What is the difference between the two business styles?

The 2 options are good, but very different to enter the fitness industry. There are a variety of opportunities in this industry, it is a market that continues to grow. According to IHRSA, there has been a 33% growth in membership of gyms and health clubs between 2008 and 2017. It has also gained quite popularity to acquire the experience of physical conditioning, this means that you can run a business that you are passionate about and that has a viable and growing market, with very good opportunities. We will take a look at the 2 business model options.


Independent fitness studio

Fitness legend Joe De Sena, founder of Spartan Race, is no stranger to adversity. According to him, “he has faced and handled adversity because everything was not quick and easy.” And this is the challenge of establishing a fitness business on your own. The fitness industry is hypercompetitive, and while there is enormous potential to own a fitness business, 8 out of 10 will fail in the first year.

Therefore, starting a business on your own can be a great challenge. You should look for the location, the team, staff and, most importantly, members. This is where your strategy and marketing come into play, most likely you will have to take care of that yourself in the early years.


Fitness Franchise

A franchise is a license purchased by a person or company (also known as a franchisee) that allows you to access the knowledge, procedures and trademarks of a company (the franchisor). The franchisee has the right to sell a product or service on behalf of the company. In exchange for acquiring the franchise, the franchisee generally pays the franchisor an initial startup fee plus annual license fees.

Buying a franchise gives the franchisee an established brand to work for and the entire industry experience. However, this does not mean that everything is simple. You often have to abide by the rules and regulations set by the franchisor and lose the independence you would have with your own study. The advantage? Brand recognition will give you a solid foundation on which you can build when it comes to lead generation.


The different aspects of each type of business

Regardless of the business option you choose, you will need to have a passion for fitness and entrepreneurship to succeed. Let’s look a little more about how to choose between creating your own company and buying an existing franchise model.


Customers looking for solidity in front of curious customers

Many clients will be hesitant to acquire new fitness experiences. This is where a franchise can provide a sense of security. Many clients come to established brands For those who are committed to their bar or Bikram Yoga practice, they will only want to visit the studies offered by these classes. Becoming a franchisee is a great way to get customers who already know your product.

However, there will be customers who want to acquire new fitness experiences and support new businesses and try new places. People may perceive that a franchise business may be too busy and that they will receive better and more specialized attention in a small and less popular studio.


Professional freedom and growth

One of the most important questions to ask when trying to choose between a franchise and setting up your own company concerns your freedom and personal growth. If you decide to continue with your idea of ​​creating a company, you are not tied, which means you can work anytime and anywhere you want. It is not necessary to inform other people, and you have the right to total professional freedom.

If you choose the franchise, you must accept that you will not have the freedom to change the product, the gym space or anything else. It can be very limiting and there are specific rules that, if broken, can dispense with your license.


Structure vs. freedom

If you are exploring the creation of a business and prefer some guidance throughout the process, a franchise is the best option. Franchises manage solid support systems and offer a lot of guidance and training, motivate franchisees to interact with their network where they can share experiences with other franchisees participate in events and exchange ideas, providing support, growth and support each other.

Many enjoy having a base and guidelines. Others may feel overwhelmed by this. Investing in an independent study means that you are responsible for absolutely everything. While this is an exciting and challenging task, it can also be very daunting and demanding to do so you must ensure you have a great team and a solid support network.


Initial investment

The amount of money required to start your business (either a franchise or an independent gym) depends on many factors. Franchises vary greatly in price, and for those who invest in independent studios, ultimately, it is up to the owner to keep costs low by investing in equipment, renting physical space and hiring their equipment.

However, buying a franchise carries considerable upfront costs. First, there is a license fee that you must buy if you want to obtain the franchise, and this can be very expensive. Other expenses include a percentage of the income obtained and a collective advertising fee. If you choose to open an independent study, you will not have the initial cost of the license, nor will you be subject to monthly or quarterly fees.


Brand recognition

The significant advantage of buying a franchise is that it is starting with a recognized name. This establishes a level of trust with potential members that makes sales and marketing a little less complicated. With a recognizable brand, it acquires the company culture since the values ​​it needs to implement are an integral part of the brand.

Building the brand can take a long time. At first, you should focus on getting potential customers, and developing the brand may be in the background, for a while. However, it must be said that when starting the business it is exciting to start a brand and the trial and error involved, this learning and positioning process.


