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Log In / Register | Nov 19, 2017

Jazzercise Franchise????

...I was researching this franchise and came across a forum where several instructors were concerned about the costs of running a Jazzercise business. Some were saying that corporate offices were charging a hefty fee for the monthly electronic membership fees...some were saying that what they are making barely covers the expenses. Some said that at one conference for franchise instructors they were given mirros and then posted the following question to the attendees: If your center is not doing good this is the reason? And they were asked to look into the mirror....oh my God; that's
ridiculous. It was also mentioned that Jazzercise franchisee's are NOT allowed to post on forums such as this one...so I might never get an answer as to:

1. Do you run a successful Jazzercise center, or do you lease your space at recreational centers?
2. What was your initial investment to open your center?
3. How many members do you service?
4. How much do your charge per member?
5. How long did it take for you to see your profits?
6. Are you allow to have a center and also provide footwear, exercise clothing, etc.?
7. Do you get profits if any to sell Ryka footwear are your location?
8. Can you own a Jazzercise franchise center and not teach, and just run it with sub instructors?
9. How much are the sub instructors paid?
10. How long have you had your Jazzercise franchise?

135 Forum Remarks

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Thanks

Thank you for all of the honest replies. I am on my way to my movement screening tomorrow. I have not been able to find any franchise or contract details from jazzercise. So I thought I would start the process and continue until I could get the contract details. After reading this, I am definitely having second thoughts and will probably go no further than the screening. I do not quite understand though about competitive certification; because most of the instructors I have had have been over weight, not in great shape, and one could not even do the moves herself (?). I love the jazzercise class. There is no class in my rural area. The closest is an hour away. I was excited about bringing it to my area. Oh well!

Give it more thought please

I can't believe how negative these comments are on this site. And many, many falsehoods. I have been a certified instructor for 2 1/2 years. Yes, there's a big commitment to becoming an instructor financially, but I have already re-couped my initial expenses. There's no requirement to wear franchised apparel. We like to wear it because it's great advertising. Yes, I spend more than I should on it, but that's my doing, not corporate. Jazzercise offers more support to their franchisees than I've seen or heard about from any other franchised dance program. I can always call my district manager or even corporate itself with concerns and questions. They WANT us to succeed! Everybody regardless of what they teach has to buy music...and lots of it to keep workouts fresh. With Jazzercise, you are also getting choreography by DVD and written notes and proper technique training so that you don't hurt yourself or others while teaching. Best decision I ever made was becoming an instructor.

I would have to disagree.

I would have to disagree. Teach another 4 years and the reality will set in. It is a rip off, you are giving your money to the owners , they sugar coat how great being an instructor is, even though in reality add up all your expenses during tax time. That is always an eye opener to my husband. He laughs at the expense verses income.

Jazzercise

If you are in a a district with a great manager than you are lucky...i live in CA and worked under the relative of Judy who is NOT qualified to be managing anyone. So having said that, as long as you have a GOOD supportive manager. I had a very qualified candidate that was very fit, should have been teaching a long time ago and this manager did not like her for personal reasons and was "blackballed"

Jazzercise is the "Stepford Wives" of the fitness industry

I have been an instructor for over 10 years and found a student who LOVED Jazzercise and was very interested in teaching. She was an AFAA certified instructor and trained dancer, moved very well. She asked a question of a district manager, and when the district manager mis-informed her, she gathered information and asked to clarify. I attended her workshop before she auditioned and she was ready. It came to aidition and she was the only one in her group that FAILED. She was clearly better than anyone else. My point is, if you are a Franchise owner you know the dark little Jazzercise secret. Jazzercise does not want anyone who questions things, thinks for themselves or has an opinion. In an age where people can join a gym for $10 a month, the Jazzercise business model no longer makes sense. They now charge YOU $2000 to become certified to make THEM money. The claim is that the $2000 is "get the best instructors." Here is the other dirty secret, many Jazzercise instructirs have now also become certiified Zumba instructors and are teaching "under the radar" while corporate is cluless. All because you can make $35 per class with NO hassles.

Nothing wrong with instructor fees

What's wrong with that? There are many business models that depend on agent fees in building success. The real estate business measures how many agents a franchise can recruit because they make money on the agents. Franchised jazzercise centers and the franchisor can make money on fees to instructors. That sounds reasonable to me.

Is there a major chain that instructors can go to which someone can become an instructor / trainer for free? If so, that may be good for the trainer but I'm not sure it is good for the business owner.

Instructor fees not the problem

Instructor fees are not the problem. The problem is the way in which jazzercise conducts business. Look in the feed here at the numerous accounts of fully qualified potential instructors yet somehow after paying all of the very necessary fees they somehow can't seem to pass the vetting prcess? Dig a little deeper into how this organization runs and you will see that there are many current and former instructors who will be honest and tell you that if you do not "tow the line" or if you question anything about how jazzercise operates you are out.

