Fitness franchise P.volve has announced ambitious growth plans for Canada, targeting the markets of Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Edmonton.
For Lucille Cuell, an experienced entrepreneur and business owner, the company’s offering of services were just the franchise opportunity she had been looking for.
Cuell is currently developing a P.volve location in Victoria, B.C., and Canadian Business Franchise spoke with her and the brand’s director of franchise development Alex Puccillo about how the company’s vision is a perfect fit for the growing west coast city.
Did you always envision yourself as an entrepreneur? (If not, what were your career aspirations?)
When I was in the insurance business, I owned my own business, so I do have experience as an entrepreneur. I owned my own place for about 20 years, and I also have experience running a business in a management role.
Why did you choose franchising?
I always had my ear to the ground on franchising. I’ve gone back and forth, working for other people. I went into management for somebody else, but I always wanted to manage my own team.
One of things I really find interesting about franchising is having a community surrounding you instead of being a lone person in a massive field. With so many aspects to running a successful business, you just can’t have one person. People did ask me, “Why didn’t you open your own business.” With P.volve, I like the idea of having a home, a studio, and a community. Being a personal trainer enhances the ability to bring the product to the customer.
How did you discover this franchising opportunity?
I wasn’t really looking at the time. I went to a wedding in Banff, Alta. The bride, who I’ve known for a long time, was moving from Edmonton to San Diego. She told me, “I am opening a P.volve studio.” I asked, “What is that?
She was busy at the moment; she was in wedding gown, so I took out my phone and started researching it. I didn’t try a P.volve class until I went to a golf tournament in California months later. I immediately thought it was good stuff. I did another class, and I was hooked right away. Even though I wasn’t familiar with P.volve, I’ve been involved in the fitness business, as I was an aerobics instructor in my early 20s. The biggest thing to me [about what P.volve offers] is it is something that anybody can do—and many people should do. I think it covers a wide spectrum, where with a lot of other fitness franchises, the demographic is fairly small. I feel the demographic here is fairly endless.
I’ve always been aware of the body deteriorating after the age of 30, and this is a great method to stop and even reverse the effects of aging. I feel it has done this for me—I feel like I’m reversing the impact of age on my body.
How has the process been so far?
We are working with the landlords on a location. I want to make it very accessible and to be a place where people can get to easily—a place where customers don’t have to pay for parking.
Our client base has a high demographic of women who are raising families, and have very little time to get their workout in. I want them to drive in easily, jump out of the car, get their workout in, and get back in the car.
Alex – We use a platform where we can upload our digital data, so we know where our virtual customers are. We are mirroring that with our real estate for physical locations. From a digital standpoint, Canada is one of our top three markets worldwide, along with the UK and U.S.
Is there anything unique about your market?
Victoria is a fast-growing community, with plenty of development in our downtown core. Young, working professionals are moving into our city, and a lot of those people funnel into our downtown for work. We also have many people coming into the city to retire. Because people are working a lot from home, they are focusing more on where they live.
How has COVID impacted your franchise?
Currently, I think we will follow the rest of Canada and the world in relaxing restrictions. My type of studio is not nearly as impacted as other sections of the industry; it is low impact. It’s not high intensity, so you could do this method while wearing a mask.
What are your future plans?
I really wanted to focus on one location and do it well. It would great if I could have multiple franchises, but I’m not in a location where I want to lock it down. I don’t want to stop other people coming in and expanding. I’d rather see P.volve grow and see multiple franchisees across Canada.