As the calendar turns to 2019 and Workout Anytime reflects on the last year, there are quite a few accomplishments for the brand to hang its hat on. Be it with new franchise sales, multi-unit ownership deals, or systemwide membership growth, Workout Anytime made its mark this year. And without missing a beat, the 172-unit brand is already gearing up to expand upon its impressive growth into 2019.
“On every key indicator we measure, business is up,” Workout Anytime Chief Operating Officer Mark de Gorter said.
“Of our 42 total new franchise sales in 2018, 57 percent came from new owners buying into the brand and 43 percent came from current franchise partners adding locations,” Workout Anytime Senior VP of Development Randy Trotter added. “It’s great to see those who have bought in liking the brand enough to add more units.”
With these growth metrics as strong indicator’s of the brand’s viability, it’s no wonder Workout Anytime cracked the top 300 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2019 Franchise 500 rankings. In the year ahead, the brand has its sights set on 60 new franchise sales in 2019.
Workout Anytime is experiencing a powerful combination of franchise sales growth and club membership increases thanks to the rising popularity of the $31 billion fitness industry, de Gorter said. Fitness is continuing to grow at a much faster rate than any other franchise segment, leading many people to enter the industry on the consumer side as well as the business side, evident in Workout Anytime’s 5.5 percent systemwide increase in membership last year.
“Our model presents the option to take advantage of a high-value, low-cost concept,” de Gorter continued. “We compete very well on price, which is helping to drive company growth. Despite the fact that fitness trends come and go, the importance of progressive resistance exercise and cardiovascular training, both of which are the cornerstones of our model, have stayed consistent for decades. The simplicity of our model, combined with the overall growth in the health and fitness industry in general, has allowed us to continue to succeed. We are particularly pleased that our new franchise sales has kept pace with prior years, even as we receive reports that other brands have struggled growing their franchise base as a result of the full-employment economy. This speaks to the overall appeal and success of our concept.”
Workout Anytime entered a slew of new markets in 2018, with its most significant growth coming in Texas, where the brand opened 14 new units. Trotter said the Lone Star State is priming to be an exciting market for the brand, where it now has seven units operating in the Dallas market alone.
“Texas and the Southwest region of the U.S. is a continued area of focus for us as we keep filling in the Southeast, where we are well-penetrated,” de Gorter added. “Some of our other target markets for development this year include Florida, southern Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. Because of this growth, we’re starting to attract the interest of multi-brand franchisees who understand franchising and want to expand their portfolio in the fitness segment.”
As the brand pursues new franchise partners in these markets across the country, its model’s ease of operations, small staff requirements and lack of inventory continue to be a huge draw for entrepreneurs seeking a semi-absentee ownership opportunity to work in conjunction with their careers.
This influx of interest coupled with a warm reception of newly-introduced programs indicates a strong year ahead for Workout Anytime. While the brand’s core business is fitness memberships, the addition of individual and group training sessions focusing on high-intensity interval training adds a coveted dimension to Workout Anytime’s offering.
“If you look at the fastest-growing concepts in the fitness space, they are the high-value, low-price concepts and the boutique concepts,” Trotter said. “We’ve married these to serve clients in the best way possible. As a 24-hour fitness club with all of the elements of a boutique concept within our gym, our unique setting is the best of both worlds.”
“We believe the wind is at the back from an industry standpoint,” de Gorter said. “We’re seeing a much broader demographic embrace health and fitness, and our model doesn’t suffer from other fitness fads that come and go. Fitness is now a recognized, natural component to peoples lives. We fill that need very well.”