Written By: Bebe De Leon, HOTWORX Franchise Recruiter and Franchisee

I have 2 decades of experience in membership sales and am currently a HOTWORX Franchise Recruiter, but nothing has helped me understand the importance of Presale more than being a HOTWORX Franchisee myself. Presale, the period of time where discounted memberships are sold prior to opening the studio, has always been a critical step in creating a strong foundation for the success of our business model. You only get 1 shot to make your Presale amazing and you must focus and dedicate all your energy to ensure success! There is so much value in hosting Presale and below I’ve included just a handful of the many benefits:

  • Creates excitement in the community for the opening of a new HOTWORX studio location

  • Establishes a local brand presence for HOTWORX

  • Allows the studio to begin marketing & advertising efforts to recruit members during Presale

  • Builds teamwork among newly hired staff and gives the franchisee an opportunity to evaluate the staff before the studio officially opens 

From the variety of workouts available to the numerous results and benefits of our infrared sauna sessions, HOTWORX offers something to help everyone achieve their personal goals. One secret to successfully recruiting HOTWORX members before opening is the ability of the General Manager and studio staff to align our services and products with the needs of each individual customer. While the pre-opening process can be overwhelming for any franchisee with or without business ownership experience, an assigned Franchise Performance Consultant guides us through the entire process, providing us with the training and resources we need to establish that strong foundation during Presale and ensure continued success!

I’ll fill you in on another secret behind the many successful Presales hosted by HOTWORX locations across the country…checklists! With over 20 years of franchise experience, 19 HOTWORX locations currently in Presale, and 33 open studios, the Executive Team at our world headquarters have made opening and operating the business as efficient as possible. The entire location development and pre-opening process is outlined and managed with very organized checklists. Below you will find some of the checklist items that must be completed before beginning Presale:

  • Site Selection & Lease Execution
  • Ensure your developer has started reviewing your program needs and measuring them up against the floor plan

  • Ensure your architectural plans have been completed and submitted to the township for final review and approval

  • Hire a General Manager

  • Communicate with your general contractor, architect, landlord, equipment manufacturer and interior designer to determine the dates of the projected completion

  • Ensure you have an idea of a soft opening date, factoring in unforeseen obstacles, such as bad weather, unforeseen circumstances and miscalculations that could delay the opening

After determining an approximate buildout completion date and solidifying an anticipated Presale start date with your Performance Consultant, HOTWORX Franchisees and staff focus all their attention on final preparations to begin Presale. A Presale office or “preview center” is typically set up 30 days prior to signing up new HOTWORX members and the five basic principles of business apply heavily to this point in the process:

  1. Planning. The Presale plan begins with a projected date for the studio opening and Presale should begin about 3 months prior. Your next step will be to determine the number of members that must be sold during Preasle in order to reach your break-even number by the date you plan to open the studio. There is a three month marketing and advertising strategy planned out for the Presale of every HOTWORX studio to support these membership sales goals. During the planning stage, you’ll decide where your Presale office will be located and what staffing is required. Training on marketing, sales, and our proprietary software must also be completed as outlined in the checklist. Just follow the system and don’t deviate. It’s that simple! Fall in love with checklists. It will keep you sane!

  1. Organizing. Gather all the items needed in the planning stage, then divide and assign job tasks. Make a calendar of dates and timeline of events. Determine the personnel needed to operate and manage your Presale efforts. Set up sales offices, the reception area and order marketing materials in preparation to begin.

  1. Staffing. Decide on the management structure needed to operate the studio, then start hiring beyond your General Manager. You must hire a sales manager and sales associates.  Hence, the key word “sales.” I always look for an extrovert with a strong sales background. In addition, I look for someone who is passionate about marketing, management and has great customer service skills. After you hire your staff, you need to train them on the policies and procedures, role playing and reviewing scripted presentations and greetings. Then, you must make a master work schedule and keep to it.

  1. ImplementationImplementation is when you start your Presale efforts by following your marketing plan and selling memberships. You and your General Manager must set the example by doing everything in accordance with your plan. Should your original plan need adjusting, simply revise the plan and communicate the changes with your staff and Performance Consultant to ensure that everyone on the team is aware.

  1. Control. Communicating the plan and successfully implementing with your staff allows HOTWORX franchisees to hold everyone accountable for their individual responsibilities and sales goals. The HOTWORX Marketing Department has devised a marketing & advertising strategy specifically for Presale that will play a major role in driving traffic through the door. The goal of this plan is to introduce HOTWORX and the many benefits of our workout program to the community. As Jessica Matherne, our Vice President of Franchise Performance, says “Make the Invisible – Visible” to your target audience.

With this well-thought-out Presale campaign successfully executed, the greatest value comes from its proven ability to open your HOTWORX studio with 500+ members! My studio in Metairie, LA, just completed the first 6 weeks of Presale with 200 new members. We’ve dedicated most of our efforts on following the checklist, hiring the right people, and implementing the Presale marketing strategy. As I mentioned before, Presale is GAME TIME! Trust the process, follow the system and execute!  

My business partner and I both have full time careers and I truly enjoy what I do. Finding the balance was key in the early stages of becoming a HOTWORX Franchisee, thus finding the right General Manager was the “Top Priority” after executing our lease. Having a great GM is critical in Presale, as they set the tone in building your foundation for success. Our team has a very aggressive, yet attainable, goal and that is to break any records set by other HOTWORX studios before us. If one man/woman can do it, so can another! If one studio can do it, so can another! Due to my competitiveness, I was personally challenged by our CEO to break records and I’ve accepted his challenge… aka#beastmode! Molly, our General Manager, is making it happen and we appreciate all of her hard work and dedication to the success of our studio. I give kudos to all the great managers that represent the HOTWORX brand.  As owners, we can’t do it without you! Keep striving to be the best and enjoy for the extraordinary incentives you earn!!

Released January 6, 2019