Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue III, 2017 - Page 13

2017 MVP AWARDS PERSONAL Formative influences/events: It was rough growing up in the inner city of Chicago. We lived in a single-parent home with three kids. My mom led our team with everything she had—that was our family unit, that was our team. Everyone else in the Lathrop Homes projects in northeast Chicago was just as poor as us. We all lived each day to the fullest and dreamed about being athletes, stars, or chang- ing the world. Ironically enough, my older brother Femi (former NFL player Obafemi Ayanbadejo) and I did just that. Mom has always taught us to have an unwavering belief in ourselves. This single mom from the projects raised three children who racked up five college degrees, including two MBA degrees, 20 seasons in the NFL, three Pro Bowl appearances, two Super Bowl championships—and most important, six grandchildren. Key accomplishments: Helping change equal rights laws in the U.S. 2012/2013. Earned my Ex- ecutive MBA at The University of George Washington in 2013. Baltimore Ravens 2013 Super Bowl Cham- pion. Owner of the highest-grossing Orangetheory Fitness location in 2016. Work week: Every morning I drop my kids off at school and teach three fitness classes. Once I am done with the workouts for the day, I hit the KPI portal and Listen360 for customer feedback. I check in with my regional staff, managers, employees, and members as well. We are rapidly expanding at the moment. Real estate, letters of intent, and lease negotiations are a heavy part of my daily agenda at the moment, along with coaching classes. I also am in charge of launching our new-to-market studios. I train all of our fitness staff on the art of how to be a successful Orangetheory Fitness coach. I have to say that is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. What are you reading? It’s Your Ship by D. Michael Abrashoff. Best advice you ever got: Always believe in yourself. (Mom) What’s your passion in business? My pas- sion in business and life all boils down to helping people achieve their goals. When my staff achieves their goals, the business wins. When our members achieve their goals, the business wins. We put the staff and members first. Being a successful business owner means you are a revenue generator. When the business is a robust revenue generator, we also become a robust income distributor. When I see our employees buying new cars, homes, wedding rings, and having children I would have to say that it makes me feel a little tingle inside my heart and soul. “I know I’m still a small fry, but I have a lot of goals, a lot of ambition, passion, and two feet on the ground.” ecutive MBA from George Washington University as part of an invitation-only School of Business program for profes- sional athletes. Ayanbadejo brings the same energy, passion, and leadership to franchising that he was known for on and off the field as Ravens captain and NFL Players Associa- tion representative. The son of interracial parents, he also is known for advocating for marriage equality, including same-sex marriage. Whether training staff, teach- ing daily classes, opening new gyms, or constantly monitoring client feedback, it’s all about the positivity, he says. “I always try to improve and get bet- ter every day,” he says. “I started playing football really late, and every day I just wanted to get better at the sport. It is the same thing in business and the same thing in life. It is kind of like the saying, ‘How you do one thing is how you do every- thing.’ I’m always trying to get better.” For Ayanbadejo, no challenge is too big. He hopes to invest in additional complementary health and fitness brands and is exploring international expansion possibilities that he believes can directly reduce disease rates by spreading the powerful benefits of health education and fitness. “I know I’m still a small fry, but I have a lot of goals, a lot of ambition, passion, and two feet on the ground,” says Ayan- badejo. “There is a lot more that I want to do and accomplish. Part of it is getting wealthy, but another part of it, which is bigger and more important, is changing the world with my legacy.” BOTTOM LINE Annual revenue: In 2016, overall company gross revenue as master franchisor was $19.7 mil- lion; revenue as a franchisee was $8.3 million. 2017 goals: How do you measure your growth? Close out the year with 25-plus open units to market. We are currently sitting at 18. Growth meter: How do you measure your growth? So far in 2017 we have opened two units. We would be excited to open eight more locations this year. Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? I plan on being a multi- brand franchisee in the next few years. I also plan on being international. In the next three years the plan is to have a fully mature market with 40 open stores. As of late, I have the angel investor bug as well. I might even come up with my own franchise concept. What are you doing to take care of your employees? Little things go a long way with our staff. Holiday bonuses, team meals and nights out, and incentivized team competitions all build the team. We also have emergency funds readily available for the team that they do not have to pay back. We have bought flights home to see family members, replaced stolen laptops, and provided cash when tragedy strikes. What kind of exit strategy do you have in place? There is no exit strategy in place. If and when a sale takes place we will see how many multiples we can get for our units. I would be more than happy to get all 40 of our units to market and continue to cash flow at our current margins, which are pretty spectacular. MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE IS S U E III, 2017  11