Ben Midgle CEO of Crunch Fitness - Who is he?

16/09/2018 08:00 | Franchise CEO

Crunch fitness CEO Ben Midgley

As founder and CEO of Crunch Fitness, Ben Midgley is one of the most important figures in the US fitness and franchising scenes. Here, we take a look at how hes succeeded in the past and what makes the future of Crunch Fitness so promising.

Personal history

Ben Midgley started out cleaning exercise machines in Santa Barbara, where he developed a passion for exercise and devoted himself to working out. At the same time, he began to develop an aptitude for business that would see him grow to become one of the most important figures in the modern fitness industry. Midgleys career has been underpinned by a strong appreciation for the value of good leadership and the need for open and honest communication with those around you. He is also the author of a #1 bestseller, "Golden Circle Secrets," a highly rated customer service book with a cult readership thats pushed the book to the top of the Amazon best sellers list.

Professional history

Though he started as a part-time personal trainer, Ben Midgley cut his teeth as the Senior Director of Corporate Sales at 24 Hour Fitness. From 1999 to 2007, he ran a $120 million department that oversaw around 5,000 corporate accounts. Before this, he worked at the Saco Sports and Fitness Center in Maine. There he was awarded the prestigious IHRSA Sales Person of the Year Award and built his profile as one of the most effective sales directors in the fitness industry.

However, all three of these roles were mere warm-ups for Ben Midgleys adventures in franchising. In 2007, having left 24 Hour Fitness, he became the Executive Vice President of the Planet Fitness Franchise. There, he was responsible for improving all aspects of the franchise sales and developing the brand into a world-beater. There can be no doubt that he succeeded in his objective. During his time there he improved the sale of franchise units by 150% and decreased the amount of time it took from purchase to opening by 70%. In 2009, he left Planet Fitness and launched his passion project Crunch Fitness.

Work with Crunch Fitness

Crunch Fitness was founded in 2010, with Ben Midgley as its CEO. In the eight years that it's been open, it has grown into one of the US' biggest fitness franchises and developed a strong and loyal customer base that continues to use and enjoy its services. Established to change the way consumers think about fitness clubs, Midgley has applied all of his years of experience and expertise to the business, ensuring it's an unqualified success.

Midgley emphasises the central role doing the simple things well has on his business philosophy. With Crunch Fitness, he has ensured that franchisees understand the importance of proximity, convenience, and cleanliness to customers. The business model is based upon his belief that customers tend to go where they feel most comfortable. With 265 gyms situated in many different countries, it's difficult to argue with his approach.

Crunch Fitness franchise basics

Crunch Fitness operates traditional workout spaces that include all the equipment you would expect to see in a modern gym environment. This includes treadmills, cross trainers, weights, bikes, and rowing machines, among other things. However, Midgley's experience in the fitness industry has endowed him with a good understanding of how much of impact trends can have on the success of a gym. Currently, Crunch Fitness offers a large variety of classes, appealing to a diverse range of customers. These include group classes with names like "Chisel It," "Mind-Body Burn," and "Cardio & Dance."

The focus on providing engaging group classes has proven particularly successful at attracting female customers, who constitute a particularly large market. However, Crunch Fitness also offers a "Peak" membership service that offers additional bonuses. For instance, Peak members can access tanning services, are provided with guest passes, and can utilise the franchise's online nutritional programme. It is this variety that keeps customers coming back for more and also appeals to new users.

Professional accolades

Ben Midgleys professionalism and business skill have been acknowledged in numerous different ways and at various stages of his career. Besides the Sales Person of the Year, Midgley was placed 88th on Entrepreneurs 500 Franchise rankings. Franchises that he has managed have won various accolades, including the Hottest Franchise to Own award and the Top Global Franchise award. His support for franchisees has also been recognised, and he's won the FBR 50 Franchisee Satisfaction Award six times. All of these awards to a point to a man who is incredibly capable and knows precisely what works in the fitness industry. So what is his business philosophy?

Ben Midgleys approach to business and leadership
In the past, Midgley has been quoted as saying that business success and good leadership depend on three qualities. These are;

  1. Confidence Good leadership depends on having the confidence to tackle the unknown and the courage to decide when its not easy to do so. This means recognising that you may get it wrong and make mistakes but that the lessons learned will be valuable, too.
  2. Be honest Honesty is the quickest way to good decision making. Candour allows you to get to the heart of a problem efficiently and effectively, without wasting time. In the modern business environment, this is essential.
  3. Clarity In business management in particular, it's easy to get bogged down in vague, abstract ideas and terminology. Business success and strong leadership require clarity. With clarity, there is no confusion of meaning. You know what you have to do and can get on and do it.

Ben Midgley has had an incredibly impressive career that shows no sign of slowing down. By specialising in a single industry, he's developed a large amount of expertise that he's managed to apply to the franchise model successfully. As Crunch Fitness expands to new markets, you can be sure that well be hearing a lot more about Ben in the future.

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