In this exclusive Q&A, we learn about the TruFusion franchise opportunity from the company’s co-founder and CEO, Mike Borden.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Tell us more about the TruFusion concept.
Mike Borden (MB): The boutique fitness segment has grown increasingly over the past decade. TruFusion has cultivated an all-encompassing fitness experience that has disrupted the industry nationwide. Our brand has earned its reputation for an unparalleled wellness experience with the largest variety of classes, teacher training and workshops. We proudly offer various types of group yoga, Pilates, kettlebell, cycling, barre, bootcamp, boxing and more, all under one roof for one price.
Our innovative approach to group fitness has differentiated us from other boutique concepts and revolutionized the member experience. Our members are at the forefront of every decision we make so that we may cater to each of their individual fitness levels and needs.
With an emphasis on community, variety and hospitality, TruFusion offers up to 240 classes per week, in over 65 different styles. Each of our locations highlights state-of-the-art amenities, including spa-like locker rooms with complimentary products, a retail boutique with the latest fitness and athleisure trends and food and beverage offerings.
FC: When and how was TruFusion founded?
MB: TruFusion was founded upon two individuals “fusing” together to create what has now become a leading franchise fitness concept. The first Las Vegas studio opened in 2013 by myself and my business partner, Martin Hinton, Chief Soul Officer at TruFusion. The founding history of our brand begins years ahead of our first opening.
Martin is a lifelong fitness enthusiast and athlete, who created and built a successful gym while living in Hawaii for many years. Through this endeavor, Martin created an unconventional approach to fitness, fusing elements of intense workouts with yoga and heat, which at the time was unheard of. His unique program introduced the people of Hawaii to a concept they had not experienced and increasingly gained popularity. Martin relocated to Las Vegas in 2008 and brought with him his unique style, which he incorporated into his classes at a popular local yoga studio.
I met Martin when I was in my early 30s and had retired from Switch, a prominent and publicly traded data-security firm I co-founded. As a retiree, I had the opportunity to regularly attend Martin’s classes and quickly became a fan of his style. Together, we joined forces with Martin’s fitness expertise and my business acumen to create the TruFusion concept.
After opening the first TruFusion in 2013, we quickly acquired a large member base in Las Vegas. By 2015, the increased interest and demand for the concept fueled the decision to launch a franchise program to help us meet the demand and support our greater growth goals. The first franchise studio opened in 2016, which garnered the attention of members, rock star trainers and high-profile celebrities, including Russell Wilson and MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez quickly became an advocate for the brand and committed to our growth by becoming an equity partner, board member and franchisee in 2017.
FC: What are the brand’s development plans for the future?
MB: 2019 marked a year of significant growth for us. We’re continuing our expansion throughout 2020 with more openings in additional key markets including Denver, Colorado; West Hollywood and San Francisco, California; Houston and San Antonio, Texas; and Ballard, Washington. We’re preparing to celebrate the grand reopening of our Coral Gables location in Florida, which will serve as the launching point of our accelerated development efforts across the state.
The Coral Gables location was acquired in 2018 by myself and Alex Rodriguez, who also serves as our area representative in Florida and has been integral to our ongoing growth. Together, we will target key markets for our Florida development in West Palm Beach, Tampa and Orlando, among others, with a goal to open 20 new locations in Florida over the next eight years.
To further fuel our growth and meet the demand of consumers nationwide, we’re currently seeking qualified candidates to join us. We have franchise opportunities available in markets throughout the U.S. including Chicago, the greater New York metro area, Nashville, Raleigh, Washington D.C. and Boston, among others.
FC: What sets TruFusion apart from other concepts in its category?
MB: Keeping up with the latest research has always been at the forefront of our business to ensure we remain relevant and provide our members with a premier experience. The industry as a whole is rapidly growing, especially as consumers consistently look for more community and authenticity in their gym experience.
At TruFusion, we pride ourselves on our innovative approach to targeting this market. We consider this to be one of our true brand differentiators as we continue to enhance our product by staying up-to-date on the latest fitness trends. With 46% of millennials participating in group fitness, our studios are designed to offer a unique and versatile option with a strong sense of community and an affordable price point – all of which strongly resonate with the vital millennial demographic.
Beyond catering to consumer needs and delivering results, our proven business model and comprehensive training has fueled the success of our franchise development. We provide franchisees with unparalleled support throughout all stages of studio development, training, opening and operation. Our executive team, alongside existing franchisees, have paved the way for new owners to seamlessly go through the onboarding process with hands-on assistance.
TruFusion provides the tools at every level, from pre-opening marketing and online training to ongoing support that ensures the business operates successfully.
FC: What do you look for in your ideal franchise candidate?
MB: Our franchisees come from various backgrounds but share qualities that have made them strong developers and operators. The ideal franchise candidate has a passion for health and wellness, is equipped with the ability to motivate a team and has prior management experience. While previous fitness experience is a plus, it’s not required. We provide support at every step along the way to help ensure that our franchisees have the tools needed to develop and operate a TruFusion studio.
Interested candidates should have a minimum net worth of $1.5M+ and liquid assets of at least $500,000. Candidates can expect a $65,000 initial franchise fee, in exchange for the complete turn-key support provided to each franchisee to find, develop and operate a TruFusion.
FC: How can readers learn more about franchising with TruFusion?
MB: For more information about franchising opportunities with TruFusion, visit www.trufusionfranchise.com.