An interview with Jeff Cercy, co-owner of Workout Anytime in Buffalo Grove.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
Workout AnytimeAddress: 581 W Liberty St., Wauconda and 700 S. Buffalo Grove Road, Buffalo Grove
Owners: Jeff Cercy, Eric Nagel
Year business started: 2013
Web address: www.workoutanytime.com
A: I am the owner of two 24/7 gym franchises called Workout Anytime. These are the first in Illinois. The company is based out of Atlanta and most locations are in the southern states currently and expanding.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: I got tired of losing money in the stock market and wanted an investment that was fun and fit my interest and had a better return and more predictability than the stock market. I needed a business investment I could operate as an absentee owner since I work full time in another job. This business model is very simple, has minimal moving parts, no inventory, only three employees required and great franchise support -- and most people do not realize the money that can be made running a gym -- it is really outstanding.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: Getting the right manager and staff takes time, but is really important especially as an absentee owner.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: It is a fun business and great people. It is a great feeling to go workout in your own gym. It is also great to be able to help others learn the gym business and then eventually buy their own gym after a few years.
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young?
A: Since college I wanted to run and own my own gym. I just didn't have the money or time to learn. It has taken a long time, but I guess dreams do come true with persistence.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Owning a business isn't easy -- otherwise everyone would do it. You put a lot on the line financially, but with a good plan and a good staff, this business model makes it hard to fail.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: Kind of the tag line of this franchise: Think Big, Keep it Simple and Do It with Integrity.
• Every Monday we feature a small, suburban business. We want to hear about yours. Contact Kim Mikus at email@example.com.