“Halls Has It.”
It’s a slogan that once resonated throughout John Heifner’s hometown of The Halls, Tennessee. And by bringing a new WORKOUT ANYTIME gym to the area, he’s hoping that slogan will take on a whole new meaning within his community.
“There’s nothing like WORKOUT ANYTIME in Halls right now,” Heifner said. “It’s something the town needs, and I’m proud to bring this locally owned and operated gym to a community that’s been a part of my life for decades.”
Heifner has always championed the well-being and good health of others. After all, for nearly 18 years, he’s been a registered nurse and director of Healthcare Systems in the Knoxville, Tennessee area, servicing emergency rooms, intensive care units and respiratory therapy sectors.
But Heifner believed he could have an even bigger impact on people’s lives. So in addition to his work at Knoxville hospitals, he became a personal trainer, where, over the course of 10 years, he had the chance to compete in state body building championships and was a three-time champion in his weight class. Heifner took a lot of pride in helping others achieve their fitness and health goals, so when it came time to act on his long-time dream to own his own business, he decided to cash in his 401K and turn to practicing preventative medicine instead of reactive medicine.
That’s when he found a franchising opportunity with WORKOUT ANYTIME.
“Places like Anytime Fitness, Snapp Fitness and other franchised gyms were appealing because I didn’t need to have a million dollars to start. But what really sold me on WORKOUT ANYTIME was getting to know the brand’s current franchisees,” Heifner said. “Talk to any of the existing franchisees and they’ll all tell you a similar story about how WORKOUT ANYTIME gave them the opportunity to thrive in their community with a locally-owned-and-operated business.”
Officially signing on with the brand back in 2010, Heifner was responsible for bringing the first WORKOUT ANYTIME gym to the Knoxville area. This was during the recession, and Heifner said the $15-per-month membership cost helped him and other franchise owners to come after him attract customers. Of course, having an intimate gym with state-of-the-art equipment and one-on-one training doesn’t hurt, either.
“The thing we have in addition is there is a level of intimacy with a club about this size," Heifner said. "When you get into a big-box gym, no matter whether you have every amenity in the world, there is a feeling of anxiety that people have going into a really big location. I know most of the people in my community and they know me. They know the owner, and that makes the gym a much more comfortable place for people."
Most recently, Heifner made the decision to move his WORKOUT ANYTIME gym to a new location with more of a community. That’s when he found the perfect property in his hometown in The Halls. His hope is that by bringing WORKOUT ANYTIME to the area, he’ll help to revitalize the town and bring more business where it’s needed most. He’s also added his own personal touch to the gym—Heifner provides 140 boot camps a month that are led by nationally-certified trainers. So far, it’s a decision that’s paid off in a big way—his location currently boasts 2,300 active members and counting.
Heifner is one of many franchisees currently growing with WORKOUT ANYTIME throughout Tennessee and across the country. Last year, the brand crossed the 100-unit mark, which is something very few franchisors can boast. And it’s already well on its way to opening the next 100 gyms—the brand is continuing to build strong business momentum.
“We’re experiencing tremendous growth right now. And it’s franchisees like John who are passionate about our industry who are driving the WORKOUT ANYTIME experience forward,” said Randy Trotter, WORKOUT ANYTIME’s vice president of development. “Our main goal is to set our local owners up for success and help them get their businesses off the ground. It’s clear that our model works, and we’re excited to bring our concept to new communities and consumers in partnership with our franchisees.”