The two discussed the advantages that come with owning a brand with such a storied history. Here are their top five.

Brand Recognition

Brand recognition and 50 years of experience leading the fitness industry have been “a great asset” to Wadsworth as a franchisee, she said in an email.

Strong Support Structure

Jazzercise’s strong support system played an important role in attracting Wadsworth to the brand, she said.

“Being a Jazzercise franchisee offers all the advantages [of] a smaller fitness business supported by the corporate structure and a network of other business owners for a bigger business feel,” Wadsworth said in an email. “As a franchisee, Jazzercise provides the support, tools, and training for a novice business owner to become a successful one.”

Established Systems

For Stone, one of the advantages of franchising with a legacy brand like Jazzercise is that she doesn’t have to “reinvent the wheel,” she said in an email.

Jazzercise is a company that has been around for 50 years,” Stone said in an email. “They have had a chance to really improve their product and know what works and doesn't. This has helped me to be successful because they do all of the behind-the-scenes work for me. They create effective choreography for all exercise routines as well as come up with the promotions that will bring customers into my studio. They give me all the tools I need to be successful, then it’s my job to implement all that research, planning and experience into my business.”

The Jazzercise brand provides valuable resources to its franchisees, including a sales manager ready to answer franchisee questions and assistance in training potential instructors, Stone said.

“Jazzercise plays a major role in my success as an owner,” Stone said in an email. The established systems Jazzercise has in place that Wadsworth enjoys include the Jazzercise Enterprise System, which handles auto-billing and customer relationship management, among other things, and The Studio, an intranet where Jazzercise instructors and owners can share ideas and ask questions of the corporate team.

Work-Life Balance

While Stone was a devoted Jazzercise customer and “possibly a borderline addict” of the brand, franchising wasn’t on her radar when she began exploring possible jobs in an effort to help her family financially.

“My primary focus was my husband and kids, so I needed a job that could make an income without me having to be there all the time,” Stone said in an email. “I also wanted to do something that I loved while not having it feel like a full-time job. After much research and overcoming my fear, I decided to take a leap of faith and I opened my first Jazzercise studio in January 2016. With the help of other instructors, I was able to have my dream job, bring home a paycheck and still be a mother. Little did I know that a year after opening my studio, my husband would be diagnosed with two different cancers that would require all of my attention for over a year. It was such a blessing to have such a flexible job that I was able to work remotely from the hospital.”

Growth Potential

“I would recommend anyone to buy a franchise from an established company like Jazzercise because there is a reason they have been around for a long time,” Stone said in an email, adding that being able to change lives has been rewarding. “I get to help people live healthier lives and have fun while doing it. Jazzercise is the perfect fit.”

Wadsworth echoed Stone’s sentiment.

“Jazzercise wasn’t a franchise in 1983 when I started,” Wadsworth said in an email. “All instructors were class owners. As a class owner for over 35 years, I have come to appreciate all that is offered to us as franchisees. We’ve come a long way over the course of my Jazzercise career, and it keeps getting better.”