This happened to me, too. I

This happened to me, too. I had twenty years of dance experience, was told I looked great as I prepared for the audition, yet flunked the audition. I always wondered if it was because I repeatedly tried to get a question answered by the trainer and was considered too assertive.

Jazzercise has the problem not you = )

Rest assured you most likely did very well at your audition for Jazzercise. When a jazzercise district manager sees a competent person who asks questions it makes them nervous. I worked at the corporate office for Jazzercise in Carlsbad and witnessed this first-hand all the time. They "black-balled" you because they really want instructors who make money for them without causing any commotion. = (

Every Coin has Two Sides

Hi, I am a certified instructor for the last 8 years. I have classical dance training and had absolutely no problems what so ever in getting certified. I had plenty of questions, all of which were answered in a timely and satisfactory manner (and yes, some of them were probably "pushy"). I was never once made to feel as though I were being brainwashed into something & the program (both the physical and business side) is a very successful industry. The potential is all in what YOU make of it. My center owner is not present at the center and yet we as a TEAM continue to run smoothly. I think if you have such negative thoughts about Jazzercise as a whole and the way things are run, it is probably better that you NOT be associated with it. It poisons your entire thought process and is then passed on to your customers. Everyone has the capability to be successful, but you can't expect someone to invest in you if you are not willing to invest in yourself. Passion and payment are two very different things...if you are just looking for a paycheck but could care less about the details, this isn't for you. If you are passionate about offering an effective, safe, and awesome workout, the money will come and one day I hope to be in one of your classes!

Jazzercize Franchise

I have read the majority of things people have shared regarding the business of owning a center and concur wholeheartedly with the negative impressions surrounding the mechanics of this business.

My wife has been an instructor for 2+ years and a center owner for a little under a year.

Here is how I would bottom line it on a monthly basis.

Jazz takes 20% off the top
Rent is approx 40% of revenue
Instructors make 20% of revenue
Babysitting for customer's children is 10%
Utilities is another 5%
Advertising is anywhere between 5%-10%

oh drat, I am over-extended as my pie measure 120% - honey, can I borrow a few hundred dollars to help cover my Center's expenses?.

If she did not pay herself as an instructor, she would make $0 for managing this business.

Stay away from this business proposition - its a losing one.

business model that makes no sense

I have been doing jazzy for about 6 months, 5-6 times per week. I love it. The center I attend is owned by a woman who has 2 centers. She teaches, and there are probably at least 15 other instructors. There are at least 4 classes a day on weekdays. Classes are well-attended. She recently moved her second operation into a dedicated location. I am pretty sure she is making money.

That being said, she wants me to become an instructor. I have done the numbers, and no way! I have been a franchisee in the past (totally unrelated business). I have hired 1099 contractors to work for me in that business. To say that they must become franchisees because they cannot be considered employees is ludicrous. Why in the world can't corporate offer a sub "license" or certification for those who have no interest in being franchisees, but just want to teach? I do understand that jazzercise training is far more extensive than, say, zumba, so I would expect somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 to attend their workshop. But $2000? And then I have to purchase ALL of my music... new music alone is 30ish songs 5 times per year. Say they each cost an average of $1.50... that means $225 minimum. And you have to have fresh routines every week. So a new instructor has to buy lots of music from the back catalog. And then you have to buy jazzercise branded apparel. Plus your mic, because those aren't shared.

I had a deal last year where I paid $199 for my whole year of jazzercise. Even if I have to pay the regular rate this coming year, that will be $360 for the year. Teaching would make absolutely no sense. I wouldn't go into it to make much money, but I certainly won't go into something that is actually going to lose me money! I can just work at the childcare at our center and get free jazzy that way.

At a time when zumba is kicking their butt, why would jazzercise double their fees (which were too high already)? The workouts are good, but this company is poorly managed!!!

I am an associate Jazzercise franchisee

As mentioned above, I am an associate Jazzercise franchisee. I paid $1000 two years ago to become an instructor, and made it back in 7 months making $10 an hour. Why work for free? Because I would be in class anyways. I basically had to make that money back (which I would have been paying $30 a month to go to Jazzercise otherwise) but instead now I get paid to work out. I now get paid $15 a class & have made $1350 in the last 6 months. I'm probably going to make $3000 total this year, minus the $300 for liability insurance & music royalties. So basically, I'll get paid $2700 this year for working out, something I would be doing anyways. Sure, it's a hobby, not a full time income, but most people pay money to enjoy their hobbies, while I make at least a little. :)

The fitness program is the best I've ever experienced, but most people I know have never tried it. They think they know what it would be like - leotards and leg warmers and cheesy dance moves, but then they get to class and get their butts kicked all while having the most fun they've ever had working out.

