At HangTime, we’ve always done things a bit differently. Whether it’s building smaller gyms closer to our climbers, or keeping belaying and joining fees at zero, we’ve always tried to stay on the keen edge of what makes our customers happy, and what helps to build the sport in general.
With our fourth birthday coming up in just a few months, we feel we’ve started to get a good sense of climbing in Cape Town, but want to step it up a notch. So, in our quest to really expand climbing in the broader playground that is SA, we’re going to be testing the water with franchising/decentralising our operations – with a view to opening up even more gyms right across the country in coming years.
As a start, we’re going to be spinning out one of our existing branches as a pilot for this approach. We feel that handing over an established, solid branch to a franchisee/partner is a much better way to test this avenue, as compared to starting a new location from scratch, where our new partners would have to walk a much harder road. So, we’re going to be selling our existing gym in the Cape Town CBD as a franchise – staying under the HangTime brand, but with the renewed energy of its own management team. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of running your own climbing gym, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!
Our third location, we opened this gym in November 2016, at a build cost of roughly R750,000. With its high-profile location on a major artery in the CBD, it’s gone on to become one of our most exciting branches, proving particularly popular with students from the two neighbouring universities, and with tourists staying in Cape Town hotels. With established trade, and a constantly growing member base as well, it’s a great opportunity for someone looking to get into the climbing industry.
The branch (and thus any franchisee who takes it over) enjoys the benefit of the following:
- Being part of an established, well-loved brand
- Location second to none, facing out right onto busy Roeland St and popular De Villiers St
- Huge window exposure for self-marketing, with rights to sub-let to third-party advertisers
- Free parking all around the building, all day
- 12m sport walls and 40 running metres of bouldering
- Adjustable moon/systems/training board and fixed campus board
- Very neat bathrooms and showers already in place
- Secure premises with branded gate and buzzer entry
- All rope and rental gear (harnesses and shoes) ready and raring to go
- Access to HangTime’s preferential pricing from suppliers for any future purchases
- Large base of existing climbers and boulderers who know the branch well
- Recurring monthly revenue from debit order memberships (with a membership base that’s grown consistently since opening)
- An easy-going, available landlord who is committed to working with his tenants
- Existing lease for years to come, with no rental deposit required (the franchisee gets the benefit of us having already paid the security deposit)
- Heavily subsidised rental and very low overheads
- Pre-approval from landlord for a premises liquor licence
- The reach of established social media accounts
- Excellent click-through rates from search engines
- Instant referral of birthday party, intro course, etc. requests at no cost
- A turn-key operation, where you’d be able to run it and continue generating revenue from your first day
Apart from the brand and the industry, you’re also stepping into a solid business itself. With us already having done the hard work of building up the branch, and absorbing early losses, this branch is already in a break-even to profit position when run by hands-on operators. (Just ask any other gym or business how long it takes to get to break-even, and you’ll appreciate how major this is)
And what would all of this cost, you might ask? Well, we recognise that whoever we partner with will be a guinea pig of sorts – helping us to refine our systems for further expansion – so that is reflected in the price. In short, you’ll get to own your own climbing gym for just R480,000. Even then, we realise that this may be a stretch for the right person, so we’re prepared to have 25% of that paid off over the first year of operation – so, you’ll only need to come up with R360,000 initially, and then pay off R10,000 a month for the next 12 months. That’s how confident we are that this business will continue to grow and prosper, and we’re putting our money where our mouth is! We then intend to use that capital for expanding and upgrading our existing operations, or for scouting out our next (fourth!) location.
There will then be a monthly management fee of 5% of revenue, which covers shared marketing, as well as ongoing access to our existing management team. This management fee, though, will be zero for the first six months, to give the new franchisee as much breathing space as possible to get up to speed.
We’ll also continue to run the debit order membership system for you, and simply pay over the share of memberships for the branch, so you don’t even need to wait the standard 6-12 months to have access to that kind of facility. This also means you’ve got guaranteed cash flow every month from the moment you walk in – our members are committed to their climbing, and will become a mainstay of your business.
For more information, or to put up your hand, please reach our founder Gareth directly.
Email climb (at) hangtime (dot) co (dot) za for his attention, or message/call him directly on WhatsApp on +447478090900 (he’s based overseas at the moment).
And please, this isn’t Auction Alliance, so no sketchy low-ball offers. If we can’t reach an agreement with the right person or team, we’ll happily just keep on running the branch ourselves.