anytime fitness owner spotlight
Don’t take our word for it—check out what some of our franchisees have
to say about their franchise ownership experience.
teresa and vincent gibbs
paying it forward
Owners of two Anytime Fitness clubs (Apple Valley and Eagan, MN), husband and wife team Vincent and Teresa Gibbs are living proof that nice matters. "Customer service is what it's all about," says Vincent Gibbs. "If you treat people like you'd like to be treated, they'll come back."
"I recently had three members, during the same day, tell me how much they appreciate how clean I keep the club and how they really enjoy coming here," says Teresa Gibbs. "I was on cloud nine when I left for the day! That is what I truly live for! It also makes us feel good when our members have success stories, no matter how big or small. One member came up to us last week to tell us that she has lost 10 pounds so far just doing cardio, and to explain the huge strides she's made. When she first started using the elliptical she could only do 5 minutes before she was tired. Now she can easily do 20 minutes. How cool is that?!"
a team effort
Teresa's background is in accounting. Vincent's is in sports medicine. They met while both were working as managers for Best Buy. Now, this dynamic duo has joined forces to comprise an unbeatable team. "Vincent has always had a passion for fitness as well as the desire to own his own business," explains Teresa. "We started searching for different franchise options and Anytime Fitness was one of the franchise models that interested us. After we met with Jeff Klinger, to better understand the franchise, it was a slam dunk; there was no doubt in our minds that Anytime Fitness was the right decision for us."
The Gibbs opened their first club in Apple Valley, MN, in March of 2006. They opened their second club in Eagan a year and a half later. Vincent says the key to running a successful club is to treat your members as individuals. It also pleases Vincent that his members feel comfortable enough to share their personal stories with him.
"We're like a family here," Vincent says. "We look out for, and take care of, each of other."
Speaking of family, 2-year-old Kennedy Gibbs was born just a few weeks before his parents opened their first club. His proud father says Kennedy is already a pro when it comes to push-ups.
"What I like best about being an Anytime Fitness club owner," says Teresa, "is that it gives us the freedom to have our own schedule and be our own boss. It's great to be able to make business decisions which work the best for you. It's nice to be able to plan family time and vacations when it works for us, not when it works for someone else. Anytime Fitness provides us the flexibility to have quality family time whenever we need it. We are able to drop things and attend to important family needs whenever they pop up, while not compromising the quality of service we provide our members. We also have some really great members that look out for the club for us whenever we are away, which makes us feel comfortable to step away whenever we need to."
I believe that I was the first Anytime Fitness club owner to get an Anytime Fitness tattoo at “New Franchisee Training.” I was a little worried about what my wife, Radley, would think, but it turns out that I had nothing to worry about. In fact, shortly after she saw my tattoo, she got one, too. We joke that we are the “wonder twins” and can do great things together when we touch our Running Man-branded wrists together. It’s cheesy, I know, but we can to great things with our club.
Recently, Radley was asked about her tattoo by a friend. She told the friend what the tattoo stood for and the friend responded by saying, “So, you guys are really committed, aren’t you?” That about says it all. We are “committed” to helping others, making our business a success, and letting the world know about all of the good things happening at Anytime Fitness.
tracking leads 24/7 in jacksonville, fl
Hitting the street, pounding the pavement and tracking down promising leads is nothing new for Allen Eason of Jacksonville, FL. After all, for years he worked as a homicide detective with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department. These days Eason's single-minded persistence and tenacious resolve is also put to good use as the owner of two of Anytime Fitness most successful clubs.
Eason opened the doors at his first club in Yulee, FL, in September of 2006 with 382 members. Back then, it was an all-time record for Anytime Fitness pre-opening membership sales. In August of 2007, Eason shattered his own record by opening another Anytime Fitness club in Jacksonville with 555 members in tow.
walking the beat
How does Eason do it? The old-fashioned way: a lot of hard work. For two solid months prior to opening, Eason and his wife, Susan, club manager Beth Sperling and a few young members from Eason's Yulee club pounded the pavement, walking through neighborhoods, dropping off fliers and greeting anyone they met in the street. When they weren't going door-to-door, Eason and Sperling literally camped out in the parking lot and sold memberships. During construction, they set up a tent and a table in front of their club and recruited new members. In addition to all of that, Eason introduced himself to local business owners and offered discounted enrollment fees to companies which successfully encouraged at least 10% of their employees to join.
