Monday, April 22, 2013

Zumba: Is this hot franchise right for you?

If there’s one constant in the world of physical fitness, it’s that people in general don’t like to work out. It’s just too much work! We know its good for us, and that it will help us live longer, but nine times out of ten, its the lazybones that win out, isn’t it? If you’ve always been physically conscious, as well as business - minded, then a Zumba fitness franchise might be just what you’re looking for to get you out from behind your boring old desk and dancing for a living!

Founded in 2001, Zumba bucks the traditional high-cost fitness franchise as well as the idea that working out isn’t fun. It is essentially a dance class that incorporates high-energy cardio movements with muscle tone and conditioning exercises, and those who take the classes almost always love them. Those who don’t are typically those who really don’t put enough time in to learn the moves and get their energy level up.

Aside from the basics of acquiring the licensing rights to run these classes, there are some things you need to be aware of. First, you really do have to be fitness-minded to run one because your customers will look up to you as an ideal - where they want to be with their own health. Second, you have to love dancing and be able to do it two or more times every day, depending on how many classes you lead.

The business itself is not run like a typical franchise. Your road to Zumba stardom begins with a training session with an instructor that costs in the neighborhood of $200. There are additional training sessions that can be taken that focus on teaching children or the elderly as well, though. Taking these additional classes, which lead to licensing, will only enhance your ability to earn money, so if you can, it’s a good idea to take them when you can. Once you’ve taken the classes, you’ll be able to join the Zumba Instructor Network, which gives you some exposure on the internet to potential clients and can make it easier for them to find you.

Next, you’ll have to hunt down the facilities you’ll need to operate the business. For this, you have loads of options, you just have to turn them up. Gyms are likely choices, but they may not necessarily have a studio where dancing is practical, particularly in small towns. In these cases, it may be a good idea to get to know the owners of a martial arts studio or a dance studio. Other options may be community centers or even school gyms. The point is, finding a place is easy, regardless of where you live. There are more than a few business professionals who would be willing to sublet their studio for a few hours if it meant a little more bottom line.

Finally, you’ll have to market yourself, since you really are the franchise. For this, the company will help you out with promotional materials, but since you are the business, you’re going to have to meet people. Once you’ve found your location, start feeling out the local area. If you’re at a gym, it may be as simple as putting up a sign-up sheet. If you’re in another type of studio, you’ll have to be a bit more creative, but your time will be well-spent.

The last question that really has to be asked is whether or not Zumba is actually a flash in the pan - here today, gone tomorrow like so many other health fads these days. The short answer is yes. Eventually, Zumba will grow a little stale, and people will lose interest. The best way to conquer this trend is to make sure that your clients are always excited, always have fun, and have the ability to reach their goals  without realizing that they’re doing work. Too bad “Playing out” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it that “working out” does. It might make for a whole lot more exercise-friendly society today!

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