Jazzercise Evaluation from a business expert

Ok what I am about to tell you is 100% correct. I am considered a business expert and businesses pay me thousands to evaluate what their company is worth, testify at trial about my findings sometimes and also they hire me to turn their business around. I buy and sell companies for a living. My wife became an instructor and opened her class several years ago. Here is my exact opinion on Jazzercise STRICTLY from a business perspective. In other words, If Judy Misset hired me here is exactly what I would change:

1) In a down economy raising your franchise fee from $1000 to $2000 has the wonderful effect of closing off new instructors. You want class owners to encourage new instructors. A wife can convince her husband to come up with $1000..but $2000 in this economy with no assurance of return of income? not happening.

2) If you are insistent on this fee you should offer it this way: $1000 fee and 20% of your income OR $2000 fee and only 15 % of your income to Jazz.

3) Recruiting: the recruiting process is the most bizarre I have ever seen in 25 years of business. The idea that you recruit one of your students (who you earn monthly income from) and get her to become an instructor (no longer has to pay your monthly fee) makes no sense. Now some of you will claim that they can sub classes for you. Wonderful. But what if they don't? What if they decide to go across town and open their own place? Now the center has a) lost income b) has increased competition. and for this Jazz will give a one time $500 bonus? doesn't seem worth it .

4) No incentive: There really is no incentive to recruit and help new instructors. I would reccomend to Jazz they do the following: a) Give owners the $500 bonus for a new instructor b) if that instructor goes off and startes their own class, the former class owner should receive an overide of 2-3% of their class. Yes, Judy may only make 17% but it would create an atmosphere of MENTORING from the current instructors. Imagine if you recruited and got the instructor named 'Susie' certified. If she told you she wanted to open up a center of her own, wouldn't you be day dreaming about how big she might make it? What if she has a $10,000 a month center because she moved to a large metro area? "OMG I could be making an extra $300 per month because I trained Susie!!" My wife did receive some guidance but instead of coming from the district mgr, imagine if a class owner took Susie by the hand and had incentive to help her negotiate a contract, a leas, gave her some signs she wasn't using ect...

5) No recruiting override: My wife closed her business recently and out of nearly 40 students only 20 stayed with Jazz. My wife is still teaching but she wanted to do the right thing and keep these 'ladies' exercising. How is it that these clients who were paying $35.00 a month now belong to someone else 100% all cash in? I would reccomend a system whereby an override of about 3% is paid to whoever signed them up provided they instructor remains certified. This would give my wife incentive to not only get all 40 transferred but if in a couple weeks they want to drop out it would give her incentives to call them and try to get them to stay. It would also give her incentive to do what she did to build her franchise. Walk around a Target or Publix and hand out cards and recruit. Its called a sales force with incentive.

6) Advertising is woeful: Dancing with Stars is the most popular show right now and its great you hired one of the dancers...but the show does what? It makes people want to DANCE...there should be at least ONE commercial on every DWTS episode and include a "call now for this special" and I believe thousands of people per week would sign up. There should be one commercial (even 30 seconds) during the Super Bowl that shows YOUNGER dancers ( not Judy ) and looks directly into the camera and states: " When your done with the cheese dips and chicken wings , call the number below and lets get started on the new YOU tomorrow"... Women watching the SB has exploded over the years. Heck I would even partner with Folgers and some of the car companies . Folgers has a commercial in which a mom wakes up gets her kids off to school and then its 'me time' and she is in tights doing a dance routine and laughing...why not pay a certain percent to Folgers and have all of the women in the video wearing 'Jazzercise" shirt's and at the bottom call Folgers the official coffee of Jazzercise and then have centers offer Folgers coffee in the morning classes? Putting ads in newspapers is worthless when everyone is reading papers on line on i-pads.

7) face of the franchise: Judy is a wonderful pioneer. I get it. But why would an 18-35 year old woman want to look at ads and think: " i want to look like a 65 year old woman". you must make it hip to reach that segment. Traditions have buried many a franchise ( Montgomery wards, Sears and JC Penny) are prime examples. The airbrush is great but while tradition is being followed, Zumba is bringing in the young moms in droves.

8) web presence: The restriction on instructor web sites is strangling growth. A person in Middletown wants to take a card and put in "www.jazzercisewithBetty.com" and check out the person who is in her town...going to the massive corporate site? lame. Also, for an instructor it sucks. My wife recruited a woman they talked and talked and she went to the main web site and decided another center was closer...so she gets $ 0.00...makes no sense.

9) Management: Very lacking , no structure , no real hierarchy and really not much incentive for district managers and no system of advancement. One of the poorest management structures i have ever evaluated.

ok ..thats my evaluation of this business....

Whats up with the $18 walk in

Whats up with the $18 walk in fee.... How does that help?

Re: What activities best boost a fitness center's health?

"What's up with the $18 walk in fee?"

It can significantly boost a fitness center's revenue and cover costs based on customer activity. Is there another activity that you think can better help lift a fitness center's operating income or cash flow?

Sexist

"A wife can convince her husband to come up with $1000..but $2000 in this economy with no assurance of return of income? not happening."

Wow...This is a ridiculous and offensive comment. There are lots of women out there who have their own money, and don't have to "convince" their husbands to come up with anything. There are also lots of unmarried women, and even - *gasp* - lesbians.

