Despite the pandemic, the hormone-focused weight loss franchise had a bang-up 2020, proving a heightened demand for its concept.
An article by Alex Lockie, 1851 Franchise Editor
The historic year 2020 has come and gone, and after a year of health scares and unprecedented stress levels, BeBalanced Natural Weight Loss Centers, the 25-unit weight loss franchise with locations in markets across the U.S., has emerged a clear winner with programs that are more relevant than ever.
Founded in 2007, BeBalanced turned to franchising after its founders saw how the brand’s proprietary products and services not only make women healthier and happier, but turn them into evangelists for the brand. Instead of prescribing bars & shakes or heavy exercise routines, BeBalanced achieves weight loss and stress reduction in women by treating the root cause of their problems — stress caused by specific hormone imbalances.
Today, most BeBalanced locations are run by former clients who know and love the brand’s mission.
But for those who haven’t yet had their lives transformed by BeBalanced, here are five reasons to buy a BeBalanced franchise in 2021.
1). Same-Center Year-Over-Year Growth During COVID-19 Proves Resilient Business Model
BeBalanced has long been seen as the “next big thing” in wellness by savvy health investors, but with such a strong performance in 2020, the secret is now out on BeBalanced. Despite the centers being physically closed for several months during the pandemic, they all continued doing business, and BeBalanced’s same-center sales were up over 2019 — a notable accomplishment, considering the circumstances. They even had several centers open during this period.
Going into 2020, BeBalanced relied heavily on in-person interactions and connections to help the women they serve. But when lockdowns hit in March, the brand “quickly pivoted” and made major moves to support its franchisees, according to Jennifer Cutillo, the brand’s COO.
The brand’s weekly nutrition class for clients graduating from the weight loss program normally took place in-center, but within a few days the brand had successfully transitioned the class online in a way that actually maximized the effectiveness of its workforce, by decreasing labor expenses across the brand’s locations.
“We created the same community feel of in-person classes by doing them online and selecting the best instructors we had in our centers to create an automated system where clients can sign up and the center managers and owners can see who attended or accessed the recordings,” she said. “We were still able to build that strong community, and we often had more people attending online than when they were in person, because we could offer a variety of times!”
Cutillo says the brand was built around the transformative experiences of women who have tried everything to lose weight but still can’t shake those stubborn pounds. BeBalanced’s service helps these women grapple with the fact that weight gain is often caused not by lack of effort in diet/exercise, but by hormones. Naturally balancing clients’ hormones enables them to achieve wellness victories over stubborn weight and PMS/menopausal symptoms that they previously thought were impossible to overcome. This creates a powerful sense of loyalty and community which drives sales, engagement, and referrals.
Succeeding at maintaining that community translated to succeeding in revenue, according to Cutillo.
“We were able to take a lot of the community building objectives that were previously part of our growth plan and support all franchisees by leveraging all of the center’s staff. Those things were all able to be done virtually,” she said. “That kept our momentum with our existing clients so we didn’t experience a dip in overall average sales during the pandemic.”
2). The Pandemic Market is Ripe For Weight Loss/Stress Management/Self-Care Concepts
“Yes, Many of Us Are Stress-Eating and Gaining Weight in the Pandemic”: That’s not a statement of defeat, that’s a recent headline in the New York Times. Pandemic stress and weight gain are well documented. Pandemic loneliness and isolation are well documented. Pent-up demand for public activities and social engagement is well documented.
Millions of American women are stressed out, stress eating and worried about their health as COVID-19 continues to disrupt virtually every aspect of modern life. The solution for many people is BeBalanced’s natural hormone balancing techniques. By using top-grade ingredients in their natural hormone balancing products, combined with lifestyle changes, BeBalanced stands behind its claim that it boosts immune systems and helps women fight the stress of the pandemic.
But for Cutillo, it’s about more than just beating stress and looking great, it’s about finding your purpose and giving yourself the chance to succeed.
