Business Brain Food

How To Open Over 400 Outlets In Just 7 Years

Jacinta McDonell is an inspiration to all of us. In only 7 years she has built up the Anytime Fitness brand to be the leading gym franchise in Australia, and has managed to find time to look after three children, raise big money for charitable causes, and even start her own charitable foundation, the Human Kind Project. There just do not seem to be the hours in the day to have done what she’s done, but it really comes across in the interview just how straight forward her methods have been to get her where she is today. The point she keeps going back to is being honest with yourself about what your strengths and weaknesses are, so you can simply hire people to take up the slack in the areas that are most tricky. There is no shame in realising that you can’t do everything, and you can still be fiercely ambitious at the same time. This is how her growing business just kept growing.

Anytime Fitness was a US-based franchise that Jacinta and her brother saw in a fitness trade-magazine, which they thought would be perfect for the Australian market. They quickly secured the rights to take the franchise to Australia, figuring that their mid-market offering was exactly what was missing in the local marketplace at the time. Having built over 400 outlets in 7 years, Jacinta knows a thing or two about building and managing a franchise. See below for a sneak preview of some of her top tips from the interview:

** The franchise model is great for scalability.

** The franchisees who are most successful are the ones who have the best grasp of sales and marketing.

** Differentiate yourself from the competition by making sure there is a strong refresh policy across all outlets.  In the case of Anytime Fitness, that would mean investing in new, state-of-the-art gym equipment regularly.

** Take time out from day-to-day business regularly to build strategy at board level.

** Find the right senior executive team. If you don’t like the idea of managing 50 people, don’t worry about it – just get someone in who does.

** Consider recruitment to be something that’s ongoing rather than just when somebody leaves.  By definition, a franchise is often going to be growing, so it makes sense to hire talented people when they become available, because there is likely to be something for them to do.

** If you are considering entering a marketplace, don’t be put off if your concept is different to the industry’s current way of doing things.  The key consideration is what the consumer wants, not what the industry is in the habit of giving them.

Jacinta’s charity work is also a heart-warming and interesting story.  Her foundation is as much about empowering entrepreneurs to be able to do charitable work as it is about donations.  There is also a good commercial angle for any organisation to get involved with charity work, as she explains in the podcast. In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

** How Jacinta built her fitness empire

** How it is possible to achieve corporate success with three small children

** How to manage the growth of a franchise

** The importance of sales and marketing in the franchise process

** How charity work can be a win win for you and your business

** The Human Kind Project

Resources mentioned in this episode:

** ProfitLab – join this site and ask about it:

** Jacinta McDonell’s own website:

** Facebook (

** Business Brain Food Facebook Group (

** Twitter (

** ActionCOACH (

** ActionCOACH (

Subscribe on iTunes Jacinta’s story shows just how much it is possible to achieve across a variety of different sectors if you are able to work smart.  It is not just about being busy all the time – you can actually change the world for you and for others if you plan it right. Also, if you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that!

Until next time, have a profitable day.

Cheers, Ben Fewtrell (02) 9111 5000

Direct download: BBF070_How_to_open_over_400_outlets_in_just_7_years_with_Jacinta_McDonell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm AEDT