Please join the current millennium, especially if you are supposed to be an "expert". Thanks.

Thanks to the Business Expert!

I have just started taking Jazzercise classes and already was considering becoming a Franchisee when I read your ernest and expert advise. Thank you so much! I will not be pursuing this any further other than continuing with classes.

Nice! I saw the company on be

Nice! I saw the company on be your Boss or something like that, some reality show. I thought the business was lame so thats what I googled and found an honest and intelligent write up that confirmed my suspicions of a terrible company. Seems like they have some real potential if they do change their business structure a bit. You seem to know your stuff!

Upper management extremely difficult to deal with

I am a former instructor and a current student. I am in agreement with the majority of commentators. I would highly recommend the fitness program to prospective students. It is an outstanding fitness program evidenced by many long-term students active attendance and remarks. I would, however, be very cautious about becoming an instructor. The district manager in my state is known for making outrageous and belittling remarks, utter lack of resources and support in running the business, pressuring instructors to take on high fiancial risks, and requiring instructors to take on 100% of advertising, marketing, facility rental arrangements, not making accomodations during pregnancies and injuries (yes, athletes/instructors are highly suspectible to injuries), and new instructor recruting responsibilities. Our district manager makes up her own rules. They are not consistent with the franchise. She has forced instructors unecessarily out of the business. Her forcing of resignations does not correpond with their business results, instructional quality, etc. Rather, her decisions seem to be derived from mood and personal feelings about indviduals. There have been many months without nearby classes or even in entire cities. She did not attend my new instructor auditions/trainings and has shown up at a class one time in 15 years; I live within driving distance. There is concern from remainig instructors about increasing royalty fees, increasing pressures to buy facilities, and increasing blatent lack of support and verbal abuse from district maangers and corporate. I am concerned about Jazzercise. Jazzercise, please support your instructors. Your instructors average profits of 2,000 in exchange for teaching 4-5 classes, contracting with a facility, marketing, providing retention services, etc. I want classes to continue and even grow! Please support your instructors. The comments sound very consistent with my experience and other former/current instructors who I've talked with. Overall it's a great program for students/be cautious about becoming an instructor

The Jazzercise Franchise is a

The Jazzercise Franchise is a joke. They set up all these strict standards and rules for their franchisees, but they don't follow the rules themselves. After taking jazzercise for 3 months I was approached by every instructor I took class with to become a Jazzercise instructor. I am a AFAA certified aerobic instructor, have taught dance for over 15 years, was a high school and college cheerleader...you get the picture I was qualified to teach. : ) When I signed up and was asked to pay my fees, the district manager said it will be $2,000 dollars. I very nicely said, I think the contract says $1,000 if I pay before July 1, 2012...checked the contract and I was right...it was only $1,000. Well, it was clear this district mgr ( a relative of the owner ) did not like being corrected. I worked on my audition routines..and they were flawless. I participated in two pre-audition workshops where i was told by all 3 leaders that i looked great and would make an amazing instructor. I got to the Carlsbad audition and we were told, no matter what you do don't stop. There were 10 women auditioning and 2 of them stopped in the middle of BOTH their routines! I felt so sorry knowing they would fail. I got up to do my 2 routines, smiled, performed them flawlessly, talked about low impact options, muscle groups..while performing routines. The other girls clapped when I was done! When I was called in to get my results I was told I was "not ready" by the woman running the audition. I was flabbergasted as were the other women! The 'judge" looked like a zombie delivering the news. Could not give me ONE example of anything done wrong..she could not it was flawless. Oh and the other 2 who should have failed because they stopped? Passed right through! So i called this district mgr and told her this was insane and I wanted to audition elsewhere. This time Vegas. Same EXACT thing happened...told how amazing I was by EVERYONE..sailed through audition only to be told by a woman who acted very odd. She delivered the news like a robot...I was "not ready" and when I said what are you talking about?? She referred me to the district manager. By now the light bulb went on. I made the district manager mad by questioning the fees and she was going to make sure I was blacklisted by the organization! This was confirmed to me by a friend at their corporate office. So here is my advice; unless you want to be a part of an organization that is run like a dysfunctional sorority, don't get involved. They set forth strict rules for YOU to follow, yet they don't! Do what I'm going to do, become a certified Zumba instructor and open up shop 2 doors down from a jazzercise location! It is MUCH better and way more popular...none of the ridiculous rules or women who conduct business on an emotional level rather than business level!

Same experience

I auditioned in June 2012 after six months of instructor training by my center's owner. I was given the two hardest audition routines, and performed them great. I also worked out hard during the entire two hour audition process. The girl next to me barely marched, let alone do the routines. She was given the two easiest routines on stage. Needless to say, I also heard the "not ready" comment and was encouraged to audition again at a later date. The other girl passed along with several others not as good as me. It was a joke. I requested my $1,ooo fee to be refunded, and they tried to hold it hostage and encouraged me to audition again. I had to threaten to sue to get it back. Crazy! I now take Zumba and enjoy it much more and I'm considering getting certified with it, as you can teach that at many gyms and the fees aren't as high. I now consider myself lucky that for whatever reason I did not get trapped by this franchise. My center owner has since left, no one can make money at this.

