An Australian Franchisee Case Study
Name: Shane Casey
Location: Quakers Hill, St Marys & Emu Plains
Franchise: Anytime Fitness
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you chooseAnytime Fitness franchise?
I always had a goal of owning my own business. Ideally within the fitness industry. The reality of starting my own gym competing against established names in the market was quite daunting and too much of a risk. When I first saw the 24hr concept it immediately appealed to me. This prompted me to begin my research and look at different models in the market. The Anytime Fitness model appealed most particularly given its success in the US market. After meeting with Jacinta( Franchisor) in the Dee Why club I was really keen to become a part of Anytime Fitness.
What did you do before taking up your Anytime Fitness franchise?
I worked as a Sales Manager for a market leader in the liquor industry. Prior to this I was a teacher in Secondary schools both here and the UK. Whilst teaching I was employed at a number of different gyms working across many roles including Personal Training, Gym Instructing and Membership sales. Ultimately I knew I always wanted to pursue a fitness related career.
How did you raise the finance?
Both myself and my wife worked full time jobs (whilst juggling a young family) to get ahead financially.
When we made the decision to buy an Anytime Fitness franchise we sold our property and used the capital to start our first club.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
We attended a week training session at head office not long after signing our franchise agreement. This covered everything relating to selection of our site, fit out and daily operations of our club.
We also have access to an online program which guides us through each stage of the process.
In addition a franchise consultant is assigned to us for ongoing assistance and Sales training is conducted each quarter for franchisees and employees of the business.
What is a typical day for you as an Anytime Fitness franchisee?
I have been actively involved in the early stages of each club ensuring we create a great member experience from day one.
As all clubs are now under management I act as area manager spending at least one day a week in each club coaching and mentoring managers and staff. It’s also an opportunity to touch base with members & ensure our club culture is thriving.
I meet monthly with other franchisees to network and discuss ideas.
What challenges have you faced?
The biggest challenge is the on-going competition in the market. New gyms are opening all the time meaning we must continually focus on the member experience we create to ensure we stay ahead of the competition.
Another on-going challenge is the Recruitment of quality staff & Personal Trainers that are committed and share the same goals of making our clubs the best in the area in which we operate.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Definitely. It has provided us a fantastic work life balance. My wife is also actively involved in the business which allows us to spend quality time with our kids. It is very satisfying to see that our kids take a genuine interest in our work and love coming to visit the clubs. Its great working in an industry we are both passionate about & we reap the rewards from our hard work.
What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
A marketing plan is provided to guide us through recommended promotional activity on a monthly basis to ensure alignment to the brand.
We are also part of a Sydney marketing team in which we have recently invested into radio advertising.
What differentiates your franchise from the competition?
The strength of the Anytime Fitness brand with over 350 clubs in Australia.
I believe the quality of our fit out and equipment is far superior to other 24/7 operators. Some of my staff have worked for competitors and are blown away at the differences in our operating systems and processes we have in place.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
Someone who is passionate about the product they are selling and the franchise they are part of. You must be willing to work together & follow the model in order to be successful.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Do your homework. Talk to as many people in the industry as possible. Try and to seek feedback from existing franchisees and also those that are no longer part of the franchise. Find your passion and make it your profession.
What are your plans for the future?
To ensure my clubs are seen as the best in the markets in which they operate.
I will continue to seek further opportunities both here and possibly abroad.
Would you do it again?
100% without a doubt! Has been the best move we have ever made and very fortunate and proud to be part of the biggest fitness franchise in Australia.
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