Earnings Claims of Top Franchises Revealed

Earnings Claims of Top Franchises Revealed

  • Anytime Fitness
  • CruiseOne
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Jimmy John's
  • Massage Envy
  • Menchie's
  • Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
  • Planet Fitness
  • The UPS Store
  • Yogurt Land
  • And Hundreds More...

No, thanks. I'm not interested in uncovering the actual earnings of hundreds of franchises at this time.

Franchise Chatter Exclusive: Q & A with Chuck Runyon, Co-Founder and CEO of Anytime Fitness

by Franchise Chatter on April 29, 2011

in Executive Profile, Franchise Chatter Exclusive, Q & A Interview



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(A note from Ambrosio:  I’m so excited to share with you the very first Franchise Chatter Exclusive Q & A with a major player in the franchise industry.  I’m so grateful that Chuck Runyon,  Co-Founder and CEO of Anytime Fitness, has agreed to be the subject of my inaugural franchise executive interview.  Anytime Fitness was ranked #18 in Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of The Top 500 Franchises of 2011, and highest in the gym category.  I also wrote a blog post on Anytime Fitness as one of the Top 3 Fitness Franchises.  Please check back often for more exclusive interviews coming soon.)

Curious about the average member numbers, projected revenues and projected earnings for Anytime Fitness clubs?  Please click here.

Chuck Runyon, Co-Founder and CEO of Anytime Fitness, spent several years working at every level of business in the fitness industry, from cleaning to new member sales to management and eventually consulting, prior to co-founding Anytime Fitness in 2002.

1.)    What made you decide to start Anytime Fitness?

Anytime Fitness Co-Founders Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen

Anytime Fitness Co-Founders Chuck Runyon (on the left) and Dave Mortensen



During the years before we started Anytime Fitness, while we were primarily doing consulting work, (Anytime Fitness co-founder) Dave Mortensen and I spent countless hours speaking with members of a wide variety of health clubs.  We discovered that, above all else, members wanted three things from their gym:

Convenience – meaning 24-hour access and neighborhood location

Affordability

Friendly, non-intimidating club atmosphere

With those ideas in mind, we developed the business model for Anytime Fitness.  Our top priority was to create a member-friendly gym that entrepreneurs would be proud to own.

2.)    Why should someone interested in owning their own business consider a fitness franchise?

Franchisees who own a fitness club get the tangible satisfaction of knowing that they are improving people’s lives in their community.  Very few people get that sort of satisfaction from their jobs – it’s priceless.  Plus, if you follow the franchisee model, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.  You can rely on the franchisor for expertise and support.  When properly operated, a fitness franchise can give franchisees the financial benefits, and freedom they seek, to more fully enjoy life.

3.)    What sets Anytime Fitness apart from your competitors in the fitness franchise industry?

A proven business model, franchise support, and a rapid but controlled growth rate that is increasing brand awareness.  No other fitness franchise supports its franchisees better than Anytime Fitness.  We have a great team of franchise consultants – and other support staff – many of whom also own their own Anytime Fitness clubs.  So, when they consult with a franchisee about things like marketing initiatives and member-retention strategies, they know what they are talking about.  Anytime Fitness is the #1 co-ed fitness franchise in the world, with 1,600 clubs now open in 49 states and 8 countries, serving more than 1,000,000 members.

4.)    What qualities are you looking for in a prospective franchisee?



Someone with a passion for improving other people’s lives.  No experience in the fitness industry or owning a business is needed.  Those things can be learned.  We want franchisees who are eager to impact their community in positive ways.

Anytime Fitness Club Interior

The warm and welcoming interiors of an Anytime Fitness club.

5.)    Can you describe the ideal Anytime Fitness location?

Medium or small sized communities with a population base of 15,000 or more (Anytime Fitness “Express” clubs – typically 2,500 Sq. Ft. – typically do well in even smaller communities).  Successful Anytime Fitness clubs are generally located on the ground floor of high-visibility retail centers adjacent to neighborhoods and steady traffic streams.

6.)    Based on your observations, what concrete steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their businesses?

They get started running by assembling a team dedicated to “pre-sales” – new member sales prior to the club’s opening.  Nothing substitutes for opening the door with 200-300, or more, members on day #1.  Then, they dedicated themselves to learning about each of their members on a personal level.  You cannot help someone else achieve his or her goals if you don’t know what they are.  And satisfied members turn into wonderful ambassadors for your club.