Totally Agree

The Jazzercise substitute teachers get paid next to nothing to begin with, but after Jazz Corporate came out saying that subs should get 20% (spread across all the subs), and it was our responsibility to get more people to come to class. After teaching for this one instructor, I received a check for $11. I complained to my District Manager and she said -- and I quote: "You better wrap your head around the new sub payment policy". I called corporate to complain to her boss, I showed her the email, and the so-called Marketing Person said, oh, well, she was just being "casual". I reminded her that our relationship is not casual. I am in professional field sales, and you do not speak with your associates that way. Nothing was done to her.

Jazzercise4getit

Everything you said is true. You made the right decision, as you will be able to make more money with much less hassel by teaching another program.

Granville_Bean's picture

This is a business forum

It seems like a LOT of the posts on Jazzercise get confused between the workout and the business.  If it's a great workout then, as a customer, go take a class. But from what's been posted here, it doesn't look like much of a business, at least not for the individual instructor. 

At least not unless you can get up into a sort of MLM level where would-be instructors pay you to evaluate them, and then you can take their money and fail them so as to not have the competition....

to clarify....a potential

to clarify....a potential instructor doesn't have to pay to be evaluated. Even if said potential instructor attends actual workshop and doesn't pass she is not out of any money other than travel cost to and from workshop.
Always good to have the facts.

Former instructor

I was an instructor and can answer a few of those questions. First of all, I love Jazzercise and other than poor ownership in our location which ultimately led to its demise, I think it could have been successful here. Yes, I believe Ryka sales (and Polar Watch sales) brought income for the center. They have changed requirements and except in some circumstances want the owner to also be an instructor. The owner said many times that she was not making money in the time that she owned, but again, this was a poor manager, not at all a people person and made several costly mistakes where personnel was concerned. This facility was both held at a leased space, and then later, due to low numbers, moved to a space in a recreational center.

DON'T do it

If you are thinking of becoming an instructor –DON”T- Jazzercise is a good workout but it is not a great business to get into. The corporate part of Jazzercise is narcissistic, ego driven and very dysfunctional. You have an owner who is in her late 60’s trying to be 30 again and refusing to bring in anyone else to inject any new choreography into Jazzercise. Judi has been doing the same old tired moves for over 35 years. And don’t look to Shanna for anything new either, she is riding her mother’s coattails because she really has no talent of her own.
There are very few men instructors, because they discourage them from the start, there is no upward movement in this organization.
There is no support from the corporate level when you become an instructor, they say there is but they are more like directives than support. Do it their way or move aside. They say to follow their model for a facility and you will be successful – what they don’t tell you is that none of their corporate run facilities is completely successful on it’s own, the corp. pours thousands of dollars into them to keep them going.
Say you do decide to become an instructor, let’s look at the numbers. $2000 for the franchise, at least $10 – $15 thousand for a facility (including stage, flooring, sound, etc.) plus the rent for the facility. you also need insurance, music fees and you need to pay your instructors. You will need to make at least $2500 to $3000 to break even (and don’t forget that 20% comes off the top for corporate). People are looking closely on how they spend their discretionary funds these days and are trying to get the best bang for their buck. Spending $40 to $60 a month plus a joining fee for just Jazzercise just does not add up these days.

I just took a class after 9

I just took a class after 9 years of being away. It was a great workout and everyone in the class was very friendly and nice. I will be joining again.

Jazzercise auditions

I am a certied Zumba instructor, I teach Pilates and I am a trained professional ballwt/tap/jazz dancer, i was a high school and college cheerleader yet i did not pass the jazzercise instructor audition. I am not kidding. I paid 1000 dollars to audition with an engineer turned jazzercise instructor Sarah Fritz, I nailed every routine at my audition, I performed, with high intensity gave safety tips, had great energy, offered high/low impact options....I was prepared! My coaches, instructors and fellow students said, can't wait to take your class! Um, I didn't pass because...,well Sarah could not really give a valud reason. Perhaps she didn't like the fact that I was a cheerleader? Perhaps she was having a bad day? All I know is when you are in a down economy and charging 1000...oops, they just raised it to 2000, No, I am not kidding! And they are turning away qualified instructors because the person in charge of auditioning may not be qualified? The sad reality is that it is a well known fact that she does this repeatedly, yet no one at the corp level does anything, back to Zumba where the people are nice and want you to succeed!

Jazzercise is making a come back

I really think so. It's a varied, fun and effective workout that is 30 minute cardio and 30 minutes of weights, bands, balance, and stuff like crunches and push-ups. It has a very old-fashioned reputation. People mock me if I mention I do Jazzercise. They think leg warmers and the "Let's get Physical" video from the 80s. But there are teens thru 80 year olds in class.

