Businessmen diverse into fitness sector with 9Round

A fitness session helped Shakeel Jivraj decide to invest in the 9Round Fitness Franchise Opportunity.

Shakeel, his father Shafiq and brother Zahed are experienced, successful franchisees, having grown their family-owned pizza delivery franchise to 23 outlets in 13 years. Shakeel says: “We wanted to diversify our family business into the fitness sector because we are passionate about it – Zahed is a qualified personal trainer and I like working out.”

Figures from 2018 showed that the number of UK gyms was growing – and the trend is for smaller studios specialising in high intensity interval training (HIIT) and boxing-based fitness. Shakeel says: “As 9Round offers kick-box-based 30-minute full-body HIIT workouts, we considered it a good potential investment.”

The family did a trial workout at a 9Round club before investing. “We were impressed by the on-site trainer and manager. Head office supplies new workout routines to trainers daily, so we could see the attraction for gym users,” says Shakeel.

The family also liked the fact that it’s possible to open three sites for the price of opening one traditional gym (around £250,000). Breakeven is typically within three to four months and you can see a full ROI within two years. Finding sites is easier because at 1,000 to 1,500 sq ft, 9Round gyms are smaller than traditional gyms. 9Round is part of a US-based gym group Lift Brands, which operates multiple gym brands over 2,000 sites worldwide.

“We also found the 9Round UK leadership team very knowledgeable about the fitness industry and keen to help us get started,” Shakeel says.

The family have invested in three 9Round gyms in the London area. “The first opens in February 2020 and we are expecting a two-year payback on each site,” says Shakeel.

“We already have the skills to run a multi-site operation, an established back office and managers with people skills who can move between brands if required.”

Matt Fowler, from the 9Round UK master franchise team, says: “9Round offers premium franchise opportunities for those who are actively involved in business investments, or simply have big business ideas. With the right investment ideas, and the right team working with you, we will do everything possible to ensure success.”