Anytime Fitness Franchises

What do people really want from a health club? That’s the key question Anytime Fitness co-founders Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen asked themselves six years ago.

The answer was relatively simple. People want a convenient and affordable place to go – with quality exercise equipment and a friendly atmosphere – where they can get in, work out and get on with their lives.

Thus, the Anytime Fitness franchise was born as an alternative to over-sized and over-priced health clubs, providing a viable business model for independent franchisees and affordable fitness options  for hundreds of thousands of members nationwide.

The first Anytime Fitness opened its doors in Cambridge, Minnesota in 2002. Now, with headquarters in Hastings, Minnesota, Anytime Fitness clubs are open in 48 states and five countries.  Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Anytime Fitness provides more than 800,000 members with convenient and affordable fitness options in friendly, well-maintained facilities featuring top-quality equipment.  Members who join one club enjoy the benefit of using any of nearly 1,300 Anytime Fitness clubs at no additional charge.

That’s why it’s no accident that Anytime Fitness is the 9th fastest-growing franchise of any type in the United States. Nor is it a fluke that Anytime Fitness has been described as “the darling of the fitness industry.” There are several very good reasons why Anytime Fitness has captured the franchising world by storm. It’s a story that can be best summed up by the phrase “a great idea, very well executed.”

The Concept

From a franchising perspective, it all began with a desire to create an opportunity for entrepreneurs to run businesses they could be proud of – without running themselves into the ground. Many franchisors promise to provide their franchisees with a return on their investment that’s so strong that they’ll be rewarded with all sorts of free time and the freedom to enjoy their families. Not all franchisors, however, actually deliver on that promise. Anytime Fitness not only meets, but frequently exceeds franchisee expectations.

Low labor Costs

One of the most important components to the Anytime Fitness business model is the ability to minimize payroll costs for club owners while maximizing security and enjoyment for club members.

A key to all of this is Anytime Fitness’ innovative use of integrated billing and security systems. A unified system tracks member usage while simultaneously preventing nonmember access. The same proprietary system seamlessly commands surveillance and alarm devices while controlling the operation of tanning services. This state-of-the-art technology allows clubs to run smoothly and worry-free even during non-staffed hours. The end result is that payroll typically comprises only 10% of the operating costs for Anytime Fitness clubs. Compare that figure to the 45% payroll costs at typical franchising ventures. Franchisees don’t have to “live at the office” when they own an Anytime Fitness club. A balanced life isn’t merely a goal, it’s built it right into the business plan.

Less maintenance – Less Worry

In addition Anytime Fitness club owners don’t have to worry about things like polluted pools, stinky saunas or daycare disasters – or the overhead, maintenance and labor costs affiliated with any of those. They’ve boiled their business model down to the core essentials which members expect from a quality fitness center and eliminated costly extravagances which too often muck things up.

Growing – Fast

AnyTime Fitness clubs are opening at a rate of more than one per day, with the 2,000th club expected to open by the end of 2010.

The Anytime Fitness Model

At Anytime Fitness, they understand the importance of convenience. People want to exercise on their own terms:  whenever their busy schedules allow, close to their homes or work places – and when they travel. That’s why Anytime Fitness clubs are open 24/7 – allowing members to work out any time of the day or night – even when the clubs are not staffed. It’s also the rationale behind their reciprocity policy: Join one Anytime Fitness club and use more than 1,200 other clubs, in 48 states, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand-at no extra charge.

Other features which separate Anytime Fitness from the rest of the pack include 24-hour tanning facilities (at most locations) and integrated use of software, security, and surveillance systems which allow owners to operate safe and secure clubs with greatly reduced staffing needs.

Neighborhood-Style Clubs

Anytime Fitness prides itself on its commitment to community involvement. They’re also one of the few fitness franchises to succeed in smaller population centers traditionally ignored by larger clubs. In fact, most members live or work within a 3-mile radius of Anytime Fitness clubs. That convenience is fueling the growth of Anytime Fitness.

How Much Does it Cost to Start an Anytime Fitness franchise?

The franchise fee is $18,000 (less per franchise territory if franchisee buys more than one territory). Total start-up fees can range from $35,000 to $280,000 depending on: Conversion of an existing club vs. build-out of a new club, furnishings, equipment lease vs. purchase. Anytime Fitness also has an extension network of preferred vendors that provides discounts on furnishings and equipment  to franchisees.

What Services can Franchisees Expect ?

Anytime Fitness is a full-service franchise. Qualified franchisees can expect comprehensive support from the corporate headquarters regarding everything from financing to identifying the ideal location for a club to build-out plans, marketing and equipment purchases. Anytime Fitness was honored as a top-low cost franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine.

What Franchise Owners are Saying

“If you have always dreamed of owning your own business, then partnering with a reputable and growing national franchise may be the smartest decision you ever made,” says Allen Eason, owner of five Anytime Fitness clubs. “Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in America are franchisees. Is you do your research and find a franchise with a proven track record of recession-resilient business model, you will be well on your way to success from day one.”

Key Traits of a Successful Anytime Fitness Franchise Owner

“It’s all about passion,” says Mark Daly, national media director for Anytime Fitness. “The most successful Anytime Fitness franchises are those who have a genuine desire to help people in their community lead happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives through regular exercise programs. Franchisees who make fitness fun get personal satisfaction from their jobs and are financially rewarded.”

Anytime Fitness Franchise Information Quick Tips

You don’t necessarily need an extensive background in fitness to own an Anytime Fitness club. They will teach you how to do it.

“We have the most experienced team of franchise consultants in the fitness industry,” says Runyon. “We currently have nearly 1,300 clubs open worldwide and we have a long-term goal of 10,000 clubs. We know that for the franchise to be successful we need to give individual clubs all the support that we possibly can.”

Anytime Fitness Fun Facts

Thinking about an Anytime Fitness franchise? Wondering if this is the right opportunity for you? Check out these facts and figures:

  •  The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal named Anytime Fitness #1 on its “Fast 50” list of the Fastest Growing Companies in Minnesota for 2008, based on a two-year revenue growth rate of
  • 348%.
  • In its 2009 Franchise 500® rankings, Entrepreneur magazine named Anytime Fitness as one of the:
    • Fastest-growing franchises – #9 (up from #13 in 2008).
    • Top global franchises – #41 (up from #70 in 2008)
    • Top low-cost franchises – #12 (up from #19 in 2008
  • USA Today and The National Minority Franchising Initiative named Anytime Fitness among the “Top 50 franchises for minorities” (November, 2008).
  • For the 4th year in a row, Franchise Business Review honored Anytime Fitness with its top rating and an “FBR 50 Franchisee Satisfaction Award.”
  • Annual growth rate is 62% (Jan. 1, 2008 – Jan. 1, 2009).
  • A new club opens every business day.
  • A new member joins every 3 minutes.

Other items of interest

  • Anytime Fitness is the first and only co-ed fitness franchise in the world with more than 1,200 clubs.
  • By early 2010, Anytime Fitness expects to have territories sold in Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and beyond.
  • 56% of Anytime Fitness franchisees own multiple clubs or franchise territories.
  • The Anytime Fitness Express model is designed for clubs with under 2,500 square feet and a market size typically less than 5,000 people. This is an ideal offering for rural markets or as a complement to a full-sized club in an existing territory.

For more information about a top franchise opportunity with Anytime Fitness, visit and go to the Franchise Opportunities page.

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