That said, I am not an owner or instructor. Just a student. And there does, in fact, seem to be a strange unspoken under-current going on there. There is a Praise Judy mention in each routine and a picture of her on the walls. Kind of gives me the creeps. I sure do wish men would teach, and having a transvestite teaching would be a blast! Look at the highest earners at Tupperware and Avon. It can be a great workout AND great theater at the same time. That would be 21st Century Jazzercise.

Just want to teach

I Jazz at a successful center in my town. The center I attend offers around 60 classes a week from over 20 different instructors. Each class averages 30 students or more. Last week, the owner of my center (who is also a very popular instructor) asked me to come to a movement screening in order to take my first steps toward becoming an instructor. I thought "Wow! That sounds fun. I've always thought about teaching the classes."
After talking more with her, I was sorely disappointed. It's sad that they don't offer something for people like me who don't want to necessarily make a career out of it or use it as a business/source of income. I don't want to own a franchise or open my own center. I just want to teach a few classes at an established center. I don't want to make a bundle of cash off it (which now sounds very difficult to do- especially if there is already an established center in your area). Heck, I'd teach classes in exchange for free Jazzercise!
Too bad the corporate office is being so aggressive about creating as many "franchises" as possible. It turns people like me off. It also makes me sad to know that the owner probably only approached me as a result of having to meet some sort of recruit quota set by the corporate office.

"Franchisee"

Sounds like the instructor/owner you spoke with may not have made it clear that all instructors are "franchisees," even if we just teach classes at someone else's center. It doens't mean you have to open your own studio. It's just a term they use so that it's clear all instructors are independent contractors, not employees.

Wow

Ive been an instructor for 3 years and I was a student 3 years before that. In the past 6 years I have seen a lot of changes, but the one thing that stays the same is that this is a program guaranteed to show physical results. Everyone always asks me what I do to stay so tone and I tell them Jazzercise. You don't get paid much and the evaluation process continues to get ridiculously harder, but if you love the workout, results, and the fun social reward of working out with great women (most working moms), then become an instructor. If that's too stressful, go back to being a student. I would love to own a center, but I live in a small area and unfortunately it's hard to compete with other programs and meet the minimum CFF. So, I choose to have fun being a instructor and not deal with the stress of being an owner. There are a lot of fees for liability and Jazzercise apparel, equipment, etc., but you can write those expenses and others off when you do your taxes. KEEP RECEIPTS! Also remember that people use these websites to vent negative experiences, trust me I know, my husband owns a restaurant. Very rarely will you ever see a positive post on a review website. I like teaching Jazzercise and I don't pay to workout, I don't make a ton of money as an instructor, but I enjoy the experience and the shape I'm in :) Do what makes you happy and healthy. What works for one, doesn't necessarily work for all.

Granville_Bean's picture

not wow

INTB tells us: "You don't get paid much and the evaluation process continues to get ridiculously harder, but if you love the workout, results, and the fun "

Really the very premise of "it's not that bad" is damning with faint praise.  Glad she tells it like it is. "You don't get paid much". If you want a hobby that's fine but apparently it isn't much of a BUSINESS, which is what it is sold as.

Former Instructor

I was a student for several years and a class owner for 10. I can tell you that it is very "cliquish". I went on maternity leave and my District Manager had a cow! He (bet you can guess who) made me get a doctor's excuse, etc. I infomred him that if I wsa an independent contractor I shouldn't need a doctor's excuse and the person who owned classes before me never taught from June to September. Needless to say I was blackballed! When I moved, I was refused a new contract (yes, you only own a geographical area) - after I paid for insurance, franchise fees, etc. I requested my money back and had to sue to get a refund!
The first 5 years I was an instructor I was part of the clique - I had 21 successful classes and made a $*&^load of money for corporate and they loved me - I could do no wrong. I recruited 17 yes 17 instructors - only 1 of which is still teaching. I got money for advertising, etc. I made money but never enough to quit my full-time job. Believe it or not, I think Jazzercise is most successful in small to mid communities with little or no competition. The most successful instructor I know teaches in a tri-town area that has a population of about 25,000.
As far as renting a church, many states have "cracked down" on a non-tax paying entity renting its facility to a for-profit business. Corporate makes it almost immpossible to teach at a gym or other facility and if you do teach another type of exercise - personal training, yoga, etc. you have to pay 10% royalties on that income as well. If you became an instructor prior to like 1990, you don't have to pay this amount.
Really talk with a variety of people before you jump into this - and remember, if you loose money for more than 5 years the IRS might consider this a "hobby" and not allow a loss more than the income you generated!

Buyer Beware

I am a former Jazzercise franchisee. I taught for 7 years, and resigned in October 2011. My resignation was due to medical issues, but I suspect I would have resigned within the next year anyway due to difficulties with the franchise.

