Core Progression

Franchise Q&A with Jonathan Cerf, Founder of Core Progression Elite Personal Training

How was your franchise/opportunity originally conceived and started? 

I initially started my career working for a big box fitness company. I quickly realized that if I were going to have a career in fitness, it wouldn't be for a large national gym chain. After a year, I realized that there were a lot of clients willing to pay more for private training services and better customer service.  I started looking around for a facility that offered these type of options, but to my surprise, I didn’t find one.  I decided to start my own, and things took off instantly, and within three months of opening my first space, I had to expand.  One year later I was expanding again and opened a second location which quickly grew and had to expand it as well.  The growth I've seen since starting Core has been explosive, and I knew that giving people the opportunity to franchise this business model would be a great way to continue our growth nationwide. 

What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?

When I first started, I had a goal of opening 500 locations nationally.  I want to make an impact on the overall health and wellness of the country and feel that providing customers a clean and friendly facility along with wellness experts and high-quality trainers will help us achieve our goal.  Since day one, when we opened our doors in 2008, I knew franchising was the best route for nationwide expansion, and we have been perfecting the model, systems, and processes in place for streamlined franchise efforts.  

What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise? 

When choosing a franchise, there are a few factors to look for. First is finding a franchise company you can believe in after understanding their vision and mission statement. For example, if you are a vegan opening a Burger King, it would be hard to stay motivated to run the business effectively.  Second, I think that a company must have a risk that is worth the reward. When weighing upfront costs of entry versus overall profit, it must be clear that money will be made and worth the ongoing challenges of a new business.  Last, it is vital that you that you consider the market that you want to build your business in. Thinking long-term and understanding the market size, industry trends and potential for growth will help ensure you are set up for future success.

Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises? 

Core Progression Elite Personal Training is a fantastic model that provides financial, emotional and physical fulfillment when using our program which keeps our retention rates high.  Most fitness concepts sign as many people up as possible and hope that they rarely or never use the facility.  I wanted to build a company that made a difference in the fitness industry. Our model only needs 75-100 members to be profitable while continually providing an unparalleled level of customized personalization and results to our clients.  Other fitness concepts need 700-1,000 members to actually start generating a return. We also have one of the lowest entry costs of fitness franchises, so the return on investment is much faster and overall profitability is higher.  

What makes your industry attractive?

Personal Training is a $10 billion industry with projected growth of 24 percent from 2010-2020.   It is one of the top five fastest growing careers with an anticipated 35,000 people entering the field every year.   With an increased focus on overall health and wellness, Core Progression is positioned perfectly to capture market share.  

What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?  

I look for someone with a great work ethic, drive and ability to lead and manage a team.  Fitness experience isn’t required, but I want franchisees that have a passion for health and genuinely care about helping others live a healthy lifestyle. We have great software systems and processes in place, so someone who can follow our proven and successful path will succeed.

What do your franchise fees and royalties cover? 

Our franchise fee is $45,000, and our royalty is 5% of weekly gross sales.  These fees cover all of the initial training and ongoing support costs. Our team is a phone call away if you need help in any way.  

How do territories work for your franchisees?  

Case by case basis determined by local demographics and size of the population. 

Where do you see your franchise in 5 years and ten years? 

In 5 years I would like to have 200-300 locations open across the country and in the ten years to have over 500 locations while expanding internationally.  

What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?  

Give 100% effort in getting your business up and running. With anything in life, you usually get out what you put in, and if you fully commit to the process, you will be successful.   

What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise? 

With any investment there is risk. By choosing a company with ten years of business history in multiple locations, you can learn from and avoid a lot of the mistakes I have already made.  We have fantastic financial returns along with one of the lowest cost entries for fitness franchises.  

On average, how long does it take to start a new franchise from the franchisees point of view? 

Once the franchise documents are signed, franchisees can expect to open their doors within about 6-9 months. 

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