James Runyon
James Runyon
St. Paul, MN
(651) 246-7974
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James Runyon

Jim has pursued Entrepreneurship and found meaning owning a business his entire lifetime. From his earliest years on a paper route where door to door sales and cash collections were required in the old days to a lawn business once he hit ten years old, Jim has always been an entrepreneur. In college he started a seasonal jet ski rental business and acquired investment real estate. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of St. Thomas, Jim was offered a highly rewarding position as a fundraising executive at his high school alma mater to provide financial scholarships and make tuition affordable at one of the premier high schools in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul, MN metro area. Jim’s work in this area was very fulfilling.

After completing a $32 million fundraising campaign it was time to explore new challenges and in 2003 Jim purchased a Quizno’s franchise. At the time, Quizno’s was a “Top 5 Franchise” in the country with close to 5,000 units. A “perfect storm” of unfortunate events combined to create one of the more historic collapses of any brand. However, “what does not kill you makes you stronger” and Jim used this experience to help others and grow.

Jim joined the Transwestern Commercial Real Estate firm in 2007 as a Broker focused on owner sales, landlord leasing, tenant representation and investment sales. During his time at Transwestern, he represented a range of clients from individual owner and investors to large public REIT’s and developers.

In 2011, franchising came calling again as Anytime Fitness was experiencing a meteoric rise in the fitness space. This time Jim would work on the franchisor side as the Vice President of Real Estate for all Self Esteem Brands (SEB); Anytime Fitness, Waxing the City, The Bar Method and Basecamp Fitness. During his 9 years at SEB Jim led the real estate team that represented all Self Esteem Brands in their site search, identification, lease negotiation and ultimate signing of over 1,100 leases totaling in excess of $500 million in consideration. Additionally, Jim has extensive knowledge of construction, build outs, permitting, demographics and the architectural process.

During his time at SEB Jim saw Anytime Fitness grow from 1,000 units in the United States to over 4,700 units in 40 countries and all seven continents (including Antarctica). Jim was also witness to the acquisition and roll out of Waxing the City, Basecamp Fitness and The Bar Method.

“For the past 20 years I have chased my dreams or helped others make it possible to pursue theirs through education and business ownership. I’ve seen the worst and worked for the best. My work at FranChoice allows me the honor to help others avoid the mistakes and identify opportunities while in pursuit of the perfect fit for people, passion, profits and lifestyle.”

Pairing 20 years of commercial real estate experience with 8 years as a franchisee and 10 years working for the #1 ranked franchisors in the world, Jim brings a wealth of experience and unique perspectives to helping you identify, analyze and buy your business.

Jim lives in St Paul, Minnesota with his wife Alissa, and their kids Kate, Joe and Ellie. Jim can be reached at 651-246-7974 or by email at JRunyon@FranChoice.com. When not working Jim loves golfing, hockey, fishing and getting outside.

Who We Are

Founded in 2000 by Jeff Elgin, FranChoice is the premier franchise consulting company in the United States.  FranChoice matches would-be entrepreneurs with a franchise opportunity that best matches their needs, skills and interests.  Our Mission Statement is “Helping People Realize Their Dreams” and our consultants are the best in the industry at helping people find the perfect business for them.

What we do

FranChoice helps people realize their dreams of business ownership. People come to us who are interested in becoming a franchise owner but don’t know where to start.  Sometimes our candidates have tried to do their own research, and have become overwhelmed by it and are looking for expert guidance.  There are thousands of franchise companies in existence and trying to find the perfect fit can be confusing and frustrating.  That’s where our industry expert consultants come in.

How We Do It

We get to know our candidates and take them through a very thorough consultation process.  Our consultants gain an in-depth understanding of the candidate’s goals for business ownership, their desired role in the business and all kinds of details relating to the characteristics the business must have to meet their needs.

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