ANYTIME FITNESS AUSTRALIA’S BIGGEST HEALTH CLUB CHAIN
posted on 31/07/2015 2:19:00 PM
Tell us a bit about your background and how you and Justin came to open Anytime Fitness Australia?
Justin and I grew up in the fitness industry and have more than 20 years’ experience, with our parents running clubs when we were young. We then opened our first club straight from high school and Justin moved into working for the big box clubs. This gave him the opportunity to experience all areas of the business. We have been in the industry since 1992 and have considerable experience and expertise.
In 2008, we felt ready for the next challenge. Having explored the industry for some years and seeing the growth of Anytime Fitness in the USA, we decided to launch Anytime Fitness Australia. Justin and I knew the challenges of running our own gym business and saw the franchise model as a way of growing our portfolio of businesses with a proven successful business model. We became the master franchisors of the American fitness brand and brought the 24-hour gym to Australia, where it has rapidly grown.
How has the business grown in the Australian market?
Both the gym concept and business model were unique to the industry and the Australian market. The industry was dominated by larger chains that had everything from juice bars, group exercise classes and crèches. Anytime Fitness gyms provide members access at any hour, with 24-hour entry, state-of-the-art equipment and topnotch facilities.
Justin and I own 20 clubs and have grown the business from the first club, which opened in November 2008, to more than 400 clubs across Australia in just over six years. With more than 2700 clubs and two million members worldwide, since Anytime Fitness launched into Australia it has become the quickest-growing segment of the world’s fastest-growing fitness chain, and is Australia’s biggest health club chain.
Why do consumers love the Anytime model so much?
Anytime Fitness credits its fast expansion to its members, who are the company’s number one priority. At Anytime Fitness we want our members to feel like they belong and feel something better every time they visit their club. When designing our clubs, we look at what our members will want in their club and the services they will expect. We have world-class equipment, a functional layout, online health resources, clean bathrooms, top-of-the-range security systems, Fitness On Request group training facilities and knowledgeable staff who take an interest in all their members – and all of this available for members 24 hours seven days a week.
What does the future look like given it is so competitive in that 24/7 market now?
The future for Anytime Fitness is extremely bright. We’re still growing rapidly because our product and service appeals to various customer types. Our staff ensure we maintain high standards of customer satisfaction, as positive word-of-mouth is our main form of advertising.
Have the bigger gym chains effectively reclaimed lost clientele from 24/7 clubs?
Anytime Fitness is now the largest gym chain in Australia in terms of both membership base and annual revenue. We’re still increasing our membership base by around 40,000 a year and opening more than 50 new clubs a year in our seventh year of operation in Australia. Given this, it’s probably fair to say the other gym chains are yet to reclaim any lost ground.
FRANCHISING WITH ANYTIME FITNESS
WITH 400 CLUBS NOW OPEN ACROSS AUSTRALIA, IS THERE STILL ROOM FOR MORE?
Anytime Fitness continues to offer an exceptional product in convenient locations, allowing easier access for members to achieve their health and fitness goals. The company plans to continue to expand our already extensive club network, with more new club openings scheduled in all states throughout the rest of the year.
WHO MAKES A GREAT FRANCHISEE?
Some key elements of being a successful Anytime Fitness franchisee include having a good, trustworthy management team to run the business day to day, ensuring the equipment is all up to standards, the club is clean, and staff are motivated and supporting members. The franchisees who use our head office support network are always successful – we offer an e-learning platform, an online operations manual, which includes a step-by-step breakdown of what to do, as well as sales training.
WHAT IS THE APPROXIMATE COST TO SET UP AN ANYTIME FITNESS CLUB?
The cost to set up an Anytime Fitness club varies depending on the location. Metropolitan locations cost more to set up than regional ones, because the returns are likely to be higher in these locations. The range is generally between $350,000 and $450,000.
WHAT ARE THE POINTS OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANYTIME FITNESS AND OTHER 24/7 CLUBS?
Local franchisees offer communities an exceptional product at an exceptional price, with the added benefit of convenience; clubs are located near to home to make exercise easier for members. We want our members to see Anytime Fitness as more than just a gym and to ‘Feel Something Better’ – whether that’s weight loss, strength gain, a lift in self-esteem or something much more subjective – and we believe we can provide this by being the gym that is refreshingly different.
For our franchisees, freedom is what sets us apart from our competitors. We offer franchisees the freedom to operate their business to suit their lifestyle, freedom to grow within the system and the freedom that comes with knowing they have the support and back-up of the world’s fastest-growing fitness club franchise. Franchisees can run multiple clubs remotely and require low labour, providing them with more free time and a balanced lifestyle. Anytime Fitness’ monthly franchise fees are also low and fixed, which allows franchisees to benefit from their own business’ growth.
For more information visit www.anytimefitness.com.au
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