Philip Jacobs has spent his life cultivating and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit. He graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in business and was also a four year Varsity Lacrosse player for the Buckeyes.
Never one to turn down a challenge, he began his business career in freight forwarding, residing in Cairo, Egypt for three years. On returning to the United States, he spent ten years as a retail stockbroker in La Jolla, CA.
Jacobs has spent the last fifteen years in Franchise Development, consulting with top-level clients, such as Mail Boxes Etc. (now UPS Store), Coldwell Banker, Sir Speedy, Nestle Toll House Café, Re-Bath, LA Boxing and now UFC GYM.
BeTheBoss: Tell us about the UFC GYM the concept.
Phillip Jacobs: The UFC is one of the dominant brands in the sports world and in the health, wellness and fitness industry. We are franchising small and medium size fitness centers with a martial arts focus catering to suburban families and people of all ages and fitness levels. TRAIN DIFFERENT! GET FIT, NOT HIT!
BTB: How and when did you become involved with UFC GYM Franchise?
PJ: UFC purchased my former company LA Boxing in January 2013, where I was VP Franchise Development since 2010.
BTB: What was your background prior to joining UFC GYM?
I have been in Franchise Development for almost 20 years after a brief career on Wall Street. I helped build UPS Store, Coldwell Banker, Sir Speedy and other franchise networks.
BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a UFC GYM franchisee?
(a) We teach owners how to profitably manage a business without any gym experience being necessary
(b) we give new owners easy access to scores of other current owners with operating experience to help with advice and counsel
(c) we are always analyzing and evaluating best business practices - whether it be marketing, staffing, fitness coaching etc…and share them with owners. This allows owners to focus entirely on franchise operations without distractions.
BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?
PJ: Someone wanting to get into the fitness business, has management experience; lives a relatively healthy lifestyle, belongs to a gym now and has the financial strength to launch a small business.
BTB: Tell us a little about the Health, Wellness and Fitness Market?
PJ: It was one of the few industries that grew during the recent recession; worldwide 2013 revenues exceeded $57 billion; Canadian revenues were almost $3b, with 6200 clubs and 6 million members.
BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
PJ: The global reach of the UFC brand has been powerful enough to get us off to a fast development start in many ways, but member retention is still the key to long term success. We must continue to deliver results to members in innovative and exciting ways.
BTB: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
PJ: Inspiration comes directly from my family and friends; I’ve been lucky enough to have had several mentors but there are two that affected me the most; one was the most successful stockbroker for almost two decades at Merrill Lynch who taught me about outworking the competition and another marketing person who taught me the key ingredients to a successful sales career.
BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
PJ:You must have a passion for the business, first and foremost. Only then should you peel back the onion to study the unit economics and personally evaluate the franchisor’s Executive Team.
BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that UFC GYM would be a great opportunity for someone?
PJ: We are in the right industry at the right time with the right brand combined with the right business model if the expected results are in line with someone’s personal and/or business goals.