SARAH EMBLOW CHATS TO US ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE AS A BARRECORE FRANCHISEE

Sarah Emblow has run Barrecore’s first-ever franchise studio in Alderley Edge, near Manchester, since 2014 and last year opened her second Barrecore franchise studio in nearby Hale! With experience launching two successful Barrecore studios outside London, Sarah’s story is an inspiration to those looking to set up a franchise with Barrecore.


Congratulations on opening your second Barrecore studio this year! How did you first discover the Barrecore Method and what inspired you to take barre fitness up north to Alderley Edge and Hale?

I first discovered Barrecore when working in London. Very soon I was hooked on the method and inspired by how quickly I was seeing results in both my body and mind and felt confident and more energised after each class! I just couldn’t believe that Barrecore classes were not yet available across the UK and I truly believed that if I opened a Barrecore studio in Manchester then everyone else would love it just as much as I did. So, I decided to approach Niki Rein (Barrecore Founder & CEO) with this proposition and the rest is history!


Why do you think our unique Method has clients taking class so frequently and for so many years?

Honestly, I believe the main reason clients return again and again is because of the long-lasting results the Barrecore Method creates. There is also such a warm and supportive feeling the moment you walk through the doors of the studio and this created an incredible sense of community at Barrecore!


What assistance did the Barrecore team provide you leading up to the opening of your two studios, and how do they support you in the day-today running of both?

Barrecore guided me every step of the way when opening my two studios. It was very reassuring to have the expertise of the core team who could assist me through each key milestone. I was welcomed into the community and provided with 360-degree support, from finding the right location to training my instructor team, as well as small but crucial details such creating playlists to provide the best atmosphere in class. As my confidence grew I needed less support from HQ but, as a small business owner, it’s so reassuring that they’re always just a phone call away. Feeling as if I am part of a bigger team while running my own business offers me the best of both worlds!


What would be your top three tips for opening and operating a successful Barrecore franchise?

1: Eat, sleep and breathe the Barrecore brand! Your success will come from fully immersing yourself into building a community at your studios so your clients keep coming back!

2: Fully understand your local market and clientele. It’s such an exciting time to be involved in wellness, being aware of your competitors and learning from your community will keep you ahead of the game. It will also give you the knowledge to adapt and work with Barrecore’s incredible business model to truly satisfy the needs of your clients.

3: Build an amazing team around you. Having the best teachers and front desk team is what really elevates the Barrecore experience for your clients.


How many barre teachers do you currently have on your team? Can you describe the process offered by Barrecore to help you train your teachers in order to get your studios up and running?

We have a team of six passionate teachers, including myself and my business partner, each with their own unique style and much loved by all of our clients. Having done many other exercise training courses in the past, I can confidently say that Barrecore’s training is second to none and they really set their teachers up for success. Barrecore’s expert teacher trainers pass on a deep level of understanding on the key origins and technique of barre fitness to ensure teachers really master the method. Each teacher learns how to offer hands on corrections and modify each movement for injured or pre/post natal clients so that classes feel more like a group personal training session rather than just a traditional group fitness class. This level of expert knowledge can then be passed onto clients so that teachers consistently deliver high quality, efficient and inspirational classes.


How have you generated new clients and cultivated a warm community at your two studios, and what would be your advice to fellow franchisees to build upon this?

Being in the studio every day is crucial. Taking a genuine interest in each clients’ goals and being a real part of their journey to achieve these is incredibly rewarding. Our sense of community starts as soon as you walk through the studio doors and we greet every client by name so the whole experience feels very personal. We also regularly hold masterclasses, brunches and challenges that really bring the whole community together.


Talk me through a typical day for you. What do you love most about running your own studio and being your own boss?

Each day is diverse and exciting! The first thing I do is check my emails and set up my to-do list for the day. I teach classes or private sessions most mornings, but I will also work on the main desk at one of the studios to ensure I’m constantly in touch with our clients and teachers. I also often teach in the evenings, as I want to stay connected with our evening staff and clients too. I try to do plenty of Barrecore classes myself as another way of staying connected to my team but if they don’t fit into my schedule I do an online class at home instead!

Around my time spent teaching and working on the studio front desk, I always try to squeeze in meetings with either a member of my team, a potential collaborator or someone from my network, as this always feeds my energy and creativity. I then head home which gives me a chance to check in with my family and get some admin work which could range from planning marketing campaigns to ordering studio supplies. Then, at the end of the day I like to switch off with a magnesium salt bath and a good book!


Have there been problems you didn't anticipate along the way and how have you overcome these challenges?

I definitely underestimated the workload in the first year of launching the studio, particularly on my body as it’s a physical job as well as mental. Teaching classes and fitting in an 8 hour working day was intense at first and took some getting used to. It’s important to be fully immersed in the business from the beginning, so I did spend a lot of time networking and saying yes to everything so as not to pass up an opportunity to get clients through the door.

However, after the first year things calmed down and I’m lucky enough to have an amazing support network at home. Eventually, I joined forces with my business partner Kat last year, who has been instrumental in our expansion and continued growth.


Do you have plans to open any more Barrecore studios in the future?

I’m definitely always exploring this as the fitness industry is always growing and the barre technique is exploding in the UK. So, I have my eye on a few more neighbourhoods which I think could be a great market for another Barrecore studio.


And finally, what would be your number one piece of advice to those looking to open a franchise studio with Barrecore?

My best piece of advice would be to abandon traditional preconceived ideas about ‘Work Life Balance’. It’s a notion that is banded about so freely and you need to be more flexible with your time when you’re running your own business. Having two studios that are open for 13 hours a day, 7 days a week, whilst juggling two children and family life has meant that I’ve needed to reframe my thinking.

When I worked a corporate job I was used to having clear weekends and days off, whereas now I think about my weeks differently. During the week I may teach in the mornings and then switch off for an hour or two to get dinner prepared or watch a sports match, and then over the weekend, when my children are at gymnastics training, I’ll hop back onto my laptop to get through some work! It’s simply about being flexible with your hours and in return you get the BEST office: Your very own Barrecore studio!

If you're interested in launching your own Barrecore studio, or know of someone that would be, find out more about our Global Franchise opportunity here.

Barrecore guided me every step of the way when opening my two studios. It was very reassuring to have the expertise of the core team who could assist me through each key milestone.