a welcome new neighbor
"I'm so excited about the response that we've had with the opening of our newest Anytime Fitness in Jacksonville," says Eason. "I attribute the success that we have had to a strong grass-roots marketing in our local neighborhoods. We distributed over 5,000 fliers and made numerous corporate contacts. The neighborhood has been extremely welcoming to us and we are grateful for their faith in our franchise. The biggest selling point for our new members has been the flexibility that Anytime Fitness offers and our friendly, inviting atmosphere. We are looking forward to a fantastic year."
Think you're too busy to do what Eason did? Well, consider this: In addition to owning two Anytime Fitness clubs, Eason was recently promoted to lieutenant and currently serves full-time as a watch commander for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department, AND he got married and went on a honeymoon during his pre-sale.
secret to success
There's no secret to running a successful fitness club, according to Eason. "The key factors are to make sure the equipment is well-maintained, the price is right and members feel welcome and valued," Eason says. "We provide a friendly and inviting atmosphere. Our clubs are always clean, our fees are competitive and we make sure someone warmly greets you when you walk in the door. That s what it takes."
Ever since I was a small child I remember my dad having big dreams of owning his own business. I remember him thinking of working with friends and/or neighbors for things like rollerskating rinks, restaurants, etc. But, due to his “real” job, climbing the corporate ladder, his dreams were put on-hold. Then came a time where I had been laid-off, and my dad wanted me to look into this small company called Anytime Fitness... the rest is history! We opened several clubs, and after 3-years my dad retired from the corporate
world to focus on our club. Not only have we opened more clubs, but our family became closer in the process. My dad’s dream was finally achieved so I decided to get the tattoo as a symbol of – and tribute to – our first family business.
small town, big impact
First, she transformed her own life. Then, she transformed an entire community. After working 20 years as a nurse, Colleen Braun decided she needed a change. Health-conscious her entire life, Braun got the bright idea of opening her own fitness club. The only problem was she knew almost nothing about running her own business. But that little detail wasn't going to stop her. Colleen enrolled in a sales and marketing program at a local university and promptly completed the program with a 4.0 grade point average. A short while later (in April of 2006) Colleen opened the doors to Anytime Fitness Express in Springfield, MN. Within a year, 500 members had joined the club. This, despite the fact that the entire population of Springfield is only about 2,200.
addressing a need
"Springfield has embraced the Anytime Fitness Express club and all the convenience it has to offer," Braun says. "I knew there was a need for something like this in the community, but I have to admit even I m a little surprised by the overwhelming reaction we've had."
Colleen isn't the only one who's been impressed. Largely due to the fact that so many residents joined Colleen's club, Springfield was honored with a Fit City award by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2006. In addition, doctors and chiropractors in Springfield and surrounding communities have been referring their patients to Colleen's club for physical therapy follow-ups. Much of the reason for Colleen's success is the friendly, inviting atmosphere she s created in her club. People of all ages, shapes and sizes feel welcome.
"That's very important to me," Colleen says. "I know that a lot of my members had never belonged to a club before. They were nervous and didn't know what to expect. My job is to take away that nervousness and make them feel at home. We have people who come here in all sorts of conditions. Some are significantly overweight. Some are in great shape already. I m happy to say that we have something for everyone."
It’s hard to say what my tattoo means to me, because it means so much! Most of all, I would say my tattoo means FAMILY. The primary reason I got my tattoo was to remind me daily of who I can count on in my life to help get me through the tough decisions. If you think about it, a family member is a person you can count on to help you get through the tough times/decisions in your life. Every step of the way, Anytime Fitness has been there for me to assist me in the next step of being a successful franchisee.
We currently have 4 clubs open and will be opening another 3 clubs in the first quarter of 2012. We would not have been able to do this with out the support we get from our Family at Anytime Fitness!
I have always felt as if Anytime Fitness cared about my personal interest! Anytime Fitness has CHANGED MY LIFE financially, but more importantly, mentally. I now have more time to spend with my wife and baby daughter—and we now have another child on the way! The freedom I have to spend with my family is the most amazing part of why Anytime Fitness means so much to me—and it's getting better every day.