Getting your business to stand out from the crowd is no small task, especially if you are in a marketplace with tons of competitors. With more than 200,000 fitness and health clubs worldwide, including more than 36,000 in the U.S. alone, Chuck Runyon, CEO of Anytime Fitness, knows just what it takes to get a leg up on the competition.

Anytime Fitness is the fastest-growing gym franchise in the world, with more than 3,500 gyms worldwide that serve nearly 3 million members. We recently had a chance to speak with Runyon about staying competitive in a crowded industry and turning first-time customers into loyal ones.

Q: When your business is in a crowded marketplace ̶ where Anytime Fitness finds itself ̶ how can you stand out from the crowd?

A: Consumers today are inundated with the noise of every business shouting for attention. Instead of trying to stand out with potential customers, business leaders must first ask themselves, “Are we doing enough to excite and engage our current customers?” In our business, we need to focus on helping members achieve better health. If we care, coach and connect with them – if we stand out in their lives – then they’ll value our relationship longer and refer more business. My suggestion is to analyze your business from the inside out. Stand out to current customers and they’ll help you grow the business.

Q: It’s one thing to get a customer in the door; it’s another to keep them coming back. What tips do you have for creating loyal customers?

A: First, focus on understanding your customer. What do they need or want? Why are they choosing to engage with your product or service? Once you gain clarity, work hard to meet or exceed their expectations.

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