For me, opening a Snap Fitness location wasn’t just about making a business decision; it was a complete overhaul of my life.
My professional background is in computers, and prior to purchasing a Snap Fitness I was working in a government position. It was a decent job, but I had found myself starting to feel bored and unmotivated in my work. The sedentary lifestyle that came with the position was a problem as well, and as a result I was overweight and developed a back injury. At that point, my doctor told me that I needed to shed the weight in order to help my recovery. That’s when my journey began.
I began working out regularly and managed to lose 70 pounds. Motivated by my lifestyle change, I made the decision to take a leave of absence from my job in 2008, in order to explore new career opportunities. Franchising immediately jumped out at me and I decided I wanted to own a business that could help people focus on their health and wellness, achieve the same results that I had. After looking into some restaurant and specialty food store concepts, I ultimately decided that opening a Snap Fitness was the right choice.
Snap Fitness was a tremendous partner right off the bat, providing all of the training and systems I needed to get my business up and running quickly. Before opening I went through Snap University, which taught me everything from sales and marketing strategies, to operations, and even personal training. My first club opened in January 2009, and our grand opening was fantastic. In February, however, a giant 70,000 square-foot athletic club appeared in the same neighborhood as my club. I was concerned, because part of my reason for choosing that location was that it’s a high-traffic area that had no other fitness clubs. I thought that this massive competitor could spell disaster for my business.
Fortunately, the Snap Fitness corporate staff was right there to help me create several successful marketing campaigns, and was always available to chat about new ideas and strategies. As a result, that club continued to thrive, and I was able to open a second club later that same year.
Snap Fitness continues to provide excellent year-round support, in the form of web-based tools like their custom marketing center, company portal, and webinars, as well as through regional training road shows and the Snap Fitness annual convention, where franchisees can get together to exchange ideas and learn best practices.
It’s been over five years since I started the process of losing weight and owning my own business, and I’m happier and healthier than I ever dreamed possible. My work-life balance is great, and I take great pleasure in helping members achieve their own health and fitness goals. In terms of finding the right business opportunity, I would tell anyone thinking of opening a gym to do the research, and really get a feel for the support team and tools available. It’s easy to plan for the best case scenario, but as my story proves, you can’t plan for everything. That’s why having the right people, the right tools, and the right support systems are important in making your business a success.