IT MAY have taken him 15 years, but Gold Coast personal trainer Scott Hunt has finally made the leap to expand his business nationally by securing the first franchise for his business,  Fitness Enhancement.

The Nerang-based Hunt, a 2013 finalist in the Gold Coast Business News Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, has extended his footprint to Narre Warren in Melbourne’s south east where he has signed personal trainer Matthew Eddy as his first franchisee.

Hunt says the signing has come just months after launching a national campaign which has drawn inquiries from as far as Adelaide and Perth.

“It’s been really exciting,” says Hunt who has been working towards a franchising model for some time.
Hunt has been a personal trainer for 15 years, starting in 1999 with just $400 in his pocket.

He now manages 24 personal trainers under the Fitness Enhancement brand which he says makes him among the top three personal training firms in Australia.

“I spent a decade refining our business model and workouts across 20,000 sessions that I personally took, and hundreds of thousands of sessions that our staff took, to ensure that when we did expand beyond the Gold Coast, we were as tried and proven as possible,” he says.

The business currently extends across the Gold Coast and Brisbane, which are areas that Hunt says are still ripe for franchise growth, although he is currently focusing on Sydney and Melbourne.

Melbourne franchisee Eddy has taken a significant leap into business through the Fitness Enhancement deal.

Eddy has been a full-time roofer for 13 years and operated as a personal trainer on a part-time basis.

“A Fitness Enhancement franchise was the perfect fit for me,” says Eddy, a semi-professional sprinter who was a six-time Stawell Gift semi-finalist and the 2012 Maryborough Gift winner.

“It was a low cost compared to most franchises, but with plenty of growth opportunities to take on staff, have studios and have multiple territories.

“I’d been looking around for a couple of years at how I could build my personal training business from just a hobby business to a full-time career.

“Fitness Enhancement also was one of the very few fitness franchises focused on changing every client’s life, as opposed to just selling memberships and not knowing your customers.”

Hunt says many personal trainers looking to start their own business often gravitate to 24-hour gyms, but he says the high entry cost makes that route prohibitive for most.

He says Fitness Enhancement has grown its business by shunning the gym culture.

“Gyms are great value for fit people who love exercise, however they don’t cater to the millions of Australian’s who feel too embarrassed to go to a gym due to their size, age, injuries, confidence or a variety of other factors,” Hunt says.

“With us, clients achieve their goals in the privacy of their own home, or one of our 100 per cent private studios, and avoid the dreaded gym scene.

“We’ve helped so many Queenslanders get amazing results that wouldn’t have ever gone to a gym, and we are excited to now be able to have Mathew Eddy as a franchisee to help Melbourne just as much.”

Hunt says he has been encouraged by the level of inquiry he has generated across the country just months after launching his franchising strategy.

“We have a number of deals in the pipeline at various stages of progress,” he says.

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