Franchise.com “virtually” sat down with 9Round Kickboxing Franchisee, Darrin Frowery, to talk about why he chose to enter franchising, how he decided on 9Round and how his business has changed during the pandemic.
Franchise.com: How long have you been in business?
Darrin: Our grand opening was Saturday, May 21, 2016, in Epping, NH so only 5 years ago. I did own and operate a Merrimack location and sold it to a member.
Franchise.com: What was your experience before becoming a business owner?
Darrin: I have 40 years of mixed martial arts experience and, from about 18 until the age of 43, I ran hotels. Before investing in a 9Round, I was the general manager at the Wolfeboro Inn.
Franchise.com: Why did you want to become a franchise owner?
Darrin: I’m 49 now and I’ve owned 8 homes in my life. So, I wanted to settle down in one place. I run my gym like I ran the hotel; with a family atmosphere.
Franchise.com: How many franchises did you research before choosing this one?
Darrin: I looked at a franchise many years ago. But, I got scared. One day my wife was in a spa and I walked into a 9Round that was next door. I called the franchise and asked about real estate for a 9Round location. It took a lot for me to pull the trigger but my fiancé twisted my arm. I wouldn’t have done it without her encouragement.
Franchise.com: How has the pandemic affected your business and what did the franchise do to support you?
Darrin: Within 24 hours of things shutting down, 9Round was sending daily at-home workouts every day. I gave members three choices: you can switch to at-home membership, leave your membership as is, or you can freeze your membership for up to 3 months. 80% of my membership stayed. I got PPP assistance and negotiated the rent with my landlord. But, the real reason why we are successful is how we chose to run the gym. And, the connections we made long before COVID hit. We bring levity and fun to the workout. Plus, the trainers we hire are phenomenal. I say and I think every 9Round owner should say “I hope nobody gives a 9round workout better than me”.
Franchise.com: How has your life changed since you became a franchise owner?
Darrin: Everyone goes into this business thinking they’re going to be a self-made millionaire. But, the more important thing to me is I don’t think I’ve been in better shape. No classes. No class time. The convenient workout spoke to me when I saw this. When I was 8, I started wrestling. At about 16, I was in a Gold’s gym. The weights and elliptical machines were always there in the same place. They brought a kid in to do cardio kickboxing. I hated going to the gym. It was boring. I love how 9Round changes every day. I love connecting with members. This is not a job to me.
Franchise.com: What would you tell a prospective franchisee if you could give them one piece of advice?
Darrin: I get out of this exactly what I put into it. Don’t go into it with a plan B. Business ownership is not for someone who wants to quit. You have to be ready for the help, be very good at self-advocating and have business sense.
Franchise.com: In your experience so far, what’s the best thing about being a franchise owner?
Darrin: Being able to do things like this to help the community: It was -18 degrees this week. I wanted to hold a coat drive. I went to Lowe’s to get a box. I offered 1 raffle ticket for every coat donated and promoted it locally. The box was overflowing with coats in days!
If you’d like to become a franchise owner and make a difference in your community, start your search now on Franchise.com.
Professional kickboxer, Shannon "The Cannon" Hudson, started 9Round in 2008 to help turn people who are passionate about fitness into successful business owners. 9Round specializes in kickboxing and delivers training in a convenient, affordable, 30-minute, full-body circuit format. The program features a proprietary and copyrighted system of nine workout stations created by Shannon himself. Today, there are more than 600 9Round fitness centers in 41 U.S. states and 13 countries. Click here to browse health and fitness franchises for sale.