Jim Belanger has been in franchising since he was 19 years old, 46 years. And he is greatly pained by the abuse of the franchisees in many of the systems that he has witnessed. He also observed that the fitness industry continues to be about fads, testosterone, and injuries when training should be for wellness, health, and safety.
So he founded Corona, California-based Sudore Wellness with the aim to change that. Since its launch in 2017, Sudore Wellness is setting a new standard for the fitness industry. Sudore Wellness is a passion for movement and being a little more fit than yesterday. They help their members to achieve their personal goals while keeping them in their health zone. Their heart rate monitored training focuses on cardio through weight training without incurring injury. Sudore Wellness attracts people across various demographic age groups. They appeal to anyone between 8 to 94 (mostly women) looking for a really challenging, focused and effective workout without running the risk of injury.
"We teach people in walkers to throw them away. We improve balance and confidence every day and we see people blown away by what they can accomplish with the right training. Let’s all make a difference in people's lives every day," Jim Belanger, Founder & President, Sudore Wellness.
Great Coaching, Great Health!
Jim Belanger: Boot Camps, Cardio Palaces are fads and not responsive to the clients. At no point does the Army send you to a second Boot Camp. This training is dangerous and the intense training is the leading creator of injury in the U.S. At Sudore, we have developed a program of a disciplined and quality of life orientation. Our proven workouts have demonstrated the importance of disciplined training and how rewarding that can be. Our resistance and weight training results in longevity and quality of life. With regular workouts, our clients see a positive change in their body, a smaller waist, a better shape, beautifully toned arms within weeks. And they can accomplish all this safely and while building a stronger form that will help them for the rest of their life. Our creative workouts take four years to complete. We make sure that the client is prepared and capable of the next level of exercise. Our base program has 130 exercises so the workouts change all time to keep it interesting.
The franchise route
Jim Belanger: We’re looking for franchise owners who understand the importance of health and wellness. Besides a franchisee must understand that the brand is first. The benefit of the complete system is before their ideas. We do not ‘think’ in our organization we plan, test and execute. Thinking something will work is dangerous for any organization. A franchisee also needs to have business sense and that paperclips cost money. Every expense has a cost assigned to it. How many customers does it take for an expense to create an ROI? Most importantly we strive for extraordinary customer experience. We sell their goal, whatever their goal is we must acknowledge, develop and direct to their goal.
We're looking for franchise owners who understand the importance of health and wellness. Besides a franchisee must understand that the brand is first. The benefit of the complete system is before their ideas.
In order to support our franchisees, we provide an initial two-week training program at Corona, CA. Weekly franchise calls for existing franchisees, another call each week of franchisees opening their first Sudore Wellness. There are quarterly field reporting inspections and daily monitoring of the exercise class to maintain quality. If the daily approved workout is changed the trainer on the floor loses their Sudore Certification and must retest in Corona, CA at their expense. The franchisee must operate with two Sudore Wellness Certified Trainers at all times or at their expense. Corporate sends a Certified Trainer at $350 per day until the franchise is compliant with the agreement. National franchise participation conference is also held on an annual basis, and regional training clinic will be available across the US and Canada.
Sudore Wellness is set up to grow our franchisees and we are not looking for single operators. Our ideal franchisee will open a Sudore with zero debt. They will open their second gym in their market at 50% debt and their third gym at 75% debt. From there they will write their own story. We only want one franchisee per market, we have identified 200 markets that will hold from 2 to 50 Sudore Wellness Centers. In our agreement, if you change the system we will open Sudore Wellness Studios in the market to maintain the brand and dilute the position of the out of compliance franchisee. Remember to protect all of us, not one of us.
Revolutionizing the franchising industry
Jim Belanger: We have developed Sudore Wellness to be different from other franchises. First, we have no personal guarantee of the franchisee or their families. This is a huge difference in the franchise arena. Attorney’s use guarantees to the disadvantage of the franchise community. If a store fails we all must work to minimize damages, not foreclose on the family home. We want quality franchisees that have the discipline to follow the Sudore Way, step by step. Second, royalties are 5% and do not start until 150 paying members. Again a huge difference, we only want the royalties when the unit is profitable. We are all in this together. We believe if one location fails we all fail. The third and most important difference is we will not make a penny beyond our franchise fee and royalties off the franchise community. Any funds, kickbacks or advantages will be a split amount of the advertising budget of the total stores in the system. The system and number of stores are the reason for any savings and it will be passed on.
Jim Belanger: 2020 is our year to roll out franchising awards. We see many competitors expanding too large and the last 200 units fail to meet the expectation. We do not see a market for 1200 quality franchise locations. We see a market of 400 to 700 great sites in the U.S. We will not open substandard locations just to sell franchises.