Julie Cartwright, President of P.volve
Cartwright explains how the clinically-backed and innovative fitness brand has grown so far, why it stands out in the segment and what the future holds.
1851 Franchise: What void does P.volve fill? What inspired you to start?
Julie Cartwright: I met the co-founders of P.volve when the brand was first starting in January of 2017. When co-founder Rachel Katzman told me about her experience with training and fitness, she spoke about not only the physical results she was looking for, but also the importance of pain management and core strength. Typical fitness efforts were having negative effects on the body, so P.volve really set out to fill that void.
What really made me want to come on board with the brand was how this functional approach to fitness and movement made Rachel feel, and how it reduced the back pain she was experiencing on a daily basis. That is the reason they really started the company — to bring functional fitness to the forefront and to make sure members were getting both short-term and long-term gains. It allows members to age in a healthy way, keep their mobility and continue doing what they love to do.
1851: What are your brand’s differentiators? What makes it a strong investment right now?
Cartwright: We really work with your body and do it from a function-first perspective to reduce everyday pain, create a better performance and uplift your core. That value proposition is a big differentiator on the consumer side. Whatever they are looking to do, we can help members achieve results. We also have patented proprietary small resistance equipment, which is part of the clinically-backed results we promise.
Additionally, when you think about what a fitness member expects right now, we’re ahead of the curve. We’ve always been on both in-person and virtual channels, and we give members the ability to reach P.volve anywhere on-demand. We didn’t just start these options with COVID-19 — we’ve always been of the mindset that we should accommodate however the members want to access their workout. This means we have a strong infrastructure in place and have already worked out all the potential issues. That adds a lot of value to our franchisees. Now, the hybrid, in-person and virtual model allows us to mimic the way both our members and franchisees live. It also means franchisees have access to multiple revenue streams.
Another differentiator for franchisees is our established brand reputation. We serve a long list of influencers, and we have a very robust social media following on Instagram and Facebook. This allows us to run a lot of brand marketing and reach a larger audience. It also allows us to tap into sophisticated data. We can show franchisees where the most P.volve members are, as well as the behaviors that will drive more members to their studio. Our franchise agreement includes that potential revenue, and instant revenue in any type of model is valuable.
1851: What were some learning opportunities that P.volve leveraged to get where it is now?
Cartwright: The importance of differentiating. There are so many fitness options out there that are so replaceable, and I really stand behind the efficacy of our unique method. We invest a lot in credibility, not only in clinical research, but also by partnering with doctor boards. We’ve also learned to be much more aggressive in listening to the customer and trying to understand their needs at the studio level. We always talk with potential franchisees about the importance of community and how they can amplify the customer’s voice. We’ve also learned a lot in terms of how to offer a hybrid fitness model. Trying to figure out how to balance both in-person and virtual has been a big lesson.
1851: What are three or more of P.volve’s most important milestones over the past five years?
Cartwright: Developing our business plan around franchising was a massive milestone for P.volve. Franchising has been a goal since day one, and we knew we wanted to bring in-person training to more people.
Another milestone was patenting three proprietary products — that is a big deal for a company in our growth stage, so we are really proud of that. I’m also really proud of our talented team. When franchisees meet us, there is an authenticity that they can’t deny. We are committed to changing the way people think about fitness and committed to making franchisees successful by delivering on that incredible value proposition.
1851: What does an ideal franchisee look like?
Cartwright: You absolutely have to have a passion for this method, an understanding of what P.volve delivers and really believe in the concept. Our first two franchisees were actually P.volve streamers. Right now, we are looking for owner-operators — someone who showcases that passion and translates it directly to the member. We also want someone who is looking toward the future and wants to be a part of our overall brand growth. They need to be able to drive business forward and know when to ask for help. Being a culture fit is also very important to us. Looking ahead, we hope to find multi-unit owners or single-unit owners who are looking to grow.
1851: How does P.volve support franchisees?
Cartwright: Our support for franchisees is from cradle-to-grave. When it comes to site selection, we partner franchisees with architects and provide access to mapping tools that import customer data and utilize it to define ideal territories. We also offer training on everything from operations, staffing, marketing and more. In terms of ongoing support, franchisees are provided a business consultant who can help them build and scale their business, as well as exit successfully when the time comes. Franchisees also have access to in-depth marketing support, both with created assets and help with local outreach. We passionately and deeply care about this method, so as franchisees come onboard, their success is everything to us.
1851: What are your growth goals? How many units is the brand targeting over the next year, three or five?
Cartwright: We hope to have 250 locations open by 2025. We are taking a conservative approach to growth for 2021, but as we build confidence and build our operational team to make sure incoming franchisees have the infrastructure to be successful, we hope to award 75 to 80 units a year moving forward.
For more information on franchising with P.volve, visit: https://pvolvefranchise.com/