WHY I BOUGHT
Why Previous Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs Trainer Samantha Gorman Invested in the Brand and Became a Franchise Owner
With a low investment range, proprietary sales system and streamlined operational model, Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs allow fitness enthusiasts and first-time entrepreneurs to follow their dream of business ownership.
Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs, the 13-unit fitness franchise operating in Illinois and Indiana, was designed by franchising industry veteran Jason Markowicz to ensure fitness enthusiasts without a background in business could achieve success through an affordable investment model, high profit margins and a robust suite of support. This franchisee-oriented approach is why Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs has a rich history of turning dedicated employees into successful franchise owners.
For example, Samantha Gorman, the owner of the Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs in Monee, Illinois, originally joined the brand in 2014 as a part-time trainer fresh out of college. She immediately fell in love with the brand’s unique fitness programing, which offers a wide array of services for any and all fitness levels.
“I was on a weight loss journey during that time, so it really added to my passion for fitness,” she said. “My expertise was working with specialized clientele — the elderly, anyone with disabilities or otherwise — and I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the job. I was starting to build up my schedule to a point where I knew I had to go full-time. I started teaching some classes, and the next thing I knew my schedule was full.”
Then, at age 24, Markowicz personally approached Gorman about becoming the owner of the club she worked at. In 2018, she officially took over and hasn’t looked back since.
“I’m one of four kids to a single mom, and I learned a lot about hard work from her,” said Gorman. “When it came to franchising, I always saw it as something that was unattainable to me. You have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I never saw myself being able to do that. Everyone wants to be a business owner at the end of the day — to be their own boss in some shape or form. Jason and Fitness Premier made that available to me. They helped me figure out the best path to keep me financially stable.”
Markowicz is the CEO of Franchise Fit For You, the franchisee advisory consultancy and multi-brand franchisor behind Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs. Prior to creating the fitness brand, Markowicz was a franchisee himself for several years but eventually sold his stores after feeling underrepresented by the corporate team. Fueled by this experience, Markowicz ensured the Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs team would do whatever it takes to help franchisees thrive.
“We help with all financial aspects of the business, running club support, overcoming member issues — anything you can think of, we do for the franchisee,” said Kathy Mecklenburg, director of operations and HR for Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs and multi-unit owner herself. “We take the headache off of the franchisees so they can focus on building the club, working with clients and enjoying their careers.”
In addition to support, Markowicz made sure to prioritize an approachable business model that included startup costs significantly lower than those of the competitors. The initial investment of only $39,999 comes with a startup guide, initial training, marketing assistance, a proven system, equipment package, site selection and build out assistance, distinctive image and interior design, operations manual and employee hiring/management quality controls.
“Hands down, what separates us from other franchises is the willingness of our corporate team to help us,” said Gorman. “Jason would pick up the phone anytime I’d call him. He focuses on the growth development of our team. He’s always made a point of being there for us and offering advice.”
This support was especially valuable over the last year as the COVID-19 pandemic created unique challenges for gym owners. As a business owner, Gorman says she has grown more in the last year than she did in the last seven years.
“We had to pivot a lot, but we came together as a franchise and moved our entire training platform online,” she said. “We trained clients over Zoom, moved classes to three times a day. We had a large Facebook group and members from every club. Eventually, business picked back up, and I am glad to be a part of a team that could support me during that time.”
Now, as the world opens back up, the brand’s winning business model, which provides franchisees access to multiple revenue streams, has allowed Fitness Premier 24/7 Club franchisees like Gorman to thrive. The Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs system has seen an overall 85% increase in year-over-year sales so far in 2021.
Looking ahead, Gorman says someday she hopes to open another Fitness Premier 24/7 Club location. “Nobody gets into fitness to make money — you get into this because you love people,” she said. “I love fitness, and my goal is to help as many people as I can, so opening another facility is not out of the question. I would also like to see our franchise grow bigger on a national level.”
Already opening one location in 2020 and three in early 2021, the fitness concept is quickly becoming one of the franchising industry’s most exciting new opportunities. As Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs expands in the Midwest, particularly in and around Illinois and Indiana, the corporate team works hard to help each prospect understand how they can reach their specific career goals and evaluate where they should open.
“We are focused on helping up-and-coming entrepreneurs and fitness enthusiasts become business owners,” said Markowicz. “They can leave all the heavy lifting to us and ensure they have the time to focus on growing their business and servicing customers. We are proud to have passionate franchisees like Gorman on our team and have greatly enjoyed watching her grow with the company.”
About Fit For You Franchising:Fit For You Franchising is a franchisee-first franchisor and franchisee consultancy. It is the franchisor behind low-cost group-fitness franchise fitWAVE as well as Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs, a larger-box fitness brand. As a franchisee consultancy, Fit For You offers guidance for future franchisees on finding the best fit for their personal and financial goals. Fit For You is run by Jason Markowicz, a former multi-unit franchise owner of Massage Envy and current developer of Prose Nails, a membership-based nail salon. For more information, visit https://fitforyoufranchising.com/.