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Meet our entrepreneurs of the year

If there’s one thing this year’s winners are, it’s varied! Be inspired by our favourite entrepreneurs of the past 12 months and learn from their real life challenges and triumphs.

Justin McDonell and his sister Jacinta McDonell Jimenez launched Anytime Fitness, the highly successful USA franchise, into Australia in 2008. Since then it has become the quickest growing segment of the world’s fastest growing fitness chain, with over 80 clubs open throughout the country in just over two years and further rapid expansion in the pipeline for 2011/12.

Both the gym concept and business model were unique to the industry, which is dominated by larger chains like Fitness First. Their gyms provide members access at any hour, with 24-hour entry, state-of-the-art equipment and top notch facilities. Local franchisees also 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.

Trained staff or franchisees are available during normal trading hours to provide assistance in using the equipment and working with members to identify and achieve their goals. After hours, members can access the gym safely and securely by using their key card.

Justin says: “Freedom is what sets Anytime Fitness 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.”

This business model allows flexibility and autonomy to the clients who use the gym, as well as to the franchisees who own the gym. With minimum staff requirements and secure, remote access to the premises, Anytime Fitness is appealing to individuals who are eager to have a successful career and the free time to enjoy life as well.

Anytime Fitness was ranked 46 in BRW’s latest Fast Starters list, the only fitness business to make the top 100.

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Jen Bishop

Jen Bishop

Jen was the publisher at Loyalty Media and editor of Dynamic Business, Australia's largest circulating small business magazine, from 2008 until 2012. She is now a full-time blogger at The Interiors Addict.

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