The similarities between participating on a sports team and owning a Fit Body Boot Camp franchise are uncanny, making an investment in the fastest-growing fitness franchise a good play for anyone with athletic team experience.
Barrett Henson, a former college football player, is putting his gridiron experience to good use at his Fit Body Boot Camp gym in the Detroit suburb of Berkley.
For three years, Barrett played safety for the Albion College Britons. He would have played a fourth year, but shoulder and back surgeries sidelined him his senior year. However, he remained part of the team, attending games and practices.
“It was challenging mentally because I played while growing up, and my senior year in college came along and I was not able to physically play,” he said.
He loved the community aspect of being part of a team – the camaraderie, accountability and achieving goals together. This would one day be an integral part of his Fit Body Boot Camp franchise ownership experience.
“When you get around a group of people who work together and depend on you at your position, you realize the responsibility you have,” Barrett said. “It makes or breaks every play and every set of downs. You have 10 other people in your plan who are counting on you to execute on your assignment. It’s pretty special when you put it all together.”
Moving the Ball Downfield Toward Business Ownership
Barrett graduated with degrees in business and communications. For eight years, he worked as a consultant for utility contractors. That experience also proved useful for owning a Fit Body Boot Camp franchise.
“I had to understand how to ensure profitability, manage costs and revenue, and various other things,” he said. “It helped build a very strong foundation for me to become a franchise owner.”
At the same time, Barrett took note of his brother Bryce’s achievements as a Fit Body Boot Camp franchisee, who owns gyms in California and Michigan. In 2014, he encouraged Barrett to explore the franchise opportunity because the fitness concept matched well with his persona and experience. Bryce became Fit Body Boot Camp’s Vice President of Business Development in 2018.
Barrett opened his Fit Body Boot Camp gym in Berkley, Mich., in 2015. His gym boasts more than 400 clients and an exceptionally high client retention rate.
“If you can keep clients in your gym and keep them engaged, then you’re doing it right,” he said. “Our coaches are extremely committed to that and making an impact on every client’s life. That is what I’m most proud of.”
Accountability Matters to Your Team and Fans
Barrett’s football coaches expected every player to work hard and hold themselves and each other accountable to achieve wins. That included early morning runs, workouts, training and practices. You had to assume that everyone was depending on you – coaches, teammates and fans. That’s team mentality, Barrett said.
It’s the same situation owning a small business. Barrett expects his employees to be committed to giving 100 percent of themselves when working with clients. Conversely, Barrett’s employees expect a lot from him, too.
“The team mentality has trickled down to everyone in our organization,” he said. “That comes directly from my experience on the football field. They make sure they do their part, so you’ve got to make sure you do your part.”
Clients are like fans. They depend on Fit Body Boot Camp franchisees and their teams to make them feel like winners by helping them achieve their fitness goals. The community aspect of Fit Body Boot Camp also makes clients feel like they’re part of a team working together during workout sessions.
“As a franchise owner, you help them be part of something bigger than themselves,” Barrett said. “You have the opportunity to share your experience with them. You get to be that fire in someone’s belly when they come in to work out.”
There’s a Team Out There for You
Because this culture exists in every kind of team – football, baseball, basketball, etc. – owning a Fit Body Boot Camp franchise is a viable option for the right person who has ever played a team sport. Although most young athletes don’t make it to the professional level, Barrett said they have the skills to excel in business ownership.
“You can be a pro at something else. For me, it took about eight years to figure out that it would be a career in health and wellness as a business owner,” he said. “And, I love it.”