Fitstop’s Global Expansion ft. APAC CEO Alan Myers
For Fitstop, 2022 was not only about growth in our domestic portfolio, but we’ve been working behind the scenes to set Fitstop up for global success. First up, we launched Fitstop New Zealand in the beginning of 2022 - but it hasn’t stopped there. We've now had locations sold in every State across Australia, and North America and Singapore are on the roadmap for 2023.
It’s safe to say we’ve learnt a thing or two on this journey and our APAC CEO, Alan Myers, is ready to share these learnings and what’s going to drive growth for Fitstop in 2023. Alan had the pleasure of speaking to Ross Stewart Campbell, Founder and CEO of the Fit Summit - we hope you enjoy
Tell us about who Fitstop are, and what attracted you to them?
Fitstop is a functional boutique franchise network which was founded in Brisbane, Australia in 2017. Our performance-based programming is athlete inspired, so really focusing on that strength and conditioning component to really maximize our results through our training philosophy.
Our aim, realistically, is to provide a personalized experience in a group environment, which becomes really community focused from a brand perspective as well. This community is what I believe is unlike anything else I’ve experienced before.
Talk us through the last few years at Fitstop, and the milestones you’ve achieved
Pete (Fitstop’s Founder and Managing Director) and I focused on building a business based on process and system to to really start to drive performance and create a world class business without the ego.
The team was super proud to have opened over 50 locations over that last eight months, which has been an incredible journey to build the business have over 22,000 members collectively from the locations itself. But also now from a billing perspective, we’ve achieved a gross revenue of over $2 million per month across the across the network which was a proud milestone.
In addition, a huge focus has been on building the systems and processes to not only support the scalability in Australia and New Zealand, but also to secure the US expansion and Singapore over the last few months which has been great. We’re super excited to have secured our first lease in the USA as well - which comes down to those systems and processes.
We’ve secured an activation space and office over there as well and Pete has tarted to build out the team in the US to start that expansion as well, which is incredibly excellent.
Tell us about the value of Fitstop’s partnership with Lift Brands, and how it’s supported your expansion
We’ve been able to share ideas and have that collaborative environment between our different brands, but also look at opportunities to expand our brand through their network and their business, whilst also supporting the international expansion.
For instance, a lot of the rules, regulations and legalities into the USA are very different to here in Australia and New Zealand. So to be able to actually utilize their global team to support part of that expansion has been a great value to to us and no doubt the success for our future business owners.
I love the fact that our partnership has evovkes a collaborative and connected environment, which is which is really valuable for our team.
The USA seems to be the holy grail of boutique franchises to break into the market. What are your thoughts on the future of the US?
Fitstop’s USA expansion is super exciting for us, but I love thay terminology - it is the holy grail of fitness. Our key focus has been how can we create sustainability and longevity? And how can we actually grow a franchise network where you can scale it not only for Australian expansion, but then also to be out of step offshore into New Zealand and beyond?
This process and mentality is what will set us up for success into the US as well. We're super excited about what we've built out through the Fitstop academy too, our e-learning platform, and induction days, to make sure that we're in a business to not only induct business owners internationally, but then also new team members.
Culture and community are often talked about when mentioning Fitstop, why do you think this is?
Community is always an interesting one - when I first transitioned from retail fitness into boutique and I was going through the interview process with Pete, there was a lot of talk about community which is often a buzzword in the fitness industry.
So for as a brand, it was all about how do we create that authenticity, which is through connection, which really gives you the right to own that community. That's from support, not only from business owners, but from the passionate office team who have such a positive impact not only for business owners but for managers and our members as well.
What are you looking for in franchisees moving forward, to uphold your brand community?
I think as a brand, you've got to have confidence to say no in circumstances because in some situations you might have the person who's got the finance or commercial accumen, but their value proposition doesn't support the community or the brand, which as you know, is vital for Fitstop.
We often talk about scaling with the mindset of go slow to go fast, because we want to make sure that our business owners go through that operation and financial improvement approval process and understand every corner of Fitstop’s brand. I think ultimately for us, it's all about finding like minded people who are passionate about getting more people moving in and having a positive impact in more people's lives.
Where are you investing in terms of capital, people, time and general resources to make sure your offering stays strong?
This is a really good question because it's probably something which has always excited me about the digital space is that the board is more willing to invest early back into the business as well, which really makes it easier for us in senior roles to maximize what you want to do from a growth point of view as well.
We’re focused on resourcing three fundamental investments; our own tech, member experience and people. Our tech is all of our own software and apps and so forth as well, which will continue to be a significant investment. Next, our member experience - which is largely driven by Fitstop’s tech and people, will continue to progress with exciting announcements coming soon.
And then, a passion project of mine is how do we have that positive impact on people's lives through coaching and education and sharing your own story? So we really have a training and education philosophy through investment into the Fitstop academy through the LMS software itself, but then also external to to not only build out our anchored learning approach, but to evolve and create greater humans through training education.
Reflecting on the past couple of year, what are you most proud of?
A huge highlight for me has beeing seeing the internal head office team grow, achieve incredible things, celebrate and seeing all this have a positive impact into their life and and their professional careers and that progression itself. I think also to be able to see that we've we've got quite a few business owners who've come to Fitstop as a member into business owner or in some situations member into trainer, into manager, into business owner - and in this process, change theri lives.
We’ve just had a Fitstop owner who recently sold their first FItstop business, so a multi site owner, who grew their mulit-site business and then achieved a substantial exit to enable them to live a better life as well, which is such a positive impact to experience.
What does the next few years look like for Fitstop?
You know, for us it's about probably being authentic and and building out a network to create longevity and sustainability for itself. We'll continue to invest heavily in the process and systems, and training and education to develop our network to ensure our business owners always create sustainability for themselves, too. The progression of our head office team will also be critical - including how we create a championship winning team.
Next year, we’ll open our first location into Singapore, which we’ll start to create a lot more brand awareness.We’ll also have a solid footprint within the US portfolio, both within the West Coast and also East Coast expansion. I’d also like to think that we've got our first location out of the ground in the UK by that time as well.
Ready for your next move?
We’re so excited for all that’s to come in Fitstop over the next few years. If you haven’t downloaded your free information pack or booked in a call with our team, make sure you do as you don’t want to miss out on our rapid expansion!