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Community, fitness and family at the heart of BFT Croydon


Chris Pook, a dedicated family man with a passion for fitness and a rich background in entrepreneurship, epitomises what it means to be a part of the Body Fit Training (BFT) franchise network. His choice of BFT over other fitness franchises was driven by a desire not just for a business but for a legacy; one that blends his love for fitness with proven systems and the ambition to grow a network of fitness studios. Married with three young boys and one daughter, Chris's vision for BFT Croydon is not just about building a profitable enterprise but creating a community cornerstone that encourages fitness and wellbeing - while offering the perfect work-life balance for his family-centred lifestyle.

"With more than 10 years of experience in the franchising industry, I found myself seeking a fresh challenge, something that truly spoke to my passions. The idea of blending my enthusiasm for fitness with my deep appreciation for franchising sparked a sense of excitement in me, leading me to BFT. The BFT tagline Different. Better. truly struck a chord with me. I wasn't looking for just another gym focused on volume over value. My goal was to create a space where community and connection are at the forefront - a place that feels like a second home to its members. Choosing to locate my first studio in the Croydon area wasn't just a business decision... it was a personal one. That’s where I was born and I look forward to the positive impact it can have on my community.”

With 62,000+ members and more than 300+ studios open worldwide, BFT is an internationally recognised fitness brand that offers a community-based 50-minute functional training and strength-based programme across 14 workouts. We use science and technology-based training techniques to drive individual member health goals in an inclusive, coach-led group environment.

“Having run my own food catering franchise for over a decade, I’ve built up an in-depth understanding of franchising. I thought I’d experienced good franchisor-franchisee relationships in the past but BFT is on another level - they’ve been brilliant. I flew to Australia to do my franchise training and meeting all the head office team was great. It’s easy to see why the brand has built up over 300 studios - the passion and enthusiasm for the business is infectious.”

Joining BFT as a franchisee introduces you to a unique and supportive journey toward business ownership. We ensure that all new franchisees like Chris can get started on the front foot, providing comprehensive training in Melbourne, Australia. This initiative means that every franchisee is well-equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to launch their studio successfully. Beyond the initial training, we extend our support by assigning a Regional Franchise Manager (RFM) to each franchisee. This dedicated guide assists in navigating the complex steps of opening a studio, from the initial setup to the grand opening. The RFM's role is pivotal in translating our proven business model into individual success stories, making the transition into the BFT family not just welcoming but strategically advantageous.

“My skillset has always been more suited to running my own business. I like surrounding myself with a good team, but ultimately the last decision is mine. Franchising is the perfect balance for me; you’re not starting from scratch. It’s a proven model and you have that support from head office, but you still have to put the work in to get results and that gives me great job satisfaction.

“I used to work in the tech industry, but when I was made redundant, I wanted to do something for myself, and I started looking into franchising. I’ve run a food franchise for 11 years now, and whilst I’ve enjoyed that and it remains a successful business, my passion is fitness. That’s ultimately what led me to BFT - I knew it was time to look for a new challenge. The fact that BFT is fairly new to the UK market is actually one of the main reasons the brand appealed to me. I'm confident in the model's success, evidenced by its over 300 studios globally, but the scope for expansion in the UK is an exciting opportunity for me. I have plans to open multiple studios; ideally, I’ll open a new studio every 12-15 months. I’m not setting myself any limits at the moment; Croydon is the beginning, but I’ll build from there.” 

If, like Chris, you have a passion for fitness, there is a compelling financial model due to low start-up costs compared to other similar concepts. There are also high margins per member and lower operating costs, resulting in early break-even and an attractive return on investment - currently at 18 months. Based on established studios, the ongoing profit per year is significant, and as Chris stated with his ambitious plans, multi-units are also available. Franchisees will need a minimum investment of £80,000 and the balance can be funded.

“My work-life balance is important to me. When I’m at work, I work hard and that’s my focus but once I’m done, I’m not checking emails and my phone is off. BFT gives me the flexibility that I need. I’ve got four children, including twins who will be one in May. It’s a busy household, to say the least! If I’m looking far into the future, I’d like to see my children involved with the business as well. I’ll be encouraging all my children to get outdoors and to stay active. I think it’s so important. If we can make BFT a family venture, that would be amazing.

“For anyone considering a BFT franchise, I wholeheartedly encourage you to pursue it. With over a decade of experience in the franchising sector, I've gained a deep understanding of what makes a franchise opportunity stand out. BFT has truly impressed me. I suggest attending a session or speaking with the franchise team. You'll quickly see the qualities that set BFT apart. It's a decision you won't regret.”

Interested and want to know more about Body Fit Training (BFT)?

The Body Fit Training (BFT) profile outlines all aspects of their franchise opportunity and allows you to contact them for further information or to ask a question.

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