After just 12 months in franchising, Sydney-based fitness chain Mission Possible may not be a household name, but the brand already has eyes on nationwide representation.
The cross-format fitness concept pairs traditional boot camp and functional fitness with both mat and reformer Pilates, tackling two of the industry’s strongest markets simultaneously. It’s a model that has served Mission Possible’s Baulkham Hills headquarters well for the past few years, prompting director Simon Bryce to get the franchise model out \.
“We knew we wanted to expand and after taking the time to assess our options, franchising was the best choice,” he told Inside Franchise Business.
“It’s a viable way to grow, but it’s also far easier to manage. There’s only so many managers that you can manage, and in the end, that model creates more work. Managers don’t have the same accountability for the business, we want someone who has skin in the game.”
While only new to the sector, Bryce believes the Mission Possible formula has the bones to make a big impact on the national fitness market.
“The point of difference that makes us stand out is that most Pilates studios don’t have any other form of exercise on offer,” he said.
“If you look at it from the other way around, 99 per cent of personal training studios don’t have a Pilates offering. We’ve created a system that manages to cater to both, which has traditionally only been achievable by large scale operations, which is impersonal and goes against what we’re about.”
The Mission Possible model
With an even focus on personal training and Pilates formats, Mission Possible aims to cast a wide net, but it’s through specialisation that the chain is developing true inroads.
The business operates on a small studio format, meaning all classes are highly concentrated.
“Our classes have no more than six participants, so it’s a really premium product. We’re also very culture focused, obviously, myself and my sister started the business, so that family culture is really important to us,” he said.
To ensure that incoming franchisees understand that culture, all new partners will spend 12 weeks with the training team, followed by in-store mentorship at the Baulkham Hills studio.
While it’s been a slow and steady approach so far, interest is steadily growing. Bryce revealed that the chain has already sold one franchise in Dural, which is far exceeding initial expectations.
“We’ve already sold one, not far from us in Dural and that site is doing extremely well. It’s great for us in terms of proving that the system works,” he said.
With that proof in hand, the Mission Possible director is now looking to ramp up expansion, unveiling a nationwide growth strategy.
“The goal is to open five franchised studios this year, with an overarching target of 60 within five years. We’re looking to grow at about 50 per cent capacity each year, opening five this year, eight the next, 12 the year after and so on,” he said.
“It will be a nationwide opportunity as we grow, but we’re definitely targeting New South Wales right now. Sydney is a big focus for us, we’d like to stay nice and local for the time being, in particular North-West Sydney. We know the area and we have an understanding of what offering the local clientele needs. It’s also in reach and affordable.”
In addition to the owner/operator format, Mission Possible is also offering a silent investor format, where head office will manage the business at a paid rate.