U.S.-based Anytime Fitness reimburses customers who submit a photo and story about getting a tattoo of the company's logo. Sounds like a crazy offer, but it's a deal more than 1,400 customers have chosen to accept. That permanent illustration of loyalty is one of the reasons Entrepreneur magazine has named Anytime Fitness to the top spot on its annual Franchise 500 list.
The company, which operates in 10 countries including Canada, "is just four walls and a treadmill," CEO Chuck Runyon told the magazine. He says Anytime Fitness differentiates itself not just by helping customers lose weight and get healthy, but through its company culture.
"Our top priorities are family, health, wealth and safety. Our franchisees improve their health, they feel better, they become better spouses, and they go to work every day and improve themselves. It's very cool."
Tianjiao is cashing in on the growing anger between rich and poor in China. The bodyguard training school run by a former soldier is doing so well, the owner is considering a listing on the stock exchange, Reuters reports. One businessman customer interviewed for the story employs 18 of the company's bodyguards.
Did you know there's a pinball hall of fame in Las Vegas? Neither did I. It's what inspired a pair of entrepreneurs from Tucson to open a pinball arcade in September, according to a story from Fox Business. Gary and Jane Dillahunty have day jobs as missile engineers and they run their arcade on weekends.
EVENTS AND KEY DATES
Online import learning
Pacific Customs Brokers is hosting a webinar on Jan. 9, on the basics of importing into the United States. If you are a novice or you require some re-training on the physical movement of goods across the border, then this online event will be suited to you.
More profit, more success
Colin Sprake, business expert and author of Entrepreneur Success Recipe, hosts a business education event in Calgary on Jan. 21, called Mastering Your Business for Maximum Profit & Success. The aim is to help your business make you more money and to let you "live the lifestyle you deserve."
EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS
Budding business in Chile
Companies looking to tap new foreign markets typically try to limit the amount of capital they lay out on the table. But going beyond that financial comfort zone can make the difference between winning and losing international business.
FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES
A story from June, 2012 looked at an increasing number of come-ons from countries that are wooing just the types of tech-savvy immigrants Canada is hoping to lure.
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