Franchisee Profile: Duane Brown
Situated where the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains give way to the Tennessee Valley, Sevierville will be the home of Workout Anytime’s newest facilities, spearheaded by entrepreneur and real estate broker/contractor, Duane Brown.
Brown, 46, is a Maynardville, TN native whose hobbies span martial arts (he’s a black belt) to police work to house restoration. Prior to opening his first roofing company in 2000, Brown worked mostly in construction and as a fitness instructor from 1998-2000. He continued his work in the housing market by receiving his real estate license and becoming a broker. He then elevated his resume to include residential contractor in 2001, which included building houses, investing in real estate and renovating buildings.
Brown’s journey in real estate proved to be a difficult road due to the housing market decline in the 2000s. He struggled keeping the real estate he had purchased, and had seven mortgages under his name. Through strategic planning, and a lot of luck, Brown was able to sell four of his properties and will continue wrapping up his involvement in real estate by selling the rest of his homes and moving to Sevierville to focus on maintaining his Workout Anytime.
Brown was first introduced to Workout Anytime by his bookkeeper while still working as a contractor. Intrigued, Brown decided to check it out for himself. He drove to Powell, TN and upon entering the center, Brown immediately knew this was the opportunity he was looking for. Ringing up Greg Parker, he signed with the brand and a year and a half later, will be opening his doors this May.
Why did you choose an opportunity with Workout Anytime?
I had thought about franchises in the past but nothing stood out. I used to work at National Fitness and I’ve visited Anytime Fitness, but Workout Anytime blew their facilities out of the water. They both exist in the Sevierville market, but I believe Workout Anytime will appeal to the public here.
What challenges have you overcome to get to where you are now?
The road to business ownership was challenging and stressful. I changed the course of my life at 46 and chose to pursue something else for the rest of my life. I’m currently tying up loose ends that exist within my contracting business and trying to transition my family to a new town, all while opening a business. It’s been a tough road but I’m excited to open and pursue this business.
Do you have any development/extension plans? Add units? Timeframe?
Ideally I’d like to open two more locations in Sevierville in the next two years.