By Gill Stewart at
Is it a franchise?
No, it is a licensed fitness programme which is pre written and comes with all the promotional tools similar to the LES MILLS body pump or Zumba concepts. The content is the result of a combined 50 years experience in the fitness industry and we want to make sure its use is not watered down or overtly copied or delivered under other brand names. It is similar to a franchise in that a proven formula and business start up is given at the outset but we do not require an up front fee for its use, preferring to simply allow Instructors to spread the cost. It is important that we protect the integrity of the concept and ensure those who have invested in their personal development continue to benefit from our investment in its promotion and development. To that end, we do issue a standard business contract as we feel it is important for both parties to totally understand what is provided and that the relationship is designed to be long term and not a quick fix to help somebody launch and then go on to operate outside the network. This is especially important as we have a vision that our network of highly trained delivery partners will be able to meet the needs of the NHS commissioners and play avital part in getting the people of the UK more active – therefore it needs to continue to grow. This can also only be achieved by a network with a strong brand identity and consistency in delivery.
How do delivery partners keep their own brand identity and yet work under the network?
We produce guidelines to ensure they retain their unique identity and yet are clearly part of the bigger picture. We believe the strength of the concept is that a professional standard is delivered by individuals who each have their own personality and identity. However, it would be impossible for hundreds of smaller brands to gain the national publicity and recognition that we have achieved, so this balance is important for both parties. We do ask them to display the delivery partner logo and include elements of NWUK branding. The websites we provide have built in search optimisation and we are constantly adapting them to make sure each Instructor achieves an element of individuality within the core brand.
Can delivery partners keep their own personal website but still use the booking system and other tools?
Yes, we can actually insert the on line booking system into personal websites and even into a Facebook page. Where Instructors have included this they have recorded up to a 70% increase in taster and course bookings – simply because the public can view thesession and click to book. In this example the Instructor has been with NWUK several years and has an established brand so we inserted the booking system into her personal website see https://www.coreconcept.org.uk/calendar/
Can delivery partners retain control of their own clients?
Absolutely, we work with them to ensure that all communication is professional and we train them to be able to send group e mails via the management software and to send instant bulletins re any last minute class changes. We also prepare regional and national newsletters in order to enhance the customer experience and work hard to add new benefits all the time. For established Instructors looking to transfer their business onto the management system, out team build a comprehensive information campaign which is sent out by the instructor in order to inform clients of the changes and benefits. Our network thrives on the instructor/client relationship and we strive to maintain and enhance that.
Do delivery partners have exclusivity over an area?
At the moment no, but we would never recruit a new delivery partner or instructor in their locality without their knowledge and where possible we seek to ensure that areas grow via team work and building a variety of instructors who can cater for different markets and different times. It is not in our interest for delivery partners to fail as we spend a great deal of time training and supporting them and our vision is to see the network expand. Therefore we would never recruit somebody who would compete with them. Where we have highly successful delivery partners we help them to expand via giving the ability to train their own leaders or oversee other Instructors. We are working towards building in some indicators that will lead to protection of a certain area (by population head count) once they achieve a certain level.
If I offer other types of fitness classes like Pilates or Yoga, can I promote and manage those through the on line booking system too?
Yes, we are now beginning to offer bespoke systems to those who offer other services, especially as many of you report that your clients utilise both types of classes. We have produced a specific icon for ‘other classes’ but we can also hide these on the NWUK search function if they are not relevant to our audience. They can be inserted into the Instructor’s personal website and are searchable via google etc.
What are the icons on the NWUK search facility?
This are all part of the FREEDOM programme – when individuals gain their passports they are informed about the types of classes and which types are recommended to them. When delivery partner instructors plan their schedules they add these clear branded programmes and walk types in order to maintain consistency across the network. These icons are also searchable on the on line booking system so if a member of the public reads about a particular type of session such as wellbeing or ski fit, they can filter these out and find the nearest Instructor to them who delivers it. Our PR will continue to be based on the effectiveness and variations of Nordic walking and how NWUK Instructors are about far more than simply teaching technique.
How do I become a delivery partner?
All you have to do is pick up the phone and call the support team – we will talk through what you want to achieve with your Nordic walking, the type of people that you enjoy working with and the time you have to dedicate to it. We will be honest if we feel that you would not be able to make the most of the tools we provide due to time or other commitments as it’s important you are able to benefit fully. If you decide to come on board we will issue the contract and invite you to the initial two days business set up training. We will also set up your website, marketing tool kit and booking system – in depth training is provided on all the systems. if you have an established programme already, we will help you to integrate it and ensure your customers are managed throughout any changes.
Is it possible to deliver the FREEDOM programme without being a delivery partner?
Yes it is. In some areas, we have Delivery partners who are happy to help promote other local Instructors who may not wish to have an extensive range of classes by adding their regular walks and sessions onto the booking system for that. We also have some central contracts where we require Instructors to deliver the programmes for us and in some areas operate a regional website where instructors who do not want a full programme can add their walks. Speak to us about the NWUK brand ambassador option if you feel you can not commit to the delivery partner option for any reason.