Meet the Gold’s Gym International Franchise Operations Team!

July 25, 2019

At Gold’s Gym, we have our franchisees covered. From the franchisee who is looking to open one gym, to the master franchisee whose ambition secures them an international territory – we are 100% dedicated to each Gold’s Gym franchisees’ individual needs and success.

This month, we’re excited to introduce Nicole Nason, the Director of International Franchise Operations at Gold’s Gym. She sheds some light on her team’s role in supporting our international franchisees as they become members of the Gold’s Gym franchise family and the years to come after.

When a master franchisee selects Gold’s Gym as their brand of choice, our International Franchise Operations team, led by Kevin Christie, Vice President of International Franchising, and Nicole Nason, step in to serve as their guide throughout the existing process. From site selection and architectural drawings, to staff training and Grand Opening Day, their collective decades of experience deliver confidence to any new franchisor.

When meeting with a new franchisee, Nicole covers many key factors from demographics to staff recruitment. Having led this process through her own personal experience in territories across the US and Middle East, she is versed in the necessary equation which must be calculated in order to assess whether a location matches its market. Nicole says, “We must ensure the community can identify with their gym.”

Nicole began her career in the fitness industry 17 years ago as a personal trainer and jumped at the first opportunity to work for Gold’s Gym. “I wanted to work for the best and the best meant Gold’s Gym.” This opportunity quickly led to others and before she knew it she was running a brand new 30,000 square foot facility, falling even more in love with the positive effects of the health and fitness industry.

The passion she holds for the industry and for Gold’s Gym, ultimately led her to even greater opportunities overseas allowing her to serve as both COO for Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia and Gold’s Gym Egypt. She says, “Running clubs in the states and overseas has given me an incredibly unique perspective. The diverse experience I was able to acquire has equipped me to serve our master and direct franchisees in a way I couldn’t have otherwise understood.”

4 Steps to the Grand Opening

Our International Franchise Operations team guides franchisees through four steps before the grand opening:

  1. Site Selection: “We assist with site selection assessments by helping evaluate population, lease term and price, and area demographics among other factors,” says Nicole. “We always encourage a master franchisee to conduct a demographic study as it gives insight into the human element of a location. It’s important not to become too excited about a possible piece of land or building until you know what you’re measuring it’s potential against.” 
  1. Layout Design: The second phase involves architectural drawings, layout design, internal and external branding, and equipment purchase. “We require our master franchisees to work with our Gold’s Gym approved vendors,” she says. “We put every one of our vendors through a vetting process to ensure the products we are delivering meet a specific standard. A franchisee will then have the opportunity to make a selection from a pre-approved list of industry leading brands.” 
  1. Staff Recruitment: The team then assists master franchisee with staff recruitment and training. Nicole says, “We usually begin the conversation by learning if they have any potential managers or executives in mind. If so, many times we will sit in on interviews or meetings and provide feedback.” Nicole also states the team will aid in suggesting examples of successful recruitment campaigns run by other franchisees along with providing resources for interview and hiring techniques recommended by Gold’s Gym. 
  1. Grand Opening: In preparation of the grand opening, the team ensures the master franchisee has access to the Gold’s Gym marketing team. “All of our creative and marketing tools are available for use whether a franchisor hires an in-house marketing team or contracts an external marketing agency. Our resources are available for use and our team is available for guidance,” she says.

Following the grand opening, Nicole or Kevin return to the gym for an initial audit. “We spend time with the team reviewing current and ongoing needs,” she says. “We will assess the gym and equipment conditions, review any staff training topics which need additional instruction while assisting the managers in planning for upcoming needs, and prepare a report which helps guide the franchisees priorities over the next year.” These site visits will typically occur on an annual basis, but the team is always available via webinar or conference call.

Like Nicole, Kevin Christie has a wealth of personal experience with our brand. Kevin has been working with Gold’s Gym for over 25 years. He has been an employee, gym manager, gym owner, and led territories such as Russia, Poland, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt as CEO. Having lived and worked abroad in so many diverse regions, Kevin and Nicole offer a level of knowledge and insight which cannot be taught in a classroom.  

Sensitive to the diversity of cultures within the countries Gold’s Gym operates, Nicole and Kevin have recently developed a training platform designed to cater to multiple languages.  It’s called GOLD’S COMPASS and it’s tagline is, “One World. One Brand. One Team.”  “Its purpose,” Nicole says, “is to provide staff training and education in all of our territories so we may guarantee an exceptional member experience worldwide.” The GOLD’S COMPASS is set to be upgraded in August of 2019 with new content releases in January of 2020. 

Nicole’s Top Advice to Franchisees

When we asked Nicole what she’d like future franchisees to know, she said to get into this business with the intent of helping your members achieve their fitness goals. Have that be your measurement, and you will be financially successful. “We have to stop thinking about the health club industry and being transactional. While it is, we are a service industry first. If we are going to expect a certain financial outcome, we have to deliver a very specific level of unrivaled service,” she says.

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