Although the word "franchise" normally conjures up visions of burgers and fries, health-and-fitness-oriented businesses are actually forecast to be the fastest-growing franchises for this year, continuing their upward trend.
According to "2006 Fast 55," a ranking of the fastest growing franchises in the nation by Franchise Times, fitness is a hot property with several companies making it onto the list for the year.
Four fitness-specific companies made the list: Slim and Tone 30 Minute Workout for Women, No. 5; Cuts Fitness for Men, No. 15; ShapeXpress for Women, No. 16; and Anytime Fitness, No. 43.
Slim and Tone started franchising in August 2002 and had 75 franchises by 2004, experiencing a 3046 percent growth over that time. Cuts for Men had 64 franchises in a year's time (846 percent growth), ShapeXpress grew to 51 franchises in two years (832 percent growth), and Anytime Fitness was at 46 franchises after two years (436 percent growth). Â
While the companies that made the list are smaller, because they are relatively new, the Fast 55 franchisors together represent 3,517 franchised locations in 2004. And their projected growth includes another 2,597 locations by last year's end.
This is the third year Franchise Times, a magazine that covers the franchise community, has published the Fast 55. The list, compiled by FRANdata, a research company that analyzes information and data about franchising, concentrates on companies that have only been franchising in the last five years -- and growth rate has been off the charts. From hypnosis centers to noodle houses, a variety of industries are represented in the Fast 55, said Darrell Johnson, CEO of FRANdata. According to Johnson, franchise growth is coming from a wide range of franchises and industries.