7.)    What kind of ongoing support do you extend to your franchisees to help them become more successful?

In addition to a week-long “New Franchisee Training” session at our corporate offices, each franchisee is assigned to a team of franchise consultants with specific knowledge about a specific stage of club development:  pre-sale, year 1, year 1-3, year 3-5+, and multiple club owners.  Franchisees move from one team of franchise consultants to another as their club progresses.  Also, Anytime Fitness is very proud of its continuing education program, which we refer to as “Vitals Training.”  A few dozen times a year, franchise consultants travel around the country, visiting clubs and hosting 2-day training sessions to rejuvenate club owners and managers.

8.)    What would you tell a prospective franchisee who wants to know about the profit potential of an Anytime Fitness franchise?

Nearly half of our franchisees are so successful operating their first club that they open multiple clubs.  Anytime Fitness has opened approximately 300 clubs each of the past three years – making Anytime Fitness the fastest-growing fitness club franchise in the world.  For a more specific idea on the profit potential of an Anytime Fitness club, prospects should simply ask existing franchisees – or review our public Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

9.)   Can you describe your typical day as CEO of Anytime Fitness?  What do you enjoy most about your job?

Chuck Runyon getting "branded" with the Running Man tattoo

Chuck Runyon getting "branded" with the Running Man tattoo.

The bulk of my day is divided between direct contact with Anytime Fitness franchisees and members of our corporate team.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than hearing from a franchisee who wants to share a story about helping an individual member get more out of life – or an entire community participate in a healthy lifestyle initiative.  It also gives me great pride to witness the wonderful support staff we’ve assembled helping franchisees achieve their dreams.

To read my exclusive interview with Anytime Fitness franchisee Colleen Braun, please click here.

Learn more about Anytime Fitness on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Anytimefitness.com.

Also check out Anytime Health, their online community and nutrition/activity tracker, and follow Anytime Health on Twitter.



Franchise Matching Quiz



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

George June 27, 2011 at 12:59 am

Didn’t Jeff Klinger found it?

Reply

Ambrosio June 27, 2011 at 1:12 am

Hi there,

I believe that Chuck Runyon, Dave Mortensen, and Jeff Klinger (who has since left the company) are all credited as co-founders of Anytime Fitness.

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/smallbusiness/1106/gallery.great_franchise_bets/6.html

Thanks for dropping by!

Reply

unicorn April 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm

actually jeff klinger founded it when it was a really really small business, needed help, then asked them to help out…so they started out when it was still a small business…jeff klinger left and they are now taking all of the credit

Reply

unicorn April 27, 2013 at 9:23 pm

well sorry not small buisness it wasnt up and running yet but he had the idea and basics down

Reply

Joshua January 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

Very interesting interview! Been considering opening up one of these. Guess I’ll begin taking a more serious look at it 🙂

Reply

Ambrosio January 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Thanks, Joshua. Please check out my interviews with Anytime Fitness franchisees Mark Stevens and Colleen Braun. And for the sake of comparison, you might want to read my interviews with Peter Taunton, CEO of Snap Fitness, and two of their franchisees, Joshua Schaubach and Maris Brennan. Good luck with your research.

Best regards,

Ambrosio

Reply

Bonnie Anthony June 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I am a former quadgeplegic of 26 years ago who with with absolute faith believed in my GOD my Father and Jesus!Regained movement and feeling from o% to 85% return back,which the Doctors did not see happening GOD has given me back more than I prayed for I made promises to him I did not keep and he still never left my side! I was in an auto accident in 2009 W/abnormalities in c5 and c7 I have lost alot of what I did regain and I have been doing therapy on my own!The point I am making is I have some therapeautical design inventions that are not available in the market. That could help alot of people physicaly challenged whether by birth or sport injury.I would like to venture in this with Mr.Dave Mortensen and Mr.Chuck Runyon,I have not done a lot of good in my life that GOD has given me back so I would like to send sketches of these ideals to anytime fitness who can profit as well as being put to good use in helping and donating 50% of the proceeds to donate people who are in need of the therapy equipment and to other organizations without funds,I probably am not in the correct department so I leave this in GOD hands! I do not have funds to start this venture but I have knowledge because of my challenges and inspiration!Thank you Bonnie Anthony

Reply

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