How to Own a Curves Franchise

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Curves gyms are geared toward women.
Curves gyms are geared toward women. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Curves is a company focused on empowering women through physical fitness. The Curves workout system uses a 30-minute activity plan and weight-loss guidance to help busy women reach their fitness goals. As of March 2011, Curves operates in over 10,000 locations in 75 countries, according to the company's website. Since 1995, Curves has increased its number of gyms in the United States by using the franchise business model. There are two paths to owning a Curves gym: buy an existing one or sign a franchise agreement with the company to open a new one.

Know the start-up costs. In 2011, a Curves franchise in the United States cost $24,900, plus up to $3,000 in equipment costs. You can also purchase a franchise from an existing Curves owner at a price that will vary based on the equity she has established in her business. With this option, you avoid the franchise fee but are still responsible for a $1000 training fee.

Find at least two potential locations. Choose a preferred location and a back-up spot, in case Curves doesn't allow you to place the franchise in your preferred spot. Complete the Curves franchisee questionnaire, which is available on the company's website. Gather financial information, such as lease and purchase price points, which will help you forecast the feasibility of operating a Curves. Ideal locations are centrally located, high profile and not within the same region as another Curves or other direct competitors.

Create a budget for your Curves location. This is a list of expenses your business will incur and a list of the income the business will generate. Factor in the cost of the location itself, whether leased or mortgaged and any business debts, such as a loan for your franchise. Your budget should also include overhead costs, staffing, supplies and local advertising.

Attend required courses prior to opening. New Curves franchise owners must attend a series of professional development workshops and trainings designed to ensure success. The Club Development Support Program is taught by Curves owners and is focused on the proper methods of operating and opening your business. This is followed by Club Camp, a week long training camp at Curves Corporate office in Texas, where you learn business growth and survival tactics. Upon completing Club Camp, you'll receive the Curves Learning Experience, self-paced software that provides further instruction on the nuances of running the business. Costs of travel and lodging for Club Camp are your responsibility.

Pay your franchisee fees. After opening your Curves gym, you are required to pay a monthly royalty of 5 percent of gross revenues, with a $795 maximum and $195 minimum. In addition, there is a monthly advertising royalty that is 3 percent of gross revenues, with a $395 maximum and $95 minimum.

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