We continue our Face of Franchising series interviews with Judy Scott, Franchise Sales Director for The Zoo Health Club. Judy tells us about what the nearly 30-year-old fitness health club, which has been franchising for almost 10 years, looks for in franchisees. She also tells us about the #1 mistake she sees new franchisees make.
What is your professional background? How long have you been with Zoo Health Club?
I have been in the health club Industry for 40 years, and with the Zoo Health Club for 4 years.
Tell us about the background of Zoo Health Club.
The Zoo Health Club started as a gym on Fort Lauderdale, FL beach 28 years ago. The name was bought some eight years ago and franchising the Zoo Health Club was born.
What are your thoughts on why the fitness franchise industry is good industry for a prospective franchisee?
I started in the industry while it was still in its infant stage and have seen the growth steadily increase over the years. It is a great industry, one of changing people’s lives and at the same time making a financially sound living. We only see a bright future for the fitness industry.
There’s always a big trend happening in fitness, but what are some trends you see occurring within the industry now that could be long lasting?
There are always new trends in any business as in the fitness industry. Cross training and functional training are part of the new trend and should become a lasting part of the industry.
What are the most important traits Zoo Health Club looks for in prospective franchisees?
As far as operating a successful health club we look for prospective franchisees that will follow our system. It is important to follow the three keys to successfully operating a fitness center. The first key is marketing and advertising, the second key is selling memberships, and the third key is service with a purpose.
What are the main areas a prospective franchisee should evaluate when researching a fitness franchise?
Meeting [franchise representatives] and evaluating the franchise in person. We invite prospective franchisees to our corporate offices for a Discovery Day. It consists of showing a few Zoo Health Clubs & meeting some of the franchisees, then spending the rest of the day at corporate meeting the staff members and learning about the Zoo franchise. This is the only way a prospective franchisee could evaluate whether or not the franchise is for them. Company and staff experience along with strong ongoing support should be important to a prospective franchisee, and is the best way to evaluate the franchise.
What is the number one mistake you see from first-time franchisees?
Not following the system. [New franchisees] buying the franchise and thinking they know more than the franchisor.
What’s next for Zoo Health Club in terms of expansion?
The Zoo Health Club is progressing at a nice steady pace and will continue with its expansion strategy. Being selective in who becomes a Zoo Franchisee is important to us.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective franchisees, or on the fitness franchise industry in general?
The most important statement I can make for any prospective franchisee is to be sure when buying the franchise that you follow the system that is in place. It will only enhance your success to succeed.
A big thank you to Judy for her time! For more info on The Zoo Health Club, visit its profile page here.