Club Solutions Magazine Gets Ringside with Shannon Hudson and 9Round
Club Solutions recently got up close and personal with Shannon Hudson, founder and CEO of 9Round Fitness. The article is based on how Hudson grew up with a martial arts background that helped him develop the idea behind 9Round and kept him focused on successfully bringing his fitness concept to the public. The writers state that Hudson is the king of kickboxing and is knocking out all of his company's competition. However, in the beginning the company seemed to be a difficult uphill climb that Hudson states was fueled by his own desire and fighter mentality of never giving up.
In 2008 Hudson came up with the idea for 9Round and decided to pitch the concept to big box gyms, but they were having no part of 9Round in their big fancy gyms. They basically laughed at him and dismissed the idea. That is when he decided the best option would be to lease a small retail space. He had to beg and borrow money from friends because he was recently married and had recently maxed out all his credit cards. He did everything he could to get 9Round up and running. There wasn't even money for a sign out front. All they had was a banner, but within the first month they had signed up one hundred members. That was when the franchise idea popped into Hudson's head. It would be an excellent way to grow his company. He again borrowed more money and filled out all the necessary paperwork. 9Round was now on track to becoming a franchise.
In 2009 9Round opened its first franchise, and it was actually to a 9Round member. It feels great to be able to grow a company from the inside out, and inside growth is mainly how the company got started. Mostly members and trainers wanted to take their knowledge of how effective and successful a 9Round fitness routine was and share it with others. In 2010 they opened nine more stores, and in 2011 seventeen more stores were added. 9Round was on a roll. Along came 2012 and 9Round opened 45 stores. After the 45 stores opened, Entrepreneur Magazine took notice and put 9Round on its Top 500 Franchises list. In 2013 9Round opened its 100th store and hasn't looked back. Since then the company has shown no signs of slowing down.
Hudson has seen his company grow from one tiny retail spot without a sign to over 100 locations countrywide. He has also gained a new partner, Peter Taunton. The rapid growth and the unique fitness concept were what caught the eye of the Lift Brands founder. Taunton wanted to buy the entire 9Round name, but Hudson could not part with his baby. They now work together, which is great for Hudson because Taunton already owns over 1400 stores worldwide. Hudson even stated, “why not partner with someone who has been there and knows more than I do?” Hudson currently has eight people in his corporate office in Greenville, South Carolina, but through the Lift Brands’ partnership in Minnesota he has gained many more that he can lean on for marketing, legal, mapping, contracting, compliance and sales, which can be a major boost in the competitive fitness industry.
It is amazing how fast Hudson was able to grow 9Round, especially in the beginning with very little start up money. However, he relied heavily on his fighter's instinct and kept pushing. Luckily, he is very competitive and didn't back down in the beginning. He now owns one of the fastest growing fitness franchises in the US and is looking to go worldwide soon. He is proud of all his accomplishments and is honored to know that his fitness concept is helping so many people achieve their fitness goals. If you would like to read about Shannon Hudson's and 9Round's background you can find the Club Solutions article here.