The fitness industry offers an attractive venue for franchising. But why is this the case, and what are the things that entrepreneurs need to be on the lookout for? The German Franchise Association (DFV) will be offering answers to these questions at FIBO. Matthias H. Lehner, who as the founder and CEO of Bodystreet and Vice President of the German Franchise Association (DFV) is himself a successful franchiser, talked with us about franchising as a successful business model and about the services on offer from the DFV.
FIBO: What are the most important arguments for entrepreneurs to launch their first business as a franchisee?
Lehner: Security, a proven concept and a brand – this is especially important in the labour market, where a well-loved brand can be a tremendous asset in finding employees. Furthermore, franchising opens up promising opportunities in the marketplace. It is also very important that the franchisee is able to obtain the right advice, i.e. know-how straight from the franchiser. One of the topics covered here is financing. This gives the entrepreneur greater security, and it also means that the break-even point can generally be reached more quickly than when people pursue a trial-and-error approach.
FIBO: What is it that makes the fitness industry so attractive for franchising?
Lehner: It goes without saying that the fitness industry has a strong appeal, because it is a field where people can turn their hobby into their job. Fitness allows people to make their passion their profession.
FIBO: What sort of consultation services does the German Franchise Association (DFV) offer?
Lehner: The DFV offers consultation services relevant to every part of the process. For example, it supports potential franchisees in their selection of the right system. Which system is the right one for me? What do I have to look out for to ensure that I do not end up on the wrong path? How can I recognise differences in quality? Are the fees, prices and services in proper proportion to one another? We also help franchisers in their efforts to establish a sustainable franchising relationship. We provide advice on further development, organisational structures and – something that is quite important – financing. In an age of digitisation, it is also necessary to properly digitise processes to ensure efficiency and agility. The association offers a wide range of services here, fulfilling its role as a guardian of quality.