Restrictions for the owner

A benefit of buying a franchise is that customers will know exactly what to expect. All franchise locations offer the same features and services; They have the same classes, the same equipment and, more importantly, they have the same prices. This security can also act as a double-edged sword, since franchise operations, philosophies, relationships with suppliers and marketing must reflect that of the franchisor. In addition to that, the franchise disclosure agreement keeps you under certain conditions.

Being the owner of an independent studio, you have total freedom of choice on how to run your business types of training and services, equipment, marketing strategies, etc. You can have total freedom to choose business strategies and review the things you think are most profitable, you will have to make mistakes and learn as you go.



Marketing is an important aspect of creating your own business, be it a franchise or an independent company. As a franchisee, you will receive a great deal of guidance and support from the franchisor regarding marketing techniques and tactics. Franchisees also benefit from cooperative advertising.

If you choose your own path, you will be responsible for all the marketing that, on the one hand, can be very daunting, but on the other it allows people to choose their own strategies based on what they feel best for their business.


Success rates

A franchise is an established idea, all franchisees work under a common organization, and are responsible for daily tasks. Franchisees will also receive full training on service, marketing, how to train staff members and all other aspects of their functions. They have constant support.

This does not apply to startups, which unfortunately tend to have a higher failure rate compared to franchise companies. Starting your own business certainly carries greater risks, but don’t forget that with a high risk it often comes with a great reward!


In summary

As you can see, both options have their fair share of pros and cons. An independent study gives you the opportunity to realize your vision and allows you to control all aspects of the business. The compensation is that, while you own the success, you must also own the failures. Buying in a franchise offers more security and support in addition to recognition.



Are you wondering if owning a Zoo Health Club Franchise is right for you?

If so, our free franchise opportunity toolkit will answer most of your questions about Zoo Health Club ownership such as:
• What is the Zoo Health Club?

• What is the initial franchise investment?

• Are there leasing programs for the equipment available?





More than half of our franchise owners are owner/operators. The rest allow their top managers and staff to take care of the day-to-day operations. When speaking with our franchise owners you will notice they come from different industries and backgrounds. They all have one thing in common: They were looking for the right balance of lifestyle and business. All were looking for an opportunity for themselves and family. They found it with the Zoo Health Club. Watch some of the videos below and find out for yourself.

How much can I expect to make

with a Zoo Franchise?

What is so special about

The Zoo Health Club?

Why should I invest in

the Fitness Industry?

What kind of franchise support

can I expect?

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our experience?

Learn about our upcoming

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The Zoo fitness franchise business model works by keeping the size of the club in the small to medium range and keeping expenses low. Our top of the line equipment combined with low monthly dues is a business model that will give you a competitive edge! What ever the definition of success is to you, the Zoo fitness franchise business model can accomplish your goals.


Free time with your family or the freedom of being in control of your own time. The Zoo business model can give you pride of ownership and the ability to control your own destiny. The Zoo Health Club Fitness Franchise has developed professional individual health club web sites for all 50 states and soon to be opened locations, increasing search engine presence, brand recognition and member leads. We are capturing new member leads for you before you even own the territory. The Zoo Health Club franchise model offers a step-by-step guide on how to open a fitness center. Our team of fitness industry experts will guide you through every aspect of opening and operating a successful fitness center franchise. .


The main source of revenue will come from both enrollment fees and monthly dues. The Zoo fitness franchise has one of the lowest monthly dues program anywhere and helps create membership sales which increases sales volume for the franchisee. Your dues may vary based on demographics and services at your facility.


Our fitness franchise revenue will come from multiple profit centers such as:

  • One-on-one and group personal training
  • Weight loss programs, nutrition and weight loss products
  • Smoothies, protein shakes and bars.
  • Tanning
  • Retail/Sportswear
  • Home equipment sales and cardio bikes


Most people have never had to deal with building owners and leasing agents. Lease negotiations can be overwhelming. Let our experts help you with proper negotiations while getting the best possible rate and seeing that the lease agreement is structured properly.


The first aspect and consideration of how to open a fitness center is choosing the right franchise and making sure that you have a fair and equitable lease. Your lease (location) must work demographically and financially to insure your long-term feasibility and success. Let The Zoo Health Club Franchise Experts guide you through this most important task.


Lease or Purchase

Our experts will work with you on selecting the best equipment for the size of your Zoo Health Club and your budget. Leasing is a good choice and our experts will put you in touch with the helpful leasing companies that specialize in the health and fitness industry.


