énergie Fitness Franchisee Rory O’Shaughnessy sat down with Matthew Toman on the Bankhouse Media Podcast to talk about how he started in franchising, the growth of his business, the benefits of the franchise model and much more.
The image featured above is one of Rory’s clubs in Citywest, Dublin.
Watch the video above or see the transcript of the podcast below.
I got involved in the Subway franchise, and I had no passion for it. I believe franchises are great for anybody with no experience in business, because there’s processes there, they have the product there.
I always believe the three Ps in business, people, process, and product. And franchises provided two of them. So if you’ve got attitude, you can make something of it.
But, I again, had no passion for food whatsoever. But I suppose that’s what led to my curiosity when I came back to Ireland and asked about the fitness franchise, kind of have an experience for it.
So for anybody that doesn’t know, just tell us what is a franchise?
To me, a franchise is helping people get into business.
They sell franchise agreements, and they sell systems and processes to enable that person to get into business. Very much me who had no experience going into Subway, they presented me like a bag of tools to say, “This is how you go about doing your business.”
So that’s the way I see it. If I was a master franchisor, my objective would be to get as many people into business as I can, to provide the systems, to provide the processes. So it’s enabling people to get into business.
Talk through, what was your next steps then?
I suppose, when I got involved with the franchise, it was one step at a time. You obviously have to dream, “Oh, I’m going to open 10 clubs.” But it was one step at a time. I realised I had no experience in the fitness industry. And I’d only moved back to Ireland.
I was home three months at this stage. So I was still trying to find my feet. I hadn’t even got a car. I hadn’t even got a laptop. So it was very much trying to set my foundation again. So it was a hundred mile an hour as soon as I got back.
But, lucky enough to get a club open and moved on to the next one fairly quick after that.
Yeah. So where are your locations, for anyone who’s based in Dublin?
My first club that opened was in Drimnagh, in Dublin 12. And second location is in Citywest, just on the outskirts of Tallaght. And the next location after that is out in Balbriggan, up towards Swords. And then we have two locations secure for 2021.
Brilliant. It’s cost-effective, do you know what I mean?
And it’s also like, even though you talk about having a franchise, your buildings are community let. Do you know? You feel like you’re in a family, with the classes. We fill them, some of the classes out there, I know your managers.
And it doesn’t feel like you’re walking into a McDonald’s. People think of franchises as impersonal, like yours definitely isn’t.
Yeah. All big brand…
Big commercial site. No. Look, for me, I always wanted to focus on opening up in communities. And I feel that the model is very community-based. As I said, we’re not a big retailer in the city centre. We’re very community-based. There’s a purpose to what we do. We want to get people fit and healthy.
You want to look after their wellbeing, you want to change their lives. And no better place to do that then in communities.
So I’m targeting areas that need these services. I’m targeting areas that there’s a demand for it. And hence, the next two locations are very similar.