Innovative Fitness - Co-Founder, Matt Young

Date: MAY 14th, 2014

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Matt Young is obviously keen on leaving his personal stamp on the health and fitness industry. Co-Founding Innovative Fitness in 1995, he was instrumental in developing his vision from a single customer to 11 personal training facilities across Canada using his patented Lifestyle Management systems. For his achievements Matt would be recognized as one of Caldwell partners of Canada [2006] & Business in Vancouver [2011] Top 40 Under 40 business leaders. Not one to reman stagnant, Matt co-founded Digital Shelfspace in 2007, a direct to consumer fitness dvd business which released Georges St Pierre’s RUSHFIT dvd training series and The TOUR Academy Home edition. Currently, Matt devotes the majority of his time entrenching healthy habits & supporting physical literacy to Canadian youth through his national 60 Minute Kidsclub. Matt also consults for many for profit and not for profit businesses in the health & fitness space.

In his free time, Matt can be found outside pursuing his next bucket list goals. He is a two time Ironman Finisher, 10 time marathon finisher, multi day adventure race, cycling & running champion, He has ridden across 3 countries by bike and raised over 5.5 million dollars for different charities. Matt Young walks the talk.

Tell us about the Innovative Fitness concept.

Matt Young:Innovative Fitness is a one on one, by appointment only premier personal training service with focus on personal reinvention through physical challenge, adversity and victories. Through the conduit of physical activity & fitness, we empower training coaches and customers to achieve their full potential. Our standard footprint is between 3500 & 5000 Sq studios, however the empowerment process spans well beyond those walls into the communities, across the country and even internationally.

How and when did you become involved with Innovative Fitness?

MY:I became involved with Innovative Fitness at it's inception in 1996. My business partner and I had an idea that fundamentals were the key to success; hence the name Innovative.

What was your background prior to joining Innovative Fitness?

MY:I graduated from University of British Columbia with a Kinetics degree.

What are some of the advantages in being a Innovative Fitness franchisee?

MY:The advantages of being an Innovative Fitness franchisee are; business systems, support and brand recognition. Innovative was built on over twenty years of learning best practices. Those practices have been well documented to maximize energy and save time through the learning curve. Essentially we have systemized a personal service business. As a franchisee, you are supported through all of the legal, administration, sales and business development facets of the personal training business. The Innovative Fitness brand is a premier brand which helps you attract team mates and members who understand the level of service provided.

Who is your ideal franchisee?

MY:An idea Innovative Fitness franchisee is someone who is passionate about helping others, has the personality to connect with people, understands the perspective of franchising and building business, is a team player, walks the health & wellness talk and has a knowledge of the human body relative to movement. They need to be a great listener and a good implementer.

Tell us a little about the Innovative Fitness Market?

MY:The market is saturated with single soldier armies who opt for the celebrity trainer route vs the team business approach. Long term, they find themselves capped in terms of earning potential because all of their equity is in themselves. The personal training industry is the only industry not consistently regulated by a governing body. This gives way to a low barrier of entry to the profession and a diverse gap between levels of professionals. Innovative Fitness has carved our success by doing the exact opposite of industry norms to create our own high standards.

What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

MY:The greatest lessons we've learned in growing the franchise is being very diligent in the selection process. We are a premier brand with very quantifiable operating systems and expectations that cannot be compromised if we are to continue to be a premier brand.

Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?

MY:Mentorship comes in many forms. We learn a lot from our team mates, managers and franchises about day to day improvements. We also learn a lot from reading and connecting with other franchisors to see where they are having struggles and success.

What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

MY:Our best piece of advice for those looking to acquire a franchise is make sure you understand the franchisee / franchisor relationship, responsibilities and expectations BEFORE you get into business agreement. This isn't something that should be discovered after the fact.

In your opinion, why do you think that Innovative Fitness would be a great opportunity for someone?

MY:The Innovative Fitness franchise is a great opportunity for someone because of the amount of genuine support they will receive to be encouraged to get outside of their comfort zone, which as most people know, is where the most amount of growth occurs.