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Transparency in Franchising: What it Takes To Be a Fitness Premier Business Owner

As a franchisee with Fitness Premier, you’ll need exceptional people skills, a passion for fitness and the support of a reliable team.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
SPONSORED 9:09AM 06/20/24

Becoming a Fitness Premier business owner is a rewarding yet challenging venture. While the franchise system provides extensive training and support to franchisees, not everybody is cut out for business ownership with the brand. 

1851 Franchise spoke with Vice President of HR and Finance and multi-unit owner Kathy Mecklenburg and the regional operator of her locations, Alexis Knake, to learn more about what it really takes to be a successful franchisee with Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs

Effective Communication and People Skills

Successful franchise ownership at Fitness Premier requires strong communication and people skills. “You have to be a good communicator and a people person,” said Knake. “A lot of this job has to do with networking and meeting all kinds of different people every single day.” 

A significant strength of Fitness Premier’s culture, according to Mecklenburg, is its focus on empathy and customer service. “We get to know the people in our gym,” she said. “We take the time to get to know them and ensure their needs are being met and that they are having a positive experience.” 

This ability to connect with diverse individuals not only enhances client relationships but also fosters a positive community within the gym, fostering customer loyalty. This is, of course, important as a franchise owner who wants to encourage individuals to visit the gym often and to establish a positive reputation within the community.

Passion for Fitness

While a background in fitness isn't mandatory, a genuine passion for fitness will certainly help motivate a franchisee towards success.

“You should at least have some sort of passion in what you're doing because if you can't believe in what you're selling or what you stand for, it's really hard to convince somebody else to,” Knake said. 

Her own journey is a testament to this, having been an athlete with no prior gym experience before joining Fitness Premier. “There's the ability to adapt and grow and learn the system if you don’t have previous experience in the fitness industry,” Knake said, “as long as you are someone who's coachable.”

Trusting the Franchise System

Mecklenburg agreed with Knake’s sentiment of finding success with Fitness Premier as long as you’re willing to learn. This means placing a lot of trust in the established franchise support system available to all franchisees. 

“Even if you don't have any business background, the brand does help teach you everything you need to know to be successful,” Mecklenburg said. 

The franchise provides comprehensive support to ensure that franchisees can focus on the operational aspects of their clubs while the corporate office handles the behind-the-scenes processes. Although the corporate team provides a great deal of support, franchisees must also ensure that they are establishing their own reliable team within their gyms.

“One of the challenges I face is that I'm not in my clubs every day compared to some of the other franchisees,” said Mecklenburg. “However, I am able to talk to my team and we communicate very effectively. If you didn't have the relationship to be able to talk to your people all day, any day, I think that would be very challenging.”

Luckily, this sense of collaboration and reliability is embedded into Fitness Premier’s culture and members of the network at all levels pride themselves on its supportive environment. “We have a lot of resources and our team is very focused on doing weekly meetings and collaborating and bringing ideas together to continue our growth,” said Knake. 

Finding the Right Fit

Becoming a successful Fitness Premier franchise owner requires a blend of communication skills, a passion for fitness, adaptability and a supportive network. The collaborative culture and robust training provided by Fitness Premier equip franchisees to navigate the challenges and thrive in their roles, but only if the brand is the right fit for them.

“This job is not for everybody,” said Knake. “From the outside, it looks like you're sitting in here and you're in a gym atmosphere and getting to meet new people, which is all exciting and fun, but there is a lot more to it than that. You do have to work hard and stay focused on the business. It's what you make it; you have to enjoy what you do or else you're going to be miserable every day at work.”

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