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The Better Body Group to launch post-graduate courses and franchise business

By Chris Price

A personal training firm is poised to create 30 to 50 jobs within a year as it launches post-graduate courses, opens a new gym and establishes a franchise business.

The Better Body Group will begin running its six-week classes later this month after finding it was receiving 200 to 300 CVs for every job it advertised.

The firm, which launched in Sevenoaks in 2007, aims to hire five to 10 of its first graduates and will be looking to hire more in the future as it continues with plans to open another centre in Henley on Thames early next year.

The Better Body Group is planning to hire another 30 to 50 people within a year

The Better Body Group is planning to hire another 30 to 50 people within a year

The company, which opened a second gym in Blackheath two years ago, is expecting the new ventures to increase turnover by 36% over the next year, having boosted sales by 26% in the last 12 months.

Its Sevenoaks centre alone already runs about 600 personal training sessions a week, with clients paying £51 an hour.

Director Chris Wharton said: “It deals with the wealth of people with sport science and nutritional sports therapy degrees with nowhere to go.

“The problem is they are coming out of university and there are not enough jobs for all these people competing with the same qualifications.

Better Body Group director Chris Wharton

Better Body Group director Chris Wharton

“They end up going back to university to do a normal personal training course and spend £30,000 without being different to anyone else.

“This provides a platform to use the degree. You need a degree to come onto our course and it justifies the money they have spent.”

The company, which employs 32 people, aims to take on 15 to 30 students per course, which will run from four to six weeks and can be completed at weekends.

Admission does not come cheap, at about £250 to £300 per module, costing nearly £2,000 to become fully post-graduate qualified.

The Better Body Group will also expand into franchising and post-graduate tuition

The Better Body Group will also expand into franchising and post-graduate tuition

Mr Wharton said: “We are trying to raise the standards of personal training because, at the moment, anyone can do it.

“I wouldn’t trust someone qualified in two weeks to become a GP so why would you trust them to be your trainer? It is an arbitrary industry.

“Anyone can run someone into the ground and you would not know if that is right or wrong. This is about delivering appropriate exercises professionally.”

The courses will also lay the foundations for adding yet another string to the bow of the business, a former KEiBA winner in 2013, as it launches a franchising model.

The Better Body Group gym in Sevenoaks

The Better Body Group gym in Sevenoaks

Mr Wharton said: “We are going to be providing students with enough to run their own stand-alone businesses.

“Everyone wants to be a trainer but that doesn’t mean they know how to run a business. No one likes sales or marketing or bookkeeping.

“We will provide the platform to train people and will then do the backup bits for them.

“We can provide them with what they need to run a business on their own on a monthly franchise fee.

“Our CRM [customer relationship management] system alone would be worth the money.”

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