Franchisee Profile: Bill and Bob Aicklen
Bill Aicklen and his brother Bob, who is currently based in Texas, will be opening their fifth Workout Anytime gym in May. The brothers opened their first gym in Decatur in November 2009; bought the company’s flagship store in Dunwoody in 2012; purchased the brand’s first franchise location in Douglasville in 2013, and built their fourth store in Rome in June 2013.
Bill, 63, received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Old Dominion University in Virginia, and landed his first job in the banking industry working in the operations and financial systems department. From there, Bill moved on to spend the next 30 years of his career in the computer software business, performing various roles including post-sales, training and support.
In 2006, Bill decided that he wanted to get out of corporate America and Bob, who was interested in investing in businesses, invited Bill to manage the operations.
The first business that the brothers partnered in was an express oil change franchise. They built and operated two stores in Woodstock before selling in 2012 to focus their time and effort on Workout Anytime.
How did you learn about Workout Anytime?
We were looking for other business opportunities, and Bob came across Workout Anytime on the Internet. A business broker also presented the concept to us.
Why did you choose an opportunity with Workout Anytime?
From a franchise standpoint, it’s an easy business to get into; it’s simple. There’s not a lot of moving parts and you can staff the gym with just one or two people. Also, we both have strong customer service backgrounds and understand the importance of hiring the right people and providing excellent service.
How has business been since joining the brand?
We have between 1000-1700 active members at each location. Since we took over the Douglasville store and invested money into upgrading the equipment, we have turned it around. Our club in Rome is based in a small city with very little competition in terms of big name brands, and we have been very successful there. I expect Suwannee to also do well because it’s in a highly concentrated residential area.
Are you involved in any charities or community outreach?
We localize our charity work depending on the club, and we usually donate free memberships for silent
auctions. We also partner with Red Cross by allowing them to park their blood drive buses in our parking lots every quarter – the next drive will be in Douglasville at 3pm on May 12. We have also previously put buckets in our gyms for people to donate pet supplies for the Humane Society.