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Females Flourish in Fitness Franchising

Females Flourish in Fitness Franchising

Jen Jones

People are often surprised to hear that around 65 percent of 9Round’s membership is female – but what really gets people talking is the fact that nearly half of its franchisees are women! Given that the national percentage of female business owners here in the United States is only 29 percent, 9Round is proud to attract such a high number of female entrepreneurs.

9Round Co-Founder and COO, Heather Hudson, sets a strong example for women who are looking to enter the decisively male-dominated world of fitness franchising, and was recently recognized by Enterprising Women magazine as one of their “Enterprising Women of the Year.” Before co-founding 9Round, Hudson worked at the karate school her husband, Shannon, owned at the time. In a whirl-wind, they fell in love, got married, and started a kickboxing fitness concept. They maxed out their one credit card, borrowed money from a friend and, “without a formal business plan, nor a ‘Plan B,’” according to Hudson, “we just had to make the idea work.” They knew it would be organic and hard work, so they put their blinders on and went for it, signing up 100 members in the first month.

In the nearly nine years since launching its franchise opportunity, 9Round has grown to nearly 500 locations throughout 40 states and nine countries. More than half of those clubs have opened in the last 24 months alone, including the company’s first locations in Australia, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. In addition to landing at number 121 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s prestigious Franchise 500 list, 9Round has also been named a Top 50 Franchise for Women by Franchise Business Review in 2017.


So, what makes 9Round such an attractive investment to aspiring female business owners?

Low Initial Investment, Low Maintenance, Low Overhead
Studies show that women-owned businesses are far less likely to have start-up capital equal to their male counterparts, and often times have a much harder time securing those funds. With a low cost of entry (you can open your doors for as little as $75,000) and a list of trusted lending partners, 9Round makes business ownership accessible to female entrepreneurs. Clubs have an average footprint of only 1,200 SF and no costly exercise equipment to maintain, making ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs much lower than the average gym. Additionally, most 9Round locations open with as few as two to four employees, keeping overhead low.

Support for Success
Aside from the significant financial investment that is usually required to start a brick and mortar, it takes a lot of time and external resources to open a business. Many female entrepreneurs are juggling their dream of owning a business with their dream of having a family. In fact, the desire to be their own boss and create more work-life balance is what drives many franchisees (male and female) to 9Round.

Franchising with 9Round is a turnkey solution. Not only are you getting the recognition of a global brand, but all of the support that comes with that. 9Round has a team of experts in the Home Office with more than 40 years of fitness and franchising experience. In addition to supporting you throughout the early stages – from negotiating your lease to the build-out of your space – you’re also provided ongoing professional training, marketing support, franchise coaching, and more. By offering unparalleled support every step of the way, 9Round sets you up to succeed.

Relationships = Revenue
Most women are natural builders and nurturers of relationships, as well as engaged members of the communities where they work and live. These qualities serve 9Round owners well, helping them attract and retain members, network with other area business owners, and gain exposure from local media sources. By promoting a sense of community and camaraderie inside their club, 9Round franchisees create a loyal and dedicated group of brand ambassadors who help grow the business organically. Building and maintaining relationships returns results in the form of memberships…relationships equal revenue.


9Round is empowering women every day to reach (and kick) for the stars, whether it’s achieving their fitness goals or realizing their dream of business ownership. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to start living your dreams, the time is now. Contact us to learn more about how 9Round can put you on the path to owning a successful business in a fun, fast-growing industry. Yours isn’t the only life you’ll be changing!