How did you get into the industry?
I’ve been in the industry for 13 years now. I’ve always been very entrepreneurial. I fell in love with the fitness industry because it was something I was already doing since I grew up an athlete. As an athlete, I was always working at the gym to feed my competitive spirit. I thought to myself if I am going to be here all the time working out, you may as well get a job here. I got hired on and after just a month and half, I was already overseeing the personal training department as the Director at LA Fitness. I fell in love with their processes, how they present their personal training, how they went about acquiring their personal training clients. I spent so much time getting really good at those things. Eventually, they hired me to start training other trainers in other gyms. I got promoted and then had two other gyms under me. I was teaching marketing, sales, and management of personal training.
After about a year and a half, I decided to leave and do my own thing. I saw a need that needed filling — people sign up for a gym membership and they don’t go. So I had to learn why they weren’t going. I found out life was too busy, fitness was important to them but it wasn’t a priority. They were losing their motivation and getting into a mental pitfall so they would just stop. I came up with the home fitness model for Elite. We found that Elite’s model was better because, by going to the client directly, we eliminated their excuses. We are making sure they follow through with their workout. The in-home market just makes more sense
Let’s discuss some challenges that you’ve faced and/or some successes you have encountered.
After our first year in business, the business was already profitable. Client acquisition, marketing, training – I did it all myself. I partnered with a former colleague of mine and by year two, we grew 70%, more than doubled. We grossed around $494K by year 4. Even with COVID-19, we came out even stronger.
The business itself is a growth engine. It grows economically and personally. There is so much opportunity here because every day that you’re in business you’re helping people grow as individuals. As a human, you understand that you can do anything once you see a business that you’ve created grow. Going out to the marketplace and proving that Elite would be a success, to me that was important.
Is there anything that you would like to add regarding your training and support model?
In relation to my franchisee, I envision us working together in a coach-type of relationship. I love sports, so I relate business to sports. I am going to be there for them, coaching them, and providing everything they need in terms of support.
Whether it’s the mindset, how to close a sale, how to do an event, how to run daily operations, or how to interact with trainers and clients —the ongoing support is very hands-on. I want to see them win and I am going to cheer them on.
What does your franchisee do in the business every day?
We have a platform and a system that runs everything. Booking, CRM, scheduling, sales, payment processing, etc. is all run through MindBody which keeps the business operation very simple.
We’re open from 4 am to 10 pm when we are operating. Their day will start with a 6 am call with all morning trainers to check-in. We motivate them and get them excited. Franchisees will have to plug into the meeting with all the trainers, congratulate new accomplishments, and get feedback about how clients are doing. They will use these meetings to get new information on how to help the staff to provide the best service possible. It really helps to give insight into how clients are doing. This is huge. Clients will stay with you — they will renew. I have some that have contributed over 100K to our business over the course of their membership because they want to stay. Next, our franchisees will need to go into the office or work from home or work remotely from wherever they have a computer and internet. Franchise partners will need to overview their schedule and make sure all consultations are confirmed for the day. Currently, I do all consultations. I onboard the clients, meet them and then connect them with the personal trainer. Trainers call within 48 hours. Also, franchisees will need to do marketing such as passing out flyers, networking with people, and calling residential communities. We market directly to apartment communities. We send trainers directly to those apartments. We build strategic partnerships so we do quarterly events with them. Clients come by and they pay $85 for that consultation. Same thing with corporate clients. They have gyms, so the trainer goes and meets them there. We see all different platforms where clients can be trained. Parks, offices, apartment communities. The franchisee’s job will be to make these connections and seek out opportunities for new strategic partnerships. Much of their focus will be on marketing, sales, and leadership.
In your own words, describe the ideal franchisee.
Any type of customer service issues, which are rare, they will need to navigate. They need to be people-oriented. They need to want to help people in a genuine manner. The process that we have, the process that works, we teach them the process and they are really going to have to protect that process. It’s someone who has a strong leadership background and they can lead a team.
No certifications are needed. The model I created is completely replicable. They have to be motivated. These are the skills that are needed. They don’t have to be trainers, technically, but they have to be business people and how to hire (which we’ll teach them), but they have to be comfortable with our procedures and systems. They need to have an open mind to learning,
What are your goals for your company in the future?
I want to be #1 in this space! It’s very personal to me. I know eventually, we’ll be there and time will tell. The in-home personal training niche takes a large part of the $85 billion markets that makes up the fitness industry. We will be instrumental in adjusting the consumer mindset about working out. The consumer is still educated that they still have to go to a gym. It’s not about a gym membership; it’s about doing the work and staying motivated.
Consumers are still feeling like they have to go to a gym and we are looking to fix that. I see the trend already coming to fruition. People are starting to purchase equipment for their homes. People are buying home equipment, which is an indicator that people are starting to want to exercise at home. We want to bring that something EXTRA so our trainers will motivate them. It makes a difference having someone who will encourage you there in person! We are going to change the fitness industry! The current model is broken – it shouldn’t be clients going to the gym, it should be trainers going to clients.
We are really making a difference. We are helping people be the best version of themselves. They develop a ground sense of discipline and Elite Home Fitness gets to be a part of that.
Thank you to Luis Mendonca for conducting this interview. For more information about the Elite Home Fitness franchise opportunity, visit their franchise page at eliteinhomefitnessfranchise.com or email Luis at [email protected].
MORE FRANCHISE DETAILS
Training and Support
Elite Home Fitness’ expert support team works with each franchisee to understand and fully grasp how an ideal operation should be executed. This will include everything that a franchisee will need, including unit operations and maintenance, customer service techniques, product ordering, suggested pricing guidelines and administrative procedures. Support also includes ongoing marketing support, initial accounting support, and ongoing research and development.
What is the Fee Structure?
Franchise Fee: $30,000Royalty Fee: 7% of your gross sales
Estimated Initial Investment Range: $69,000 to $135,100 (includes franchise fee)
Each territory will include a defined area and will be documented generally as a population base ranging from 100,000 people or a 5-mile radius from the location.