UK’s leading fitness franchise sets out its ambitions on International Women’s Day
Anytime Fitness, which has over 185 independently owned health clubs across the UK and Ireland, is aiming to double the amount of women gym owners in its network in the next five years.
Currently, just 10% of its clubs are owned by women, comparable to the wider UK franchise sector which sees women account for nearly 25% of franchised business owners.
This ambition is spearheaded by the business’ UK Support Office, which in the past year, has appointed two experienced women business leaders to its Executive Team; Sue Moore as Director of Franchising and Sarah Evans as Director of Finance.
“There’s no disguising that the gym industry has the perception of being male-dominated and this is something we’re passionate about changing,” said Sue Moore, Director of Franchising at Anytime Fitness UK. “We have some fantastic women in our network who are running highly successful clubs but we want this number to significantly increase.
“While many women are creating small businesses or self-employment in the fitness industry, we see less women coming forward to launch bigger ventures, this could be due to a more cautious approach around size and scale. Anytime Fitness would like to challenge perceptions and encourage women to consider growing a more substantial local business with the support of an experienced franchise network, talented Support Office team and established brand. We are committed to raising the profile of women in franchising and in fitness, there is a real opportunity for women to own and operate Anytime Fitness clubs and take their ambition to bigger heights with our successful model.”
Away from her role at Anytime Fitness, Sue volunteers her time at not-for-profit organisation EWIF (Encouraging Women Into Franchising), offering her 30+ years of franchise expertise to support and celebrate females in the industry. She is also a mentor at Northern Power Women, a connected network of more than 70,000 people, which has seen her coach and support more than 100 women and men, many of whom are successful entrepreneurs. With a wealth of contacts and experience, she shares her knowledge and skills with a number of women throughout the year and helps open doors to the opportunities available to them.
“Over half of UK gym members are women and there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be reflected at an ownership level too,” Sue added. “This demonstrates that a significant number of women have a strong personal interest in fitness which is arguably the most important aspect of owning a health club. Having a genuine passion for the service that your business offers goes a long way to helping achieve success and I’m excited to show women across the UK the opportunities available to them and how they can harness their passion into owning a health club.”
To support their objective, Anytime Fitness will be creating bespoke content around the opportunities for women in franchising, as well as showcasing the success stories from its network at both ownership and management level.
To find out more about owning an Anytime Fitness health club, visit www.anytimefitness.co.uk/own-a-gym.