Husband and wife team Glyn and Nathalie Stephens opened their first énergie Fitness franchise club in May this year, in Deeside, North Wales. We spoke to Glyn about how it’s going so far.
What was your career background before you became an énergie franchisee?
I was in marketing and Nathalie’s a law graduate.
We got married in 2018 and both wanted to get into shape for the big day. We’d both done a variety of sports since we were young but I, in particular, became quite accustomed to going to the gym from that point.
We came up with the idea of becoming an énergie franchisee because we realised there might be a gap in my home area for a state-of-the-art, affordable fitness club. Fitness is booming, and it’s showing no signs of stopping, so we thought it’d be a great industry to get into.
Where did you hear about énergie franchises?
We did some research online and were impressed straight away with énergie’s visual branding, and well-informed website material. That sparked our interest in the company. Then we went to a discovery day and we’ve never looked back. We were made to feel so welcome. We also loved énergie’s unique positioning within the market, representing the low-cost, high-service sector.
Why did you want to open your own business?
We just couldn’t see ourselves working 9-5 jobs for the rest of our lives. I’ve always had a burning passion to start my own business. But, since having our young daughter, it’s pushed us to turn the dream into a reality.
Why did you choose your location?
I grew up in North Wales and know the area really well. We felt that in Deeside there was a gap in the market for a competitively-priced, accessible, state-of-the-art gym that offers superior customer service.
How do you and your wife, Nathalie, split the responsibilities?
We share the ‘Club Manager’ role. We both do a little of bit everything but we know our individual strengths and luckily it works really well.
How are you finding this kind of business in terms of family life?
Having a three-year old and living 45 minutes away from the site is challenging, but we wouldn’t change a thing. We’re absolutely loving it, and have managed to find a great work/life balance. We’re working hard to make it a success for our family.
How did you find the process and support from énergie as a new franchisee?
It’s been fantastic. From day one énergie has been there to help us, which is why we opted for a franchise.
From the initial induction, to the training journey, and the property team, everyone’s been great. We feel we can pick up the phone and speak to someone at head office at any time, and this close relationship is invaluable.
What successes have you had so far?
We only opened six months ago, but I’d say one of our biggest successes has been building our team. Everyone’s doing an amazing job. The team members epitomise the true meaning of the énergie brand – delivering sensational customer service.
Other big wins include opening with 1,100+ memberships and amassing 2,000+ followers on Instagram and Facebook. We’ve also received over 100 five-star reviews on Facebook.
What words of wisdom would you give to a franchisee who was starting out?
Team is everything. Your staff, and creating a family-type atmosphere, makes the difference. So recruitment is key.
Do you think you’d open more énergie clubs in the future?
Absolutely, we would love to. That’s our goal! We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to open an énergie franchise.
What does it mean to be part of the énergie family?
You never feel like you’re on your own. Being part of the network with other franchisees means we can to exchange and share ideas with one another. And head office has your back every step of the way.