Established in 2011, Busylizzy is a boutique fitness club for parents. We are on a mission to make fitness ‘fun’ for mums and their little ones. We are dedicated to giving our members the best possible maternity leave experience with our professional classes – pregnancy fitness, postnatal fitness and baby classes – personal service and awesome flexibility. Our clubs provide a supportive environment for members embarking on their first steps into motherhood
As a management franchise, owners do no teach the classes but instead manage/motivate a team of instructors to deliver the Busylizzy experience in pop up venues across their territory. Time is spent managing the team, networking and marketing with local family friendly businesses and building a steady, reliable monthly income stream from membership subscription. All systems are web based – giving franchise owners the ability to run their business flexibly from home.
There are currently twenty Busylizzy clubs in the U.K and over one hundred territories available. Full training is provided and funding opportunities are available to suitable candidates
You will access to the comprehensive Busylizzy online training portal where you work through a series of 15 online training sessions. Each session is followed up with a net/skype meeting with a member of the Busylizzy team to discuss its impact within your business. You also receive a full-day financial training course designed to ensure you are equipped with the financial know-how to successfully run your business. With training complete, we then hold your hand and guide you through setting up your club. Practical help and advice is always available from our head office team including social media, operations and design support.
We also have a state-of-the-art online operations portal with videos, how-to’s, tips, guides…in fact, everything you’ll ever need at your fingertips!
As a management franchise, running a Busylizzy club involves managing your instructor team, admin team, liaising with venues and engaging with your members to ensure they are enjoying their club experience. You do not teach the classes – you manage your club from home and spend the day meeting like-minded families whilst promoting your business and growing your membership base. You will need to be an outgoing self-starter and be comfortable initiating conversations with parents and selling memberships.
Mum of two Jen Hibberd (37) purchased her Busylizzy Family Club franchise in December 2016. The franchise was a resale due to family relocation. It had been trading for 5 months.
A self-confessed fitness- fanatic and mum to two young boys Daniel (6) and Arthur (2), Jen was a member of the Horsham branch when she found out it was for sale and eventually went on to buy the business.
Jen explains, “Before buying Busylizzy Horsham I was an associate director of a PR firm in London. In 2014 we moved as a family to Horsham. One day I saw a social media post about Busylizzy classes being held in my local leisure centre and signed up straight away. I love my exercise and was thrilled I’d found a class I could take Arthur with me to, it was also a nice way to meet new people.”
When Jen discovered the franchise was up for sale she knew she was interested and set about doing her research, “Having been a Busylizzy member I thought the concept was absolutely brilliant; a completely new, fresh approach to the traditional parent and baby classes. I liked the range of classes available, the professionalism of the brand and the flexibility it offered to its members. From a work point of view I was very attracted by the possibility of being able to work hours that suited me.”
With her corporate background, Jen was sure to do plenty of research into the business before making any commitment. She explains the process she went through, from expressing an initial interest to making that final purchase.
“I spent a lot of time asking questions of the existing franchisees, which Busylizzy HQ encouraged me to do. Then I went along to one of the prospective franchisee “Explorer Mornings” which gives a lot more background and context. The next step was to complete a business plan for how I would run the business. This ensured I looked at every element of the set-up, from my instructor team to venue choice and costs, marketing plans and target figures for the next 12 months. It was A LOT of work - but I figured that if you were still excited by the time you’d done that, then the chances were you’re pretty serious about making it work!”
One of the key USPs of franchising is the support you receive from your franchisor, Jen explains what this means to her, “One of the best things about being a Busylizzy franchise owner is the incredible support I receive from HQ. Not only do we have a fabulous, all singing and dancing website (that I don’t have to update!) and professional photography and design service (so we always have really impressive, eye-catching marketing material), we also have monthly business update calls with Martin and Julie and regular marketing support sessions. They are always on the end of the phone when I need them, which makes a huge difference to someone like me, who was starting out running my own business for the first time. It was so reassuring knowing they were there and even today, 14 months later, I’m still learning from them all the time.”
Unlike any other business model, franchising also comes with a ready-made support system of people who have all ‘been there and done that’ but who aren’t in competition with you.
“I cannot emphasise enough how important the other franchise owners are to me. Not only is the camaraderie great but we also have a Facebook group where we swap ‘best practice’ ideas and generally support each other through the rigours of owning our own businesses. If I don’t know the answer, I know that one of them will. It is also really useful being able to benchmark your own performance against everyone else’s.”
Now Jen’s business is well-established with a large and ever-growing membership list, she says she still works hard but equally can choose her own working hours to fit around the boys.
We asked Jen what attributes she thought a new Busylizzy franchise owner would need, she said, “I absolutely love owning my own Busylizzy franchise and would recommend it to anyone who has high levels of organisation and an ability to get on with people and form good relationships. It is a very sociable job, getting out and about to see members and instructors but you also need to be very disciplined in the running of the business itself, knowing that the harder you work, the bigger the rewards will be.”