Eric and Jen Cowden traded in their day jobs to become health club entrepreneurs.
Photo Credit: Michael Gomez
Franchise: WORKOUT ANYTIME
Location: Lexington, Ky.
The world of marketing is where Eric Cowden began his career, and it’s a part of the communications industry he’s found himself drawn back to. After getting his start doing marketing with a voiceover IT company, Eric left the corporate world to start his own bar and restaurant in 2001. However, his skills were in demand, and he returned to a marketing role in 2002.
Eric’s wife, Jen Cowden, also has a professional background in marketing, working for the same company as Eric.
That experience has helped the couple well in their work in franchising. The dynamic duo opened up a WORKOUT ANYTIME location in Lexington, Ky. in 2013 and have grown it to more than 2,400 members. Both were able to quit their full-time marketing jobs and focus on WOAT entirely.
In fact, they’ve just sent their letter of intent to open a second location in Somerset, and have hopes to continue expanding with the brand in the future.
How did you learn about the brand?
Greg Parker - he’s the area developer for WORKOUT ANYTIME and also a frat partner. I saw the success he was having and it seemed to fit because of my interest in health and fitness, and all of the healthful changes in society going on.
Why did you choose an opportunity with WORKOUT ANYTIME?
The equipment is state-of-the-art and we felt Lexington could use some place such as this, emphasizing customer service, bargain fitness, no contracts, etc. It’s also a town people travel to frequently for business and this gives them a chance to take in a quick, affordable workout.
What challenges have you overcome to get where you are now?
It’s really been finding the proper location because without that, the business model doesn’t work. With 150,000-plus households in a 3.5 mile radius, we wanted to make sure we found the perfect spot because we do think we offer a unique spin to the workout community of Lexington.