Pickleball startup or pickleball franchise?

It is very early days for pickleball clubs. The good ones so far have been launched by talented entrepreneurs who have proven out the model. Until very recently there have been no franchises available. That will soon change. Several companies are selling franchises, but there is no track record of successful franchisees yet.

If you want to own a pickleball club, you really have two choices, startup or buy franchise. Which is the right path for you? Consider the pluses and minuses

Launching a pickleball business from scratch

  • You will have total freedom to present your own personal vision
  • Financially you will operate without paying franchise fees
  • You will avoid a significant “buy-in” cost
  • You will control every aspect of the business including pricing, marketing and programming.
  • You are free to change directions based on trial and error

On the other hand…

  • There is so proven blueprint to follow
  • The learning curve can be steeper
  • There are no colleagues to compare notes with

Buying a pickleball franchise

  • No search process for suppliers and technology
  • Design and construction plans are provided
  • You are able to view financials of like businesses
  • Marketing, pricing and branding elements are provided
  • When you decide to exit, other franchisees are good potential buyers

On the other hand…

  • You need to choose your franchisor very carefully, there is virtually no track record for the ones available today.
  • Potential profit is impacted by royalty and other fees
  • You may have operating restrictions (for brand consistency) that you don’t like
  • You may not have freedom to switch gears on the business should conditions change in your market.

We have experience helping entrepreneurs evaluate both of these paths. If you would like to discuss your vision for a startup, or need help evaluating franchise opportunities, we can help.

Pickleball Business Advisors is brothers Bill and John Pryor.  We provide a variety of consulting services based on extensive experience in fitness business development, and research into the fast growing pickleball marketplace.  To initiate a feasibility assessment for your pickleball club, or for other consulting, contact us so we can learn about your project.

Author: Bill

Passionate pickler, entrepreneur, experienced fitness industry executive, startup specialist, business model consultant, mentor and advisor. Contact me to brainstorm, discuss or commiserate! .

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