Sonya Fernandez - Co-Founder of FitClub24

Author: samantha@frantechmedia.com

Date: AUG 28th, 2013

Topic: Interview with a CEO

I was in Mergers and Acquisition Arbitrage Trading prior to seeing this concept. What intrigued me is that this business was the polar opposite of the financial world. I found that helping people change their lives was much more fun and rewarding than trading. I decided to get in to Yoga and Essentrics (a type of contraction of eccentrics) and loved it, from there I chose to dive in to becoming an instructor and took the training to bring my experience to others. I am now a certified Sivananda Yoga instructor and certified Essentrics teacher.

BeTheBoss: Describe FitClub24's Business Concept

FitClub24 is the first club in Canada to successfully integrate Nutrition and Training to help members attain maximum results. Our Mission is to get in the best shape of our lives and then help others in our community get in the best shape of their lives. We are a community with the sole purpose of attaining and maintaining a healthy active lifestyle.

We combine group training techniques, which drives a tremendous amount of positive energy, with our nutrition programs. Positive energy and proper nutrition is the key formula to obtaining maximum health results. Our business model has incredibly low overhead and no employee costs allowing us to be cash flow positive in the first month of operation.

BeTheBoss: How and when did you get involved with FitClub24:

Approximately two years ago a friend of ours from Los Angeles told us about a pretty exciting organization that was training on the beach and then after training the group would head back to their club for post recovery nutrition. He stated that 300 to 400 people were doing bootcamp style training and then all going back to the club, he also stated that the health results were phenomenal. As fitness and nutrition enthusiasts, we were certainly intrigued by this business model and decided to board a plane for Los Angeles.

The concept blew us away as it was in fact total integration of nutrition and fitness. We knew that this was a model that could be duplicated in a big way. We have successfully recreated this business model and made it better while changing the lives of thousands of members.

BeTheBoss: What is your background prior to joining?

I was in Mergers and Acquisition Arbitrage Trading prior to seeing this concept. What intrigued me is that this business was the polar opposite of the financial world. I found that helping people change their lives was much more fun and rewarding than trading.

BeTheBoss: What are some of the advantages of being a franchisee for FitClub24?

The major advantages are the fact that the operational costs of running this business are very low and that we are creating long-term recurring revenue.

Another advantage is that it’s your business to enjoy, the fact that you are paid to be in the best shape of your life by learning proper nutrition and living a healthy active lifestyle. Plus, the extreme satisfaction that you derive from watching your members transform and change their lives in a positive manner.

BeTheBoss: Who is the ideal franchisee for the FitClub 245 franchise?

Somebody that can lead and motivate groups of people and show them the way to personal fulfillment and maximum health. A person that has the ability to create a team of happy and excited people whose main goal is to benefit financially from helping others get healthy.

BeTheBoss: Tell us a little bit about the fitness industry and market?

As everybody is aware, the health and fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar business. We were able to find the arbitrage in this industry by filling a massive void. We felt that conventional gyms did nothing to train and motivate their members about proper nutrition. We successfully combined proper nutrition with incredible positive energy created in the group trainings to obtain amazing results for our community.

BeTheBoss: What are some of the greatest lessons that you have learned?

We have learned that when you give people a positive platform to succeed on they can flourish beyond their wildest dreams. The high energy created by large groups of people motivates and inspires each other to incredible heights.

BeTheBoss: Do you have a mentor and is their somebody that you use for inspiration?

My two mentors are my business partner Sean Lewis and our investor Mark Lachance. These two gentlemen have taught me a tremendous amount about sales, marketing and leadership. In this business it is imperative that you work on these three skills in order to be successful. I am fortunate to have them as resources.

BeTheBoss: What advise do you have for somebody looking to acquire a franchise?

You certainly want to look at the cost to set up the business but most importantly you want look at a business model that has very low operational costs which will allow you to get cash flow positive almost immediately. We reached cash flow positive in the first month of operations because we have no employee costs, no marketing or advertising costs and no employee benefits to pay. The only costs that we have are minimal location rent as we don’t need to bear the burden of high retail space costs.

BeTheBoss: In your opinion, why do you think that FitClub24 would be a great opportunity for someone?

There is no other business in the world that combines so many positive aspects: Very low operational costs, getting paid to be healthy, getting paid to help your clients and friends obtain amazing health results, being able to create long lasting significant recurring revenue and to have fun every day of your life.