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Anytime Fitness CEO, Arthur McColl

Key tips for growing a franchise business by Anytime Fitness CEO, Arthur McColl

The Australian market has recently seen an untraditional wave of franchise business models, allowing companies to enter the market quickly with low set up costs, and grow rapidly within just a few years.

One of the key players here is the ‘low staff’ business model, used widely across the health and fitness industry with the rise of 24 hour gyms and health clubs. This model is appealing to both franchisees and consumers alike, mainly due to the convenience and accessibility this simple model offers.

Using the health and fitness industry as an example, franchises can be purchased and operated at a low cost, with training and marketing support provided by the parent company, allowing franchisees to benefit from their own business’ growth. These types of franchises can often be managed remotely with low labour, providing more free time and a balanced lifestyle.

Consumers are also taking advantage of this boom, with the main appeal being the convenience and accessibility these clubs offer, in a world where work/life balance is becoming more important to attain.

So what does it take to grow a successful franchise business?

Define Your Purpose

Ensure that your business provides a solution for your target consumers.

Set Goals

Set big goals to grow your network quickly and lead the market in which you operate. Reach for the stars!

Plan For Growth

Focus on internal networks to drive growth, through referrals and existing franchisees. Franchisees are your key to fast expansion – top franchisees help drive expansion by owning multiple franchises.

Build Your Team

When selecting potential franchisees, look for passion for the relevant industry, good business acumen or previous sales and marketing experience.

Provide Support

The low staff business model attracts franchisees from all walks of life, from accountants to personal trainers to people who have owned franchises before. By providing internal support and training for new franchisees, you can ensure they have tools they need to succeed.

Evolve With The Times

Embrace technology, understand your consumers, ensure you keep evolving and keep your products and service offerings fresh and relevant. Products need to keep evolving to be around long term.

Surround yourself with the best people

In business, success hinges on the team behind it. Surround yourself with a team who are diverse and complimentary in their skillset and strengths, both professionally and personally.

Listen to your customers and staff at the cold face

Ask your staff and customers for their feedback and listen – they will be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t work, feedback that often takes too long to filter to higher management. This simple exercise can save you from losing great team members and valued customers.

Regularly shop your competition to ensure you’re always better

Research and understand your competitors, this will help you identify holes in the market and your own business, allowing you to continuously provide a product or service that consumers want.

Be innovative with eyes on the latest industry trends worldwide – not just technology improvements

Keeping up with international trends within your industry is important, especially considering how fast paced this environment is. Always be one step ahead by researching what consumers in other markets are responding to and how this may become relevant to your own.

Have a true passion for what you do

Always try to remain authentic and passionate about what you do, rather than focusing on the physical. Passion will empower you in a way that money can’t.

Remember to celebrate your successes as well as to learn from your failures

Bumps in the road are inevitable, some will be small and easy to overcome, some will be large seemingly crippling. Evaluating your setbacks is central to achievement, think of it as a valuable lesson on the path to success, and most importantly, don’t give up!

About the author:

Arthur McColl is the CEO of Anytime Fitness Australia, with more than 30 years’ experience in executive roles across three international health club chains.

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