Let me say, I LOVE the jazzercise workout -- it's fun, it's effective, and I truly loved it as both a student and as an instructor. BUT -- if you decide to pursue a franchise, crunch the numbers and really understand what you're signing up for. It truly is the rare instructor who can make a decent profit, and I don't know any who could support themselves on it.

Be aware that if you are a class owner, you will pay 20% of your monthly gross to Jazzercise Inc. That's a hefty amount. You will be responsible for your own advertising and marketing -- corporate does woefully little on either front, and there is no "advertising fund." Every franchisee is on their own. Advertising is expensive with very little ROI. You will need to build or purchase a stage, you'll need sound equipment, a microphone, music 5x's per year, you'll pay insurance and music royalties every year. If you want to provide equipment as a courtesy to your customers (mats, weights, resistance balls, xertubes, etc.) you'll shell out money for that as well. If you are able to recruit your own instructors, you'll be able to add classes, but you'll also have to pay the instructors. Most class owners in this economic climate are finding that adding classes to their schedule rarely brings in enough revenue to justify paying extra people to teach. And don't forget to figure in the rent you'll pay to a facility.

The cost of the franchise is increasing soon, as is the minimum monthly fee (in other words, if your monthly 20% does not equal $250, you'll pay them $250). Do the math -- for that $250 to equal 20% of your gross, you need to gross $1,250 per month. If your average monthly price to customers is $38 (that's an average of what most class owners charge on EFT), then you need approximately 33 regular customers on a monthly EFT draft. If you are starting brand new classes with no customers, it can take a long time to build up to that 33. Can you financially sustain and keep your classes open until you reach that number? Will your family finances survive paying Jazzercise $250 per month if your business doesn't earn that much? Also - the numbers I'm using above are "gross" numbers -- know that your "net" will automatically be less due to the bank and processing fees for collecting money via EFT.

I'm not saying "do it" or "don't do it" -- just saying that it is incumbent upon YOU to find out as much as you can about the financial commitment before you sign a franchise agreement. It's great if you love to dance and want to teach the program, but there's a whole 'nother side to the franchise that can leave you financially strapped (or worse) if you don't crunch your numbers and compare them against your own family finances.

Jazzercise Instructor

Wow!....Sure wish I had read this 5 months ago! Certified a little over a month and regretting it now for all of these reasons! It's financially unfeasible if you want to try and make any money! After paying the franchise fee you wouldn't think you'd have a minimum "fee" to teach...that $150 now an upcoming $250 next years makes it almost impossible to try and "grow" classes anywhere unless you have a very large bankroll...been in tears for days as the realization of this is sinking is when I was approached about teaching classes at a local gym and found out that I can't afford to teach...not due to the gym rental costs but due to the Jazzercise instructor fees! You really don't get the "full" picture until you've paid your franchise fee, become and instructor THEN you can get into the corporate website and reality sets in. I love the classes, I love teaching, but would I recommend anyone to become an instructor with the costs involved in this economy...not on your life. Wishing I could have the $2000 and taken a different path. Only perk is that I can exercise at 42 classes a week for free as long as I don't have to get a "real" job...which I will have to in order to pay for being a Jazzercise instructor!

Well put!!

Well put!!

Jazzercise

DON'T DO IT. I've been an associate/sub for almost a year, and it was the worst business decision I ever made! This franchise nickels and dimes you to death. You will make no money - in fact, you will lose money. Buyer beware!

Jazzercise vs. Zumba and R.I.P.P.E.D.

 

i know several Jazzercise Franchise owners.  They do not break even, in fact they spend more than they make and they are "captured" instructors.  " Captured" means that they are not allowed to teach any other type of group exercise. Jazzercise is the only one in the industry that captures it's instructors.   It is true that the administration is sorority-ish and do not manage negative commentary to Jazzercise in an appropriate business manner.  Franchisee's who do not "tow the line" and stay quiet about complaints are ostracized, something that would not occur in a normal business environment.  There is very low tolerance for differences or diversity.  The lawsuits regarding discrimination based on body size (too large) clearly exemplifies this bias;  http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=126114&page=1.  There is no place for this kind of thinking in today's world.  This company was founded when there was no diversity and diversity was still outlawed in some states.   Jazzercise is generally an expensive hobby, not a business,  for most of it's Franchisee's.   

In comaparision, Zumba, has seen a phenomenal growth all over the world.  Zumba classes are typically full of students moving to a sexy latin beat for sixty minutes and caters to all levels of fitness.  There is no weight training.  A typical scenario is that a student pays $5.00 per class which makes it financially worthwhile for the instructor.  

A new arrival on the scene is R.I.P.P.E.D. an aerobic wellness program that caters to all levels of fitness;  http://www.RIPPEDusa.com/. You can become an instructor for $189.00 -$269.00, similar to Zumba,  versus a whopping $2,000.00  for Jazzercise.   R.I.P.P.E.D. involves music set the the intensity of the workout and low impact moves with light weights that make the 45 minute workout very effective.  Students are loving the music and the workout.

