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3 secrets to creating top-performing franchisees

Chelsea Erieau-Larkin
April 16, 2024
3 secrets to creating top-performing franchisees
“The difference between the top performers and the mediocre performers is not a great, massive difference. It is just a tiny difference because the top performers do things just a tiny bit different.” — Brian Tracy

Bad reviews, bad performance, bad scaling—these are all too commonly seen as the result of a poor franchise performer. When your business model relies on external parties, but their behavior reflects on you—and your global brand—how important does it become to cultivate great franchisees?

Here at Hapana, we pay attention to global fitness franchise trends. They shape the market, and they shape the experience of our members. During COVID-19, they shaped the release of our streaming service. This year, they shaped the decision, design and release of our fitness challenge app feature, which clients like STRONG Pilates are using to create a new revenue stream

Here are the trends that we’ve noticed for top performers in franchises. Let us know if you’ve seen these come up in your own franchise. 

1. Commitment to the brand and business model

To create top performers, establish systems and education to help them understand and respect your established systems and business model. This flows through their actions, from operations to marketing strategies. It’s not about forcing franchisees to follow the model 100%, but to adhere to its main components while adapting slightly to local needs. It’s not about being a stickler for the “rules”, but about identifying those performers who respect and pursue the principles that have made the franchise successful in the first place. 

Every franchisee brings their own flavor, but they shouldn’t be using a completely different recipe. Whether this is through a business playbook, meetings, examples, workshops, or events, make sure every franchisee understands how success has been achieved in the past and what core values and processes made that happen.

2. Resilience and response to challenges

When catastrophes are on the horizon, check in with every franchisee to see if they would rather fight through it or get out now. 

In FranchiseRamp’s interview with Anthony Geisler, CEO of Xponential Fitness, he says the ability of franchise owners to fight through challenges, which he describes as being "punched in the face," is crucial. 

He looks for franchisees who are fighters—those who respond to challenges with determination and a readiness to adapt and overcome rather than those who withdraw. If a franchisee isn’t willing to fight, Geisler helps them sell the franchise; but if they want to continue fighting, he does everything he can to support their success. Whether education, marketing materials, or even money. 

Resilience is a strong indicator of potential long-term success and stability. Crucially, it helps prevent locations from closing down during economic instability. This approach is clearly working for Xponential, which has nearly 700,000 members—an increase of 55% in the last three years alone

3. Design events that keep franchisees in the loop  

“To run a successful franchise,” says Anytime Fitness CEO Chuck Runyon, “our franchisee owners have to care so much about their business and their members it [practically] hurts them.”

If this seems like a tall order, it is. Anytime Fitness knows that - which is why, for franchisees who aren’t necessarily able to muster that much emotion, they have every franchisee visit company headquarters to instill the company culture. This is followed by conventions, events, regular updates, and many other initiatives to maintain buy-in and company culture. 

As Runyon puts it, they create community architecture to help franchisees “take some of this culture and put it in their back pocket and bring it to their local community.”

How Hapana helps franchises succeed

At Hapana, we keep our finger on the pulse of wellness and fitness trends as they emerge and become relevant to fitness studios and gyms around the world. That's how we continue to revolutionize the operations of multisite boutique businesses like F45, Gold’s Gym, BFT, STRONG Pilates, Vive Active, KX Pilates, and more. Our dedication to enhancing member experiences, coupled with unparalleled support, has earned us a reputation that spans over 15 countries. 

Our comprehensive features - from reporting and analytics to a digital content suite - empower your gym or fitness studio to make space for innovation.

Contact our lovely team for a demo.