Should You Get a License, Franchise or Go Solo?

With the popularity of dance as a way to lose weight and get fit continuing to gather pace, it should come as no surprise that scores of individuals and companies are setting their sights on the dance fitness industry as an exciting way to make a living.

For passionate dancers & street dancers looking for a way into this promising new world, the options can seem bewildering. With every new player in the market claiming that they’re the real deal, who should you put your trust in? Or should you ignore them all and focus on carving your own path to success?

To help simplify the situation, there are in essence three roads that potential fitness professionals can go down: they can buy a franchise, buy a licence (e.g. a Street Fit licence) or go solo. Each has its own merits and limitations, and this post is designed to cut through the confusion.

There are six areas in which all three strategies can be compared: cost, training provision, requirements, autonomy (freedom), support and location.

  1. Cost

Taking on a business franchise will almost certainly be the most expensive option and will usually require significant up-front capital. Since you are (or should be!) buying a fully-developed business model, you are unlikely to find any genuine franchise that costs less than £1,000, with some asking you to part with £5,000 or more.

Although a licence also carries costs (a Street Fit licence will set you back £285), it will be considerably cheaper than a franchise.

Of course, you could do without either, and save even more money but this could end up being a false economy as you may end up paying more in training and marketing costs while being unable to command the membership fees levied by your ‘branded’ rivals.

  1. Training

A good quality business franchise needs to ensure its model can be successfully replicated in the area you are assigned to. As a result, many franchisees have to undergo extensive training programmes and participate in other business activities. This can be difficult to fit around other commitments and the security of in-depth coaching needs to be weighed up against the time you are willing to spend to get going.

The training provision for a licensed fitness workout will vary depending on the company, but some (e.g. Street Fit) provide intensive day courses which will provide all the skills and tools needed to get started in the fitness industry.

Of course, if you go it alone you will need to provide all of your own training.

  1. Requirements

Franchises and licensed workouts are probably the best way into the industry for dancers who lack experience, with many companies (including Street Fit) requiring only a serious interest and passion in dance and fitness.

Unless you already hold a recognised fitness qualification, it is unlikely that you will be able to run a viable dance business without taking on some sort of training. You may be able to garner some support through your personal attributes alone, but serious customers will want to see proof that you can teach safely and effectively.

  1. Autonomy

Another drawback to buying a franchise is the lack of freedom in plotting your own course. A franchise relies upon franchisees following the company blueprint to the letter. This can be frustrating if you have ideas of your own that you want to express.

Licence providers vary in the degree of autonomy allowed, details of which will be set out in the licence agreement. Street Fit regards self-expression and creativity as a key component of hip hop dance, and actively encourages instructors to make their classes their own.

As a DIY instructor you will have the greatest degree of freedom, although you should be careful to ensure your classes are safe.

  1. Support

If freedom isn’t important to you, then the security that a good business franchise can give may appeal. Franchises will usually offer substantial, centralised administrative and corporate support although the quality will vary.

The level and type of support provided for licence holders will vary even more widely. Street Fit provide an excellent start-up package for certified instructors (including choreography, music and an instructors’ manual) but also supplement this with an affordable membership program. The strength of the Street Fit brand and the quality of the available marketing tools are a huge advantage to instructors.

Solo instructors will need to take care of their own administration and marketing which can be both time-consuming and expensive. Nevertheless, those with experience in running their own business, plenty of contacts and a background in dance or fitness might have the resources to succeed.

  1. Location

A franchise will usually give you the right to operate in a specific territory, so as to avoid competing with other franchisees. While this may seem an advantage on face value, it does not mean that you are protected from competition. On the contrary, the inflexibility of the franchise model can prevent you adapting to changes in the local marketplace and put you at risk of losing out to more innovative newcomers.

Which brings us back to Street Fit; the dance fitness market is not saturated, and there is plenty of room for quality street dance classes in every region of the UK. Just like a DIY instructor, Street Fit licence holders can set up anywhere and everywhere they choose. Hip hop has its very roots in the notion of competition and, rather than creating an artificial shield to protect them, Street Fit encourages our instructors to create a dance niche of their own.

If you are interested in becoming a licensed Street Fit Instructor you need to book on to one of our Street Fit Instructor Courses, you can do this by visiting http://streetfit.tv/become-an-instructor simply scroll to the bottom of a page pick the course you want to attend and book its that simple!

Start your career in Street Dance Fitness® today!

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