1851 Franchise sat down with Randy Trotter, Senior Vice President of Development at Workout Anytime, to talk about his experience in the franchise industry
Since Workout Anytime began franchising in 2002, the fitness-center brand has established a strong foothold in the fitness segment. The franchise currently has over 100 locations throughout the U.S. and maintains a dominating presence throughout the south-eastern states, where Workout Anytime has edged out a number of larger brands in its segment.
At the forefront of Workout Anytime’s expansion efforts is Randy Trotter, the brand’s senior vice president of development. Trotter talked to 1851 about transitioning from being a franchisee to working in corporate and why he’d like to see more creative financing options for prospective franchisees.
1851: How did you get into franchising?
Trotter: I started on the franchisee side. My wife and I owned a chain of pet stores in the late ‘80s. After opening and managing four locations, we decided to franchise the concept in 1994. Eventually we scaled up to 10 units. After twelve years of running that business, I’d gained a lot of experience in franchise development, and I was offered a job as Director of Development at Quiznos Georgia. From there, I moved on to work in development for a number of different franchise brands before finding Workout Anytime in 2005.
1851: What do you love about franchising?
Trotter: There are two elements of the industry that I find completely fulfilling. The first is working with people to help change their lives for the better. People come into the business with high hopes for what they want to do with their lives, and it’s amazing to watch that come to fruition. The second thing is helping people gain independence from corporate America. We’re not just helping people earn a buck, we’re helping them do it on their own terms so that they can truly control their lives.
1851: What do you wish would change in franchising?
Trotter: I’d like to see more creative financing options for new owners. There are so many amazing, talented prospects out there who have a real passion for the brand they are pursuing, but they can’t quite meet the capital requirements and so they are not given a shot. In addition to closing the door on a lot of good people, that hurts franchises that are selecting candidates based on capital rather than talent and enthusiasm.
1851: What makes a great franchisee?
Trotter: A great franchisee is perfectly compatible with the brand. Not only can they apply the model successfully, but they can do it in a way that emphasizes their own talents, ultimately creating something unique and better than what the franchise is offering on its own. It’s a relationship, and the best franchisors and franchisees have a relationship that makes both stronger.
1851: What’s the most important thing that drives a prospective franchisee to sign up?
Trotter: Franchisees are looking to change their life, not just monetarily, but also in terms of their lifestyle. A smart franchise development team will emphasize the freedom that their brand affords its franchisees to find and maintain the lifestyle they want for themselves.