Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness: Nicola O’Brien

The Denby Dale, Kirkburton and Almondbury franchisee talks about her experience of the diet and fitness club franchise

Name: Nicola O’Brien
Age: 32
Company: Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness
Staff numbers: 1
Location: Huddersfield
Date launched: 07/01/2013
Website: www.rosemaryconley.com

Tell us what the franchise brand does:

It is a diet and fitness club to help people lose weight and get fit.

What’s the business model?

There is a membership payable when people join which is currently £10, however at different times of the year we do run promotional free membership. The class fee is £5.95 and there are two payment options. Some members prefer to pay on a class-by-class basis and we also offer a premier club, where members pay by direct debit, for this they would get benefits i.e. a free magazine, extra exercise classes etc. We also sell Rosemary Conley products in class, these are very popular especially the Solo Slim Food range.

Why did you decide it was the right franchise for you?

I joined the classes as a member and lost just over 2.5 stone and totally believe in the product.

How popular is the franchise already and how long has it existed?

The Rosemary Conley brand is extremely popular. My particular franchise is only three weeks old, but numbers are building up slowly. A lot of people have been to classes before but as there haven’t been any in the area for a while I need to recapture their interest.

What were you doing before buying the franchise?

I worked as trainee safety officer at Leeds United FC.

Why did franchising appeal to you?

After losing weight through doing the classes myself, I knew this was what I wanted to do as a career. I believe in the product, and the fact of combining diet with safe and effective exercise.

How much did it cost and how did you arrange the finance?

It cost £26,000 and I took out a loan to purchase the franchise.

What challenges do you have in establishing the franchise in your region?

Trying to get people made aware of the classes. A lot of advertising and leafleting is needed to raise awareness. Also the weather doesn’t help when we have heavy snow fall.

What advice would you give to others looking at franchising?

Make sure you totally believe in what you are doing and ensure you research thoroughly before buying into it. If you’re doing it for an easy life or thinking it’s a quick fix to making money, think again, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance, especially in the first couple of years.

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