By Greg Nathan posted September 30, 2020

Earlier this month, we were privileged to have Chuck Runyon, CEO and Co-Founder of Self Esteem Brands, join our C-Level Franchisor Forum as a guest mentor. Self Esteem Brands is the franchisor for Anytime Fitness, which now operates nearly 5,000 clubs in 35 countries. In a candid conversation, Chuck shared a number of strategies that have been helping him and his team of senior executives navigate their way through the COVID crisis. Read Chuck's best practice tips below.

Meanwhile we wish you and your franchisees the very best and remain here to support you with our ongoing professional development programs. (See below for workshops coming up for senior executives and field managers).

The FRI Team.

Best Practice Insights - 1. Chuck Runyon from Anytime Fitness

Here's five strategies Chuck Runyon shared with 40 CEOs and senior executives in FRI's most recent C-Level Franchisor Forum.

Share the pain. The first action Chuck took when COVID restrictions hit was for him and the corporate team to take a pay cut. He wanted his franchisees to know that, while they were dealing with reduced sales and profits, the corporate team were also making sacrifices to keep the brand alive. He said this has helped to build a united front that we are in this together.

Remember you are talking to a person. Chuck reminded us, while we may like to quickly get down to business, when you speak with franchisees, first listen to what's going on in their lives beyond the business. And to remember that, like you, they've got a whole heap of other stuff to manage as well as their business. He said this type of listening builds trust in you as a leader.

Admit mistakes. Chuck attributes Anytime Fitness's low level of disputation down to a culture of fessing up to mistakes. He said if you or your executive team make a mistake, admit it. Then analyse why it was made by collecting information, including asking franchisees how the situation could be handled better in the future, and don't let it happen again.

Value values.  Anytime Fitness has Four P's which are central to their culture, which Chuck believes is the reason they have consistently been voted one of the best places to work in America. These are People, Purpose, Profits and Play. He tries to infuse these into everything they do every day and says this helps to create high-performance teams.

The attitude of gratitude. As well as taking time for exercise, sleep, healthy food and spending time in nature, Chuck has implemented an attitude of gratitude into his life. He also encourages his kids to adopt this approach, by reminding them they have a privileged life as their worst days in COVID are equivalent to most other peoples' best days.

What percentage of franchisees in Australia operate more than one franchise unit? The number is 33%, up from 23% ten years ago. And we predict this number will grow. Why? Because stronger franchisees will be partnering with, or buying out, struggling franchisees who haven't been able to navigate their way through the current maze of business challenges.

In response to your requests for affordable professional development that is suitable for the current times, we have transitioned our popular face-to-face programs into convenient, interactive virtual forums. All participants in our recent virtual programs rated their experience as excellent. Now is the perfect time to book your place in a Workshop suitable for your role. Numbers are limited to maintain quality interaction.

This Masterclass is specifically designed for senior franchisor executives responsible for creating strategy or leading divisional teams, and is built around FRI’s franchising excellence framework. In addition to sharing their own insights and learning from each other, participants are exposed to a suite of evidence-based tools, cutting edge insights and best practice strategies proven to drive healthy, profitable and sustainable networks.

"Having the opportunity to learn new material and be in such a stimulating environment has been really amazing. Thank you!"
Lissa Becker, Pack & Send, #5 in Top 30 Franchise Executives

Price: $495 per person. Discounts apply for bookings of 5 or more people.

Field Managers have a challenging role working with franchisees at the front line of the business. The Foundation Field Manager Bootcamp will give them a boost of inspiration, and equip them with a powerful set of tools and strategies for improving franchisee engagement, profitability and brand alignment. Given the current climate, the Bootcamp particularly focuses on helping field teams navigate the pandemic and support franchisees to recover and, in time, thrive.

"The content and how it was delivered by the FRI team was excellent. It also provided me with the opportunity to meet  people from different organisations and learn their views."
Devesh Hada, Australia Post

Price: $595 per person. Discounts apply for bookings of 5 or more people.

In addition to building on the concepts gained in the Foundation Bootcamp, the Advanced program provides fresh insights into the mechanics behind certain techniques, and introduces participants to new and exciting tools and models to enhance their credibility and effectiveness. Participants must have completed the Foundation program so they have a grounding on the models of which this is based. 

"I loved this Bootcamp, particularly the psychological and financial concepts we covered. I feel refreshed and motivated."
Chris Thorpe, O'Brien Group

Price: $595 per person. Discounts apply for bookings of 5 or more people.

Subscribe to Greg's Tips

For the past 10 years, thousands of franchise executives around the world have enjoyed receiving a regular email tip from FRI’s Founder, Greg Nathan.

These short stories on the psychology of business and everyday life have been likened to “mind brightening pills” as they open our thinking to fresh insights for improving wellbeing, business performance and franchise relationships.

Sign up now to receive your regular free tip from one of the leading thinkers in the world of franchising.