Smart50 Awards 2014

42 Plus Fitness

Revenue

More than $14 million

Growth

56.06%

Founders

John Fuller, 45, and Nigel Miller, 51

Head Office

New South Wales

Year Founded

1996

Employees

21

Industry

Fitness

Website

Plusfitness.com.au

Gym franchise Plus Fitness has undergone massive growth in the past three years.

The New South Wales-based franchisor came in at number eight in last year’s Smart 50 after it more than doubled its revenue in 12 months.

And while its growth was a little more subdued in 2013-14, Plus Fitness has continued to expand its Australian presence with more than 120 locations and is on the cusp of opening its doors in New Zealand.

Nigel Miller, who founded the business with John Fuller, says growth tends to breed growth in franchising.

“The more your brand is exposed, the more consideration you’re given by potential franchisees,” says Miller.

He says franchisees have been consistently attracted to the ‘turnkey’ model Plus Fitness offers and the fact the business is Australian owned, unlike several of its competitors.

Miller and Fuller were operating successful multi-site gyms when they decided to franchise the business to keep up with their growth in 2009.

“We couldn’t scale as fast as needed to be as resilient to our competitors. One option was to franchise and that seem like a natural path to take.”

Originally the pair had a number of traditional “big box” health clubs in Sydney, but they decided to move to a 24 hour gym model to keep up with changing consumer demands.

Miller says the biggest challenge the business faced was when to employ additional resources into the business and in what capacity.

“As a business grows, especially at the rate we did, you can no longer do all the things you once did by yourself on your own. You have to choose wisely at what stage you hand aspects of the business to someone else, and who you hand it to.”

The next move for Plus Fitness is to take the brand international and it is in talks to close its first property and franchise in New Zealand.

The company is also in second stage talks with potential master franchisees for both China and the UK.

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