An Australian Franchisee Case Study
Name: Steve Rollings
Locations: Owns 10 clubs across NSW (Muswellbrook, Cessnock, Singleton, Greenhills, Gunnedah, Taree, Thornton, Tamworth, Forster and Kotara)
Franchise: Anytime Fitness
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
I’ve been in franchising since I was 22 years old. I like the fact that you can spend your time building and profiting from the franchise model, not wasting time and money creating it.
I chose Anytime Fitness because I was looking for a business in the fitness industry, and it’s an incredible ‘lifestyle’ business model.
I can offer my members the convenience of using a gym 24/7 without having to staff it for crazy hours and I haven’t worked a weekend in the 5 years I’ve owned Anytime Fitness franchises – a big change coming from the pizza industry.
What did you do before taking up a franchise?
I left school after Y12 and did an electrical apprenticeship. After that when I was 22 I opened up an EagleBoys Pizza franchise in Muswellbrook NSW. I eventually owned 3 of these and sold them all by 2006. I had 2 years off looking for the right business opportunity to go into.
How did you raise the finance?
Initially I had some cash still from my EagleBoys shops to start a couple of Anytime Clubs. It made it much easier when Anytime become approved by Westpac for franchise finance 2 years ago.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
I initially did 3 days training in America at Anytime’s corporate office.
Anytime HO Australia now has a fantastic 5 day training program in Sydney and great support from the 50 staff at their corporate head office.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
For me it’s running my Regional office in Greenhills with my 6 staff there. Here we run the 10 clubs I have across NSW.
For a franchisee and club managers their day typically comprises of getting members, keeping members and doing this profitably.
What challenges have you faced?
Since I put in the first Anytime franchised club in Australia I have made most of the mistakes possible growing my businesses. One of the biggest challenges was managing my cash flow and finances to be able to open up a new club every 4 months. Currently now I’m spending a lot of time on building a fantastic motivated team of staff and club managers to run my clubs.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
My life has certainly changed being an Anytime Fitness franchisee. I am married with 4 kids (7-13) and it has allowed me to have a great relationship with them. We also go on 1-2 overseas trips as a family each year.
I now make more money in 2 weeks than I used to make in a whole year, with the time to enjoy it.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Look at the lifestyles of the franchisees of the system you are looking at going into. Many have just bought themselves a job wearing a silly hat and a uniform. Can you own multiple sites to increase your income and net worth, while still maintaining a great work life balance?
What are your plans for the future?
My plans are to stay and consolidate my growth with Anytime Fitness for the near future while I’m investing money into my real-estate portfolio.
Would you do it again?
Definitely, It’s about what you learn on the trip getting there…not the destination…
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