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Recession Could Be Best Time for Executives to Own a Franchise

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CKO Kickboxing Is a Leading Fitness Franchise Opportunity

HOBOKEN, N.J., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — One positive outcome of the Great Recession might be that there has never been a better time to follow your dreams and start a new business.

As senior executives leave their jobs with golden parachutes or receive big buyout offers, business leaders can use their considerable leadership and management skills to start their own businesses.

Buying a franchise offers new entrepreneurs several advantages, says Joe Andreula, Founder of CKO Kickboxing, one of America’s hottest franchises according to industry standard Entrepreneur Magazine, which included the sports fitness franchise in its Franchise 500 list of best franchises – an unheard of feat for a franchise that is less than five years old. The magazine also rated CKO Kickboxing, ( as the 48th hottest new franchise in 2011.

“When you buy a franchise you are buying a proven system. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” he said. “Buying into that proven formula means executives who always dreamed of being their own boss can tilt the odds in their favor.”

Franchises also help provide executives with the industry know-how, training and support they need to enter a field that they’ve dreamed about but don’t know anything about.

“Many people dream of owning their own fitness center but they don’t know the first thing about personal training, or kickboxing, or health, but they know they have a passion to run this kind of business. We can help supplement their business know-how with the industry-specific knowledge that we can provide,” he said.

“I think it was the moment when my first class ended that I knew I wanted to own a CKO Kickboxing franchise. At that time I was in the midst of a very successful Wall Street career, but I felt empty. I wanted to do something that I loved everyday and CKO Kickboxing was that something. My wife tried a class and after her first time, she was hooked on my idea of owning the gym,” said Joe Virga, who owns the franchise in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY.

“We could have never done it without the constant support of the CKO staff. They were readily available to us at any time needed. The CKO Franchise team continues to support us and I am forever grateful to them for their help in developing our business. Since we opened our gym, 3 of our friends have decided to open their very own CKO Kickboxing franchise. I have nothing but praise for Joe Andreula and his family. This is more than a business. It is a family,” Virga said.

“We’ve taken group exercise out of the big box gyms and created a branded, standalone kickboxing model,” Andreula said. This creates a non-threatening atmosphere and a very social environment. Members become engaged in our program and it’s so obvious when you read their communications on Facebook. If you really want to know how good we are, you need to see how many members are referred by friends and family. Once a location opens, the organic growth is impressive.”

CKO’s membership-based financial model is driven by recurring income. This business model has the ability to create consistent revenue streams.

CKO supports new franchise owners in many ways, including:

  • Brand Recognition – CKO appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine, Fox Business News, NBC Today Show.
  • Low Overhead – Location size determined by your market needs.
  • Two-Part Training – Business training and fitness instructor training.
  • Equipment – Top-of-the-line equipment vendors, with national pricing.
  • Profit Centers – Membership, personal training and retail product line.
  • Marketing Support – Grand opening media blitz and monthly advertising campaigns.
  • Software – Web-based management system.
  • Site Selection – Assistance with lease negotiations, term and concessions.
  • Protected Territories – Area developments awarded in qualified markets/candidates.
  • Ongoing Support – We are involved throughout your development.

“We’re looking for franchise owners who love helping people through fitness, can execute a game plan and who are results-oriented. We’re looking for a person who has the motivation to excel! You must have a minimum of $50k in liquid capital,” he said.

There are 23 locations in the New York/New Jersey area, and now the company is planning to expand these fitness group class franchises nationwide. Andreula is looking for quick expansion – but not at any cost.

“Before we choose a location, we choose a key person who we know can shine. Our franchisees must be passionate, inspirational and want to help others,” he said.

For more information about franchising, go to

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