“2020 was a year of such loss. Everyone is so stressed trying to make up for that loss, and that’s had an impact on their wellness,” she said. “What we see from the outside might be weight gain, but what someone feels might be another uncomfortable symptom like hot flashes or pain.”
To remedy the situation, BeBalanced offers a community that’s in the client’s corner, understanding their needs and giving them a chance to fight back.
“The answer lies with giving your body the tools to manage the stress and watching how that impacts your weight and your symptoms,” Cutillo said. “Because what we do has such a correlation to the cause of women’s menopausal symptoms, stress, it’s just so relevant. I think that’s why our business resonates with so many people.”
3). A Purpose-Driven Business That Makes a Real Difference
BeBalanced gives prospective franchisees a chance to deeply connect with and serve the women in their communities by taking a holistic approach to wellness and self-care. The results speak for themselves as many BeBalanced franchisees started their journey with the brand as clients.
Roseanne McGrory is one such example.
“BeBalanced changed my life twice,” she said. “First, when I was actually a client and changed my whole lifestyle, and then second as an owner, seeing people go through the program and watching them drastically improve their lives. I’m helping people get healthier. I’m helping people feel good and put themselves first. I love sharing that with other people.”
As a franchisee, McGrory deeply understands her market, as she represents her own target demographic. As a mature, professional and caring woman seeking to help other mature women feel great as they age gracefully, McGory finds her work profoundly rewarding.
“Unlike other weight loss plans where you feel ashamed or that you can’t share your success because of fear of failing, my clients are thrilled to talk about their journey because it works. They wear it on their faces,” she said.
4). Lifestyle-Friendly Hours of Operation
Most blue-chip business prospects seem to demand a slavish devotion to the job. BeBalanced, on the other hand, respects its franchisees’ time and need for family life and relaxation with manageable hours.
At BeBalanced, you own your business, your business doesn’t own you. Thanks to the corporate office’s automation of most administrative tasks, you get to be the boss and still work the hours of a lower-responsibility position.
“When you own a BeBalanced, you’re working a normal workday,” Cutillo said. “It’s a 40-hour week. You’re closed on the weekend unless you want to make a special appointment with someone, and you can even take turns doing that. There’s not so much administration involved in this because so much of it is automated by us. A lot of client follow-ups and even the nurturing to the prospects you might have, a lot of that stuff is automated.”
5). Simple Model; Minimal Staff and an Established System.
One of the hottest franchised concepts in fitness is Orange Theory Fitness. The brand’s classes are sold out for consumers in many locations and sold out for franchisees in many territories as well. Serial entrepreneur and millionaire investor James Webb sold 31 Orange Theory franchises to open up 19 BeBalanced centers.
He did it because the product works great and it’s a simple, scalable model. Not only does BeBalanced automate much of the admin work, it brings together a culture of like-minded, helpful people that are easy to manage and love what they do.
According to Cutillo, this owes to the company culture of care and compassion and an airtight business model that requires small staff.
“I think that the local center culture is just a reflection of the overall culture in that you don’t have that many people in your team and, most of the time, it’s made up of people that also experienced our program,” she said. “They’re usually women that are at a similar stage of life as the franchisee, so you have this small team and they’re used to covering for each other. It’s almost like nobody works full-time, everyone is flexible. The staff members understand each other and work well together. If you have to pick up your kid, they’re happy to cover for you.”
About BeBalanced Natural Weight Loss Centers:
Founded in 2007 and franchising since 2015, BeBalanced is a Pennsylvania-based franchise of non-medical, holistic centers, helping women lead their best lives through natural solutions to stubborn weight, PMS and menopausal symptoms. Today, there are 25 centers open and operating throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas, Minnesota, Florida, New York, Arizona and Virginia.
If you have ever considered owning a rewarding business that is helping to change the lives of others, BeBalanced could be the right fit for you! To learn more visit our franchise section today.