A fitness studio, 125-degree infrared heat and sauna technology. This healthy combination of therapies is the novel concept behind HOTWORX®, an emerging national fitness franchise. Franchisees Wil and Melanie Johnston were the first to open a HOTWORX location in their area. Their 24/7 business houses eight sauna exercise rooms, featuring a choice of isometric and “high-intensity interval training” sessions led by virtual instruction. Among many physical benefits, toxins are removed, inflammation is reduced and workout time is compressed to as little as 15 minutes.
Prior to their decision to invest in HOTWORX, the Johnstons needed to engage in a lengthy discovery process with the franchise group. During that time span their lender lost interest in financing their start-up dream. They needed a new and more reliable financing teammate fast to achieve their goal of opening prior to the new year when healthy resolutions drive fitness club memberships. A great deal of construction was needed, including significant electrical and HVAC work to handle the sauna technology.
“I would describe our KeyBank team as competent, professional and responsive. Most of all, they just really believed in our business and getting it off the ground quickly.” – Wil Johnston, Franchisee, HOTWORX®
Following the advice of a friend, the Johnstons turned to KeyBank, which stood out thanks to its preferred SBA lender status. As Wil Johnston puts it, “Our KeyBank team quickly secured all the advantages of SBA lending terms thanks to their preferred standing with the SBA. You don’t get that with just any bank.” Their KeyBank Business Banking Relationship manager handled the day-to-day flow of information while KeyBank SBA Specialists worked to customize the SBA-7(a) loan terms. Knowing a membership-based business needs time to build up clientele and cash flow, the KeyBank team arranged for low, interest-only payments during the initial six months.
The Johnstons were able to open their HOTWORX business in October of 2021. That was perfect timing for the fitness club, which has grown its membership to over 800 in less than a year. Since the initial opening, the Johnstons have secured an additional SBA loan through KeyBank to build out a second location. “KeyBank’s team approach went the extra mile to get our SBA guarantee fee waived because I’m a military veteran,” exclaims Wil Johnston. Their business also trusts its daily banking, automated clearing house (ACH) and credit card accounts to KeyBank. The Johnstons have purchased a total of five HOTWORX franchisee licenses, meaning they have plans to further grow their “hot yoga” business. And with KeyBank as a teammate, it should be no sweat.
To learn more, contact a local KeyBank Relationship Manager or visit key.com/sbalocations.
To learn more about HOTWORX, visit hotworx.net.