Launching a new brand and a new concept into Australia could have been dicey, but eight years and 450 locations later, Justin McDonell has a lot to be proud of. Here are his tips for a winning business strategy.
For any business owner, franchise or not, trying to keep your business going can be an uphill struggle, so it is important to continually learn from those who have gone before you and succeeded.
Speaking on the My Business podcast, Justin McDonell, founder of Anytime Fitness Australia, shares his key points that helped Anytime Fitness Australia take off to be become a household name in a highly competitive industry:
Make sure your product is consistent
Every five years, Justin makes sure that Anytime Fitness stores are refurbished to remain fresh and enticing to your customers.
“Franchisees don't overly love it, but from a consumer experience, it makes it so much better for them,” Justin says.
“We're looking at the longevity of the product.”
Justin notes that SMEs may not take this option due to cost pressures, but he believes not undergoing regular refreshment poses a real risk of becoming complacent – in service offering as well as presentation.
Keep basic customer service in sight
Justin recommends that business owners not get so distracted by mod cons that they forget the basics of making sure customer service is at its highest standard.
In the context of Anytime Fitness Australia franchisees, he says the most successful business owners are the ones who constantly focus on the small details, “The club is clean all the time, it's really well-maintained. Then the manager in the club is really focused on the members.”
“If they're not coming, giving them a call or texting them – engaging with the customers is probably the key thing.”
Constant communication throughout the hierarchy
Whether it be with franchisees or internal employees, Justin says you can’t get in the mindset of just set and forget. For Justin, checking in with franchisees to assess how those business owners are dealing with issues is a must.
However, this communication is not just one-way. In order to be a successful business leader, managers need to also communicate with employees and share information to ensure information filters down to everyone as needed.
“We're quite open with what we disclose to [franchisees],” he says.
“We're happy to share as much information [as we can], but it's a two-way street. It's them researching us as well, talking to [other] franchisees, meeting with us.”