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Tim’s Story: Brave Finalist for the Young Franchisee of the Year Award 2015

Franchising is tailor-made for young people dreaming of starting a business. The support and experience of head office and other franchisees combines very well with the drive, energy and fresh ideas of younger entrepreneurs.

But don’t take our word for it – here is the remarkable story of a young man who started a franchise in his 20s and is creating something that could see him set for life. He is a finalist for the British Franchise Association's prestigious Young Franchisee of the Year Award 2015 (awards ceremony on 1st October).

Tim Harris, Anytime Fitness

Tim had a whirlwind 2014. Aged 29 and married a few months earlier, by mid-summer he had launched his health club business; learned his wife was expecting twins; moved house; won an award for best new Anytime Fitness club; and been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, which required open heart surgery!

Tim’s Story: The Brave Finalist for the Young Franchisee of the Year Award 2015

It’s the sort of timeline a Hollywood production would be proud of and Tim’s come through it all with twin girls, a healthy heart and a thriving enterprise that he says is “one of my proudest achievements”.

He learned about the franchise after working in his local Anytime Fitness and developing a passion for the brand (which at the time was quite new to the UK). Signing up with a business partner, timing was destined to be stressful from the outset: eight weeks of building work and pre-sales started at the end of November 2013, meaning Tim was away from his new wife for 10-12 hours a day, six or seven days a week over the festive period.

Finding out on New Year’s Day that she was pregnant added extra pressure on the business to succeed; discovering it was twins necessitated moving house and an even faster start! 

Tim’s drive means it hasn’t slowed down since. The club more than reached its pre-opening target membership numbers and by the time he underwent heart surgery at the beginning of 2015 the business was flying, having been named best performing club under 12 months old at the Anytime Fitness conference last year.

Exactly 56 days after his mandated eight-week recuperation period, Tim was back in the gym lifting weights; he’s since completed the London to Brighton Bike Ride to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. It’s going to take a lot more than heart surgery to knock him off his stride.


Story courtesy of the bfa.

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