Fit4Less, now rebranded as ènergie Fitness, offers low-cost gym franchises and memberships.
Health & Beauty, Fitness, Gym, Retail, Travel & Leisure
Established in the UK in 2003 and the first budget fitness operator, Fit4Less has become the leading national fitness franchise with in excess of 100 fitness clubs.
Recently the brand has undergone a change moving from Fit4Less ènergie to ènergie Fitness. Although the name has changed, the business plan and services remain the same.
Affordability is achieved by eliminating the features of traditional gyms that are statistically not used often, namely saunas, steam rooms, spa facilities, and swimming pools. With an ever-growing number of people joining gyms but many wanting flexibility and / or feeling the financial pinch, the market for a budget fitness option is on the increase. This is the need ènergie Fitness meets.
This chain allows a énergie Fitness franchisee to access the high-growth fitness sector. The niche aspect of this franchise is that it is low-cost and therefore within reach of a larger sector of people.
Despite the affordability of memberships, the franchises offer clients access to flexible membership options without the need for contracts, cutting-edge equipment, innovative training concepts, and first-rate facilities.
ènergie Fitness enjoys growing success in the UK and elsewhere with over 100,000 members. The aim continues to be making clubs / gyms and fitness accessible to all. Although the franchise has won numerous awards, the franchisor – in conjunction with leading franchisees – continues to improve and streamline the business.
In addition to the services provided to clients, ènergie Fitness prides itself on the initial and ongoing support provided to its ever-growing network of franchisees. Franchises also benefit from the use of tag technology which reduces the administration load, the need for reception staff, and improves security.
The core services provided by a Fit4Less / ènergie Fitness franchise are: gym, personal training, exercise studios, changing rooms, and refreshment areas.
In addition to more standard training programs, the franchise has launched its own concept known as thé YARD. These are group sessions offering clients a high intensity boutique session. Part of the classes involves using a MYZONE® belt which connects to the both an ènergie Fitness and Myzone App. These allow clients to track, in real-time, fitness and workout data.
The franchise also places great emphasis on personal service which applies from the welcome given to a client to recognising his or her needs in order to deliver a personal and personalised service. This gave rise to the Club Host concept.
More people than ever in the UK are joining gyms, and it is the low-cost or budget fitness market that is driving industry growth. This makes it the ideal time to own a Fit4Less / énergie Fitness franchise.
You and the franchisor require time to determine whether the business is right for you and whether you are a good fit for the franchise. There is a six-step process to becoming a franchisee:
1. Enquiry and telephone screening. Once your information has been reviewed, you will be invited for an initial discussion to assess whether you meet the franchise criteria. If you do, you will progress to step 2.
2. Discovery day: You will be invited to attend a discovery day in order to learn more about the franchise. This is an opportunity for both parties to get to know the other and a chance to ask questions. You will also have an application form to complete.
3. Research: You should learn as much as you can by visiting an existing énergie franchise and talk to the franchise owner about his or her experiences. It’s also recommended that you spend time asking the franchise recruitment team questions.
4. Interview: At this stage you will have questions that you want answers for. The interview with the franchise recruitment team affords an opportunity to ask them. The team can also continue to assess your suitability and go through your completed application form with you. If you are ready to proceed, you will need to hand in the application form and pay the agreed deposit.
5. Approval: The franchise team will carry out credit checks and verify your references. If all is still fine your application will be presented to the approvals committee by a recruitment team member. You should hear within seven days.
6. Completion: Approved ènergie Fitness franchisees are given a franchise agreement to review. The completion date for paying the balance of the fee and signing the agreement will be decided. Once this takes place you are an official franchisee.
The recruitment team is available to answer questions or assist at each of these stages.
There is a minimum investment of £95,000 + VAT to purchase a Fit4Less / ènergie Fitness franchise or license. The options will be discussed with you when you speak to or meet with a member of the team.
The franchisor prides itself on, and attributes much of its success to, the support provided to Fit4Less / ènergie Fitness franchisees at each stage of their business. These support services include:
• Business and financial planning: The support team assists franchisees to draw up sound business plans and help, if necessary, to raise funds or obtain a loan via the franchisor’s partnerships with major banks.
• Site selection: The property acquisition team uses its experience to help franchisees to identify an appropriate site, negotiate the lease, plan the refurbishment, and fit out the premises.
• Training: The three-day énergie Basic Management Course (EBMC) teaches franchisees all the aspects of the day-to-day running of a gym franchise. Other training includes Take the Stage, émpower programme, Health & Safety, software, marketing, and sales.
• Operations set-up and support: The franchisee receives business management software to assist with financial and membership management, assistance with financial forecasts, HR policies, and an Operational Handbook.
• Supplier discounts: The franchisor has established relationships with suppliers of equipment, marketing materials, and signage that provide the franchisee with access to preferential prices and costs.
• Pre-sales launch: Before a new franchise opens there is a huge launch that is preceded by a pre-sales campaign. Pre-sales and local marketing begin three months before the launch. These mean that new clubs open with members already signed up and in place.
• Marketing: All Fit4Less / ènergie Fitness franchisees benefit from sustained national marketing and PR campaigns.
• Help-desk: Guidance or advice over the telephone is available from the support team at the central office.
As a franchisee you will have make investments in signage, marketing material, gym equipment, stock such as refreshments, etc. Full details will be provided during the application process.
No fitness industry experience is necessary. However, Fit4Less / ènergie Fitness does look for certain types of individuals who will be a good fit for the franchise and make a success of their franchise.
They seek, broadly speaking, ethical and hardworking people with an entrepreneurial spirit who will align with the core values of innovation, an ability to connect with people and create a welcoming environment, provide excellent levels of service, a willingness to go the extra mile, possess a sense of fun, and taking responsibility. An understanding of business basics is also necessary.
Other possible requirements are discussed during the application process.
The franchise operates throughout the UK and Ireland. There are even international (Master Franchise) opportunities on offer although these are more expensive franchises.
You would have to enquire directly with the franchisor if you have a very specific location in mind.
While one can’t specifically quantify earnings for each franchise, you will be able to predict your income based on the number of members you have most of whom will pay via monthly direct debit.
As with any business, income is not guaranteed as it depends on several factors including the amount and quality of work done by the franchisee. However, market factors such as size and growth and the Fit4Less / ènergie Fitness business plan and support are on the side of the franchisee.
Given the effectiveness of the pre-sales campaign and past launches, your gym should be generating income from the day it opens its doors for the first time.
The increase in number of franchises nationally and globally indicates that the brand is strong and growing. In addition, Fit4Less/ énergie Fitness has garnered several awards.
The franchise was voted Health Club Operator of the Year at the UK Active Flame Awards in 2005 and 2016 and won 17 awards at the Members Choice Health Club Awards in 2012. It was also a UK Active Flame Awards Finalist in 2018.
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