05/08/2010 - 00:00

Strong support at Curves

05/08/2010 - 00:00


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Curves Health Clubs are marketed as the Cheers of the fitness industry, a place where women can exercise in a supportive environment, where everybody knows their name.

Strong support at Curves

Curves Health Clubs are marketed as the Cheers of the fitness industry, a place where women can exercise in a supportive environment, where everybody knows their name.

For Cindy Carboni, the supportive environment was enough to entice her from being a Curves member to a Curves franchisee.

“I had been a member myself, it really helped me to get fit. I saw the results,” Ms Carboni said.

“Physically I was changed so it was proven on that side; but business wise, I looked in to the franchisors and they gave a lot of support.”

She had considered buying a gym for two and a half years until the Wembley Curves became available.

“I was looking at Curves in particular. Time ticked on, a gym then came up but was too far for me location wise.

“It went on the back burner for a bit and then this came up and seemed to tick all the boxes.”

Going from the corporate world, never having run a business herself, Ms Carboni said researching the details of the Curves franchise model and the financials of Wembley was integral to her fresh success since taking on the business in January.

“I did the profit and loss, a lot of research before purchasing and speaking to the previous owner who opened her books to me so I could see everything,” she said.

“I spoke to a lot of people outside of franchising and in business before I purchased this. I knew some of the pitfalls, the monthly franchise fee seemed to be fair and I had investigated others that seemed quite high. It has been going for quite a while, it is an established business.”

Buying established brand power is a given when you are becoming a franchisee of one of the most successful health and fitness brands on the planet.

US-based Curves has more than 10,000 gyms worldwide and is number 13 on the WA Business News Book of Lists (see page 20), with 39 franchises in WA.

The unique nature of the Curves brand stood out to Ms Carboni in a saturated health and fitness market – three other gyms sit on the list with Step Into Life having 15 franchises, Contours with 14 franchises and Jets Fitness with eight franchises.

But it was ultimately the level of support for franchisees that attracted her to buying in.

“The support, the flexibility, and specifically I knew Wembley, I knew the members,” she said.

“But I had to learn from the bottom up about the health side and the machines and equipment and training on all parts of what is involved in the business.

“There has obviously been a huge learning curve … from behind the desk. That is where the franchisor has provided a lot of assistance.”

“Although they’re based in America, they have a regional director that comes and visits every month and they have a lot of webinars so as a new business person it gave a lot of financial guidance and support.

“It’s enabled me within marketing to have some tried and tested areas. It’s mentoring really, with experienced franchisees.

“There is a co-op based in WA and ours is very strong. You can meet with other franchisees and owners and discuss what’s useful.”

Ms Carboni initially did a Curves training course, learning the business from the bottom up and said she continues to learn from her staff.

“I believe you need to spend time learning what your staff are doing to know what the systems are.”



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