When you consider opening a health club it is important to rely on industry experts who can guide you through each process and decision to insure that your initial though, “how to open a fitness center” is not only realized – it’s successful.




Strategic Location

Location, location, location! Convenient, easily accessible locations in secondary shopping centers make frequent visits routine for the entire family.

Low Fees

Low monthly fees attract and retain members.


Top-of-the-line equipment offers a competitive edge and keeps members challenged.

Low Costs

Small- to medium-size locations limit lease costs and ensure a friendly, community-like environment.


A variety of special products and services please members and increase revenue.


We provide a proven model and step-by-step guidance on how to open a fitness center.


Investors all over the world are asking themselves, what is the best franchise concept? As you may have seen fitness franchises are popping up left and right representing growth in the health and fitness industry and opportunity for potential investors. What is the reason for this recent craze and what factors should you take into consideration before taking a plunge?

Growing Industry

Industries usually have cycles. Some may see growth and decline, while other stay stagnant. The health and fitness industry is one of the few that has continued growth and it does not seem to be declining. Trends come and go but everyone can agree that staying fit and healthy is a way of life and that will not change. This industry has seen has seen double digit growth in the past 10 years and as more and more people move to eating healthier, organic foods, you can expect more people will be wanting to get in shape. Opening a gym franchise helps you capitalize on this growing trend toward fitness.

Work Environment

When considering a franchise opportunity, work environment is another factor. If you are going to invest in a business and you want to be part of its success, your day-to-day experience in the business is important. Many people have avoided the fast food franchise concept because of the stressful work atmosphere. For many it is not the most appealing thing to be behind a hot kitchen all day, dealing with hundreds of customers in very fast-paced environment. A health club franchise is a different environment altogether. Overall it is a less stressful and more enjoyable atmosphere.

Time Commitment

A gymfranchisehas many moving pieces but once those pieces are in place, the club basically runs itself. Of course, a good manager is necessary, but unlike other businesses, you do not have to be there the whole day. In fact, many health club owners have other businesses or run multiple clubs. This is perhaps one of the most appealing aspects about owning a fitness franchise.

Multiple Revenue Streams

Perhaps the most attractive aspect about owning a health club is the multiple revenue streams. Whereas most businesses have one main source of revenue, a health club has several. Think of membership fees, personal trainer fees, kids club, juice bar, supplements, apparel, special classes, additional amenities such as tanning, etc. If you are going to invest in a business a health club franchise is something you should definitely think about.

Benefits of Franchising

Franchising with Zoo Health Club is a wonderful thing because you get to be in business for yourself without actually being in business by yourself.

  1. Training Sets You Up for Success: Before you open your Zoo Health Club, you will go through our franchisee training where you learn everything you need to know about running a gym franchise. We cover everything from business management to the Zoo Health Club operations procedures to the fitness industry.
  2. Zoo Health Club Supports You from the Start: At Zoo Health Club, we want nothing more than to see you succeed. Our teams are here to help you with everything from finding the right location to advertising your grand opening. In addition, we have systems in place that make it easy for you to operate your business—things like software, operations manuals, and business practices are all ready for you to implement in your store so you don’t have to start from scratch.
  3. Balance Your Work and Personal Life: One of the best parts of franchising is that it puts you in control of your career. As the owner, you have the power to make decisions for your business so that you can enjoy every success and learn from every downfall. Even better, you are in control of balancing your work and personal life in ways that you never were before. You can live the life you want and still have the career you have always dreamed of.
  4. No Need for Prior Experience: We often hear franchisees say that their lack of experience owning a business held them back from taking that leap to invest in a franchise. Don’t waste your time waiting and wondering! You don’t need a background in entrepreneurship to be a successful Zoo Health Club franchisee. Our training program, support resources, and network of franchisees will give you all the tools you need to thrive in your new role.
  5. Flexible Equipment Options: Unlike some health club franchise opportunities, Zoo Health Club gives you flexibility when it comes to your equipment. Choose from a variety of the top fitness brands to find the right combination of machines to meet your members’ needs.

For more information on the cost of a Zoo Gym franchise and other details, fill out the form below and request a Free Franchise Toolkit for Success. This will tell you everything you need to know so you can make an educated decision on whether this opportunity is right for you.

Call a Franchise Specialist
or Email: FranchiseSpecialist@zoogym.com