updated - May 19, 2013 Sunday EDT
An up and coming franchise, Complete Nutrition, an Omaha, Neb.-based franchise, has been growing faster than what they can handle.
"We will definitely take a sustainable business model over a growth business model any day," said Ryan Zink, Complete Nutrition's president, according to Entrepreneur.
The nutrition supplement retailer recently lifted a self-imposed 15-month freeze on new franchise sales after suffering the repercussions of hypergrowth.
Complete Nutrition began franchising in 2008, and by January 2010 had 19 locations.
The company planned to award 18 franchises that year. Instead, it awarded 245 franchises in 15 months, and turned away "a good amount" as well, Zink says, all without spending a significant amount on marketing or advertising.
Zink, 32, and Cory Wiedel, the company's 37-year-old chief executive and founder, opened their first Complete Nutrition store in 2005, after years of franchise experience in the nutritional-supplement industry.
The two launched Complete Nutrition so that they could offer diet, exercise and supplement consultation in addition to selling just products.
Due to the fast growth, the company decided to freeze franchise sales for 15 months in March 2011. During that time, they recruited and trained "the best office team that we could," hiring seasoned executives with experience in franchising, retail and technology from places like Applebee's and Cold Stone Creamery, he says.
Home office staff jumped from 20-plus at the start of the freeze to 60 as of June.
They also had to let go several people who weren't a fit with the company's vision, Zink says.
"With quick growth sometimes come quick mistakes," he says.
The company also used the 15-month break to analyze the qualities of its best-performing franchisees. Zink says people who are passionate about health and fitness, not necessarily those with the most business experience, are strongest -- and the franchise is now targeting those individuals.
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