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Behind the Scenes

Gold's Gym Franchisees Onboard With Company's Direction

Despite past concerns with the Gold's Gym corporate office, Blair McHaney, president of the Gold's Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA), is cautiously optimistic about the company's new leadership.

"The communication from and with [new Gold's Gym CEO] James Weaver has been outstanding," McHaney says. "From our perspective, Mr. Weaver appears to either naturally or strategically focus on four things – 1. Listen with an open mind and a humble attitude. 2. Use that information to make swift and relevant decisions that drive the Gold's Gym family forward. 3. Socialize those decisions quickly. 4. Make sure the rest of his team in Dallas is doing the same and that they have the appropriate authority to make their own decisions."

He notes that effective communication involves listening to input from franchisees, as well as sending updates from the corporate office.

"We know that this doesn't mean that we will agree on everything," says McHaney. "But when you are heard, truly heard, and not just the appearance of someone listening, you can have confidence in being treated fairly."

Also, the recently introduced small box model for Gold's Gyms is something that both franchisees and the franchisor have discussed for several years, McHaney says.

"We have a lot of incredible gyms out there that are getting 'chipped away' a bit by smaller box models," he says. "We (the GGFA) have looked at this with the franchisor for a number of years and have been asking for tools like the small box concept in order to begin to build an arsenal for the new competitive environment. In fairness, there are several people on the franchisor side that wanted this as well. It didn't take long for the new leadership to see the needs of the franchisees as well as some of the work that had already been done by key employees at GGI and say 'let's move.' It appears that it is being received very favorably."

So it should be interesting to watch the progress Gold's Gym makes with enhanced collaboration between franchisees and the corporate office.

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