Ben Midgley is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Crunch Franchise. Since 2010, he has led the creation and development of Crunch Franchise into the fastest launch of any full size franchise in the history of the fitness industry. Ben previously held the position of Executive Vice President at Planet Fitness where he modified all aspects of franchise sales and development including improving franchise unit sales by 150% of total network volume and accelerated openings by 70%. Previous to this, he was the Senior Director of Corporate Sales for 24 Hour Fitness where he oversaw a department with $120 million in annual revenue, 40 Corporate Sales Managers and 5,000 corporate accounts. Ben is also the co-author of Golden Circle Secrets , which was the #1 Sales Management and #1 Customer Service book on Amazon.com . He has been an international presenter in the fitness Industry, a member of the IHRSA Institute Faculty, and is a regular contributor to industry publications.
Please answer the following questions:
2. How and when did you become involved with Crunch Fitness?. Crunch has been a long standing brand in the fitness industry for over 25 years now. The brand originated in New York and expanded to other metropolitan markets, namely Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco. About 5 years ago, I was asked if I would be interested in creating a franchise company with the Crunch brand. I whole-heartedly agreed as I had known of Crunch for many years and knew that the strength of the brand would be a great asset in starting the franchise company. So we launched the business but in a separate segment of the industry - the high value / low price segment - which is the fastest growing aspect of the fitness industry.
4. What are some of the advantages in being a Crunch Fitness franchisee? I would say the biggest advantage to being a franchisee in our network is that you are joining a very tight knit group of comparatively very few franchisees compared to other brands. Our motto is 'stay small to grow big." We intentionally limit our number of franchisee partners and focus on multi unit ownership. Our average franchisee owns 10 units. This allows us to maintain very close relationships with all of our owners and have regular detailed interaction with what is going on at the store level.
6. Tell us a little about the fitness Market? The fitness industry is dynamic, fun and HUGE! We are a $28 billion dollar industry just in the U.S. Only about 15-17% of all Americans have a health club membership served by roughly 25,000 health & fitness studios. Compare that to the fast food industry where there are over 300,000 restaurants serving the same amount of consumers. Our industry is very fun, you never need to wear a suit and your customers are always happier when they leave the club after some good exercise. On top of that the industry is always evolving - new fun and engaging activities are always coming around and Crunch stays on the forefront of all the hottest trends.
8. Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration? I have many mentors in business and in life. Far too many to mention but needless to say, no one grows up and does it all alone. Hopefully I can provide the same sort of support to the next generation that was afforded to me through the generosity of my mentors.
10. In your opinion, why do you think that Crunch Fitness would be a great opportunity for someone? All of the above and we are working on improving everything we can every day.