Hybrid Fitness Franchise :: Putney - overcoming obstacles

Starting a franchise is complex, frustrating and challenging, but ultimately extremely rewarding. To succeed you’ll need patience, resilience and trust. Without these elements, many potential franchisees will walk away before they see the true benefits of buying a franchise.

Case in point, our newest franchise opening in Putney in 2021. An ideal example of how something started well, encountered some serious challenges throughout the process, almost derailed, but through hard work and great communication has led to a first class proprietary deal and location.

In late 2019 we signed a new franchisee. They had been looking to enter the fitness industry for a few years, but hadn’t found a product they felt met their needs. The franchisee settled on Hybrid Fitness because the offering was different to the competition and they appreciated the brand values and the fact that they had input into layout, design and what the club would offer.

The franchisee had already conducted an extensive territory search and had found a number of potential locations in South London. This put the franchisee in a fantastic position to move forwards as they had already put in place the key elements of buying a franchise: funding, territory, property..

On the surface, this was beginning to look like a breeze of a franchise purchase and set up. The Hybrid team worked alongside the franchisee to ensure the locations were suitable for a gym setup. Hybrid also helped the franchisee negotiate on the final choice property (a premium property located on one of the busiest junctions in London, ideal for awareness and a large site)

The franchisee, having settled on a great location, and having already entered into negotiations with the landlord instructed solicitors to begin the legal process to secure the site and with heads of terms agreed, let the other properties know that they would be withdrawing their interest.

Two months into the legals, the first bump in the road occurred. A major food chain gazumped the franchisee with an offer three times greater per sq ft.

After an impressive start and with funding, territory and location sorted, the franchisee found themselves back to square one. No property and the other, earlier potential locations already filled with new tenants.

This is where patience, resilience and trust come into play. As soon as the preferred property was lost, Hybrid Fitness and the franchisee began a new property search. Quite quickly a new property was found.

The landlord had already entered into a provisional offer with a major budget gym chain. However, after numerous late night meetings and phone calls with agents Hybrid were allowed to put forward their case to the Landlord. This worked and the landlord decided to go with Hybrid Fitness due to its more premium offering in a high end residential area.

Hybrid Fitness supported the franchisee as negotiations began and heads of terms were agreed. Then COVID happened. In March 2020m all parties stopped negotiations and planning due to uncertainty.

Once again, patience, resilience and trust were required and essential to riding out this tough time.

Throughout the lockdown The Hybrid property team advised the Franchisee that now was the time to renegotiate the terms of the deal with the landlord. The landscape had changed dramatically and we were able to secure a deal for a premium property in an ideal location at a much lower price than previously agreed. The franchisee now has a springboard to see greater returns on their investment over a shorter period of time.

As a potential franchisee, you must have resilience. Resilience to withstand a torrent of misfortune.

You must also have patience. Putney took over 18 months to secure a property, even though the process started with funding and a property located. Anything can happen, so be patient.

Finally there must be trust. Trust in the process and trust in the franchise management team. We all work together to bring a franchise to market and without trust there’s no chance of things working out.

Putney, opening in 2021, might not have happened. In unprecedented times we came through and now have a fantastic location secured and a satisfied franchisee looking at other territories to expand into.

For more information on franchise opportunities, get in touch.