Jazzercise fees increasing

Soon it will cost $2000 to buy a Jazzercise franchise, and class owners will have to pay 20% of the gross of each class (or a minimum of $250/mo.) back to the corporation. If you're thinking about earning a living or even a decent return on your investment, think twice about owning this franchise. There are also additional annual costs, such as liability insurance and music license fees, etc.

Owning a Jazzercise Franchise

"Owning" is really the wrong term to use for this franchise. You will never be in control as you would if it were really your own business. In fact, over the past few years this franchise has become micro-managed to the point of absurdity. There is very little you can do in regard to making your own decisions about how to run "your" business. The initial start-up fees are around $2000. If you are an associate or sub, you will get paid $10-$15 for each class that you teach for a class owner - if in fact you can get hired by a class owner to teach in the first place. And you have to teach at least 4 classes per month according to the latest rules, so if no one hires you you're in a real bind. If you become a class owner, you have additional fees - 20% of the gross of each and every class per month, with a minimum fee of $50/month. There are also bank fees to pay every month on each student who signs up for EFT. You'll have to find a place to rent, buy equipment such as weights, tubes, balls, mats, etc., a sound system that meets corporation guidelines, and if you choose to have a center - paint it the colors prescribed by the corporation, and follow other rules pertaining to the decor. And don't forget about the music license fees and liability insurance fees which are due every year. (Associates also have to pay a sub fee and liability insurance fees every year). There are numerous promotions throughout the year in which you will be expected to participate, since they are supposedly designed to bring in more students. However, the main purpose really seems to be the money they bring in for the corporation, from the promotional items they sell to the instructors at inflated prices.Then there are expenses for clothing, shoes, equipment, music, and numerous other incidentals. There are district meetings during the year which usually involve travel and hotel expenses, that you will be expected to attend at your own expense. There is no health insurance unless you pay for it yourself, no paid vacations, etc. So unless you have another source of income, don't count on this franchise to help boost your family income. In fact, it can drain you dry!

Your comments on Jazzercise franchisee ownership

Wow!! You nailed it on the head!! I wish I would have read your post 20 years ago! Jazzercise has proven to be locally very snarky and soroity'esque in it's dealings with franchisees whom choose to not go to the semi-annual "conferences" at the franchisee's complete expense. So that we could be talked into how to give corporate more income and pay ourselves less!
Once I resigned, I called the corporate "marketing" manager to express my issues with her and was promptly dismissed, with her saying, "Well if your class owner wants to pay the associate instructors $6.30 a class, and you and your fellow instructors accepted it, too bad"!!!!
Wow! My focus was always on the students and teaching an amazing Jazzercise class. It took a lot for me to walk away from this pyramid business concept, but I was not willing to have to put my family and myself in bankruptcy (Which has happened to fellow franchise class owners throughout the nation) to support a good concept that got greedy.

uddayana

batwing
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Franchising Consultant

I think this is a great idea that can really flourish if you approach it with the right amount of passion and experience. Like a few members stated above me, this is a huge commitment that requires the right amount of experience to make your franchise flourish.

If you feel like this is a worthy commitment, I really recommend pursuing the assistance of a franchising consultant group. They'll be able to help you make sure that you're making all the right steps on the road to success for your business, plus provide you with the connections you need to franchising lawyers and the like.

I recommend Upside Group. Their experienced staff will be able to help you out indefinitely. Check them out at UpsideGroup.biz.

Happy Franchisee

To answer the question about the value of the franchise and why not do this on your own, Jazzercise provides every instructor with 25-30 new routines every 10 weeks with a professionally-made DVD. All the music is chosen and awesome, and we get printed notes on line.

I have been a sub and am now an owner. It's good advice to be a sub first. I make more money as an owner, but I also spend more time on the business side of things (advertising, promotions, etc.) which I enjoy. It's all about what you love. If you love the program and business, you will love it like I do.

I do have a full-time job other than being a Jazz owner, and it's true that to make enough money to live on, you need to be quite large, even with 2 or 3 Jazzercise centers (and there are owners out there doing that). I would LOVE to be one of those owners someday!

I do not think owning more

I do not think owning more locations brings more money. It's more overheads including more rents.

Unfortunately, too much of

Unfortunately, too much of these posts is true. I actually became and instructor twice. The first time, in 1982 BEFORE there were franchise fees. It was costly even then with all the equipment and other stuff that we needed to purchase. Still, I actually made a living at it. I quit because as the aerobics industry became more popular, the competition became stiffer and it became more difficult to sustain a living. The next time it cost me $600 for the francise fee. I became a sub and after working as a long-term sub for someone, she never paid me. I got back-logged with franchise fees and had to quit before I was terminated. As a sub, you still have to pay about $50 just to stay on the books. So, if you don't work one month, you're out $50. And you STILL need to pay for music, videos, etc. Loved the program, but hated the business